Mike Trout may be out for the final weeks of the 2019 campaign, but he still thinks that it was a season for the ages regardless.
In an interview with Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Angels star said that he felt 2019 was the best season of his career.
“Offensively, in the box, this is the best I’ve felt,” Trout said. “Just squaring up baseballs, making adjustments quickly, and barreling up a lot more balls.”
The eight-time All-Star also commented on the season that Houston Astros star Alex Bregman, his main competition for AL MVP honors, is having.
“He’s having an unbelievable year,” said Trout. “I feel like this is my best year. Obviously, it [stinks] not playing the last few weeks. I follow Breg all the time. I see what he’s doing. Like I said, I’m happy for him. He’s having a great year.”
Trout hit 45 homers and 104 RBIs in 2019 on a ridiculous .291/.438/.645 slash line before a foot injury ended his season after just 134 games. Bregman, meanwhile, is still behind Trout statistically this season but has the benefits of health and a better team record in his case for MVP.
The 28-year-old Trout does make an interesting claim given that he already has two MVP seasons and four second-place MVP finishes under his belt. But 2019 was definitely something special for him and not just at the plate either.
Mike Trout’s brilliant 2019 season is over.
The Los Angeles Angels announced Sunday that Trout will undergo surgery on his ailing right foot and miss the remainder of the season.
Angels statement on Mike Trout. He’s having surgery later this week. His season is over. pic.twitter.com/SpYfNIMtSt
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 15, 2019
The Angels are well out of the playoff race and there’s no point pushing Trout through further pain. There’s no word on recovery time, but it seems reasonable to expect that he’ll have ample time to rehab and be ready for the 2020 season.
Trout hadn’t played since Sept. 7 with the foot issue. He’s hitting .291 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in what has been, by one metric, the best offensive season of his career. The 28-year-old may well be the AL MVP, but the injuries and his team’s inability to stay in contention could cost him vital votes, fair or not.
Bill Walton partnered with Jason Benetti to call Friday night’s Chicago White Sox-Los Angeles Angels game on White Sox TV, and he did not disappoint.
Walton called a Mike Trout home run in the fifth inning of the game, saying Trout had sent the ball “ricocheting through the universe.”
— MLB (@MLB) August 17, 2019
That was classic Walton.
What was he doing calling a baseball game? The White Sox’s typical TV analyst is Steve Stone, but he is taking a few days off while the team is in Anaheim. The White Sox came up with an idea to have a random group of analysts work with Benetti for the games.
Benetti said Sox marketing chief Brooks Boyer came up with the idea of nontraditional celebrity analysts to work the four-game series while Stone takes a breather. Boyer asked Benetti about having a “random grab bag of analysts” — and Benetti was all for it.
On Thursday, Benetti will handle the broadcast with special guest appearances. Michael Schur, a TV writer and producer whose resume includes “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” will do Saturday’s game. Mike O’Brien, a Chicago actor and writer who has appeared on “Saturday Night Live” and created the NBC comedy “A.P. Bio,” will join Benetti for Sunday’s game.
Here are a few other calls from Walton:
Bill on bunts: "BRILLIANT" pic.twitter.com/ISYVSLQ8Iq
— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 17, 2019
And some of his other best lines from the game:
Some Walton quotes tonight
"4 balls and you get to first?"
"they call them runs not points? oh, ok… but what if you get walked? "
"I'm much better at getting high than getting low"
"Here in Orange County. Naranja!"
"theres 2 guys on base. is this the pitchers fault?"
— Raul (@_Bones) August 17, 2019
Walton and Benetti are actual familiar with each other. The two worked together calling college basketball games for ESPN in the past. This is a pairing fans probably can’t get enough of.
Just when you thought that everything there was to say about Mike Trout had already been said, Alex Cora is coming in from the top rope.
Speaking with reporters before their game against Trout’s Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, the Boston Red Sox manager had an interesting comparison for the two-time MVP with regard to his body type.
“The way he moves is impressive,” Cora said of Trout, per MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato. “First to third, if I had to compare to somebody, his body, the way he’s built, how fast he is — Raúl Mondesi.”
If you recall, Mondesi (not to be confused with Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, whose birth name is also Raúl), was a former All-Star and Gold Glover who played in the 1990s and 2000s. He clocked in at 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, hitting 271 home runs and stealing 229 bases during his 13-year career. Mondesi was also himself a former Angel and was briefly teammates with Cora on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While comparing a generational talent like Trout to a forgotten one like Mondesi may seem odd, it’s not quite the strangest one we’ve heard.
Mike Trout checked nearly every category in the boxscore during Monday’s Los Angeles Angels-Cincinnati Reds game. His stolen base in the first inning might have been his most impressive moment.
Trout walked in the top of the first inning and then attempted to steal second with Justin Upton at the plate and two outs. Though Tucker Barnhart’s throw down to second appeared to beat Trout, the crafty Angels outfielder used a nifty swim move to avoid the tag and slide in safely:
This Trout knows how to swim upstream. pic.twitter.com/Pr7LqU9j5x
— MLB (@MLB) August 5, 2019
On top of the slick stolen base, Trout also blasted a 442-foot home run in the sixth inning. He was trying to make up for a rare error he committed in the field earlier in the game.
The homer was Trout’s 37th, which leads the American League. As for the slide, he’s been perfecting the move for years.
Mike Trout is on an absurd tear at the plate in which he has belted 11 home runs in his last 13 games, but he proved on Tuesday night that he is capable of changing the game on defense, too. There was one play in particular that helped the Los Angeles Angels preserve an early lead, and Trout seemed quite proud of it.
With the Angels leading the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Corey Seager lined a base hit to center field and Max Muncy tried to score from second base. Trout made an absolutely perfect throw home to gun him out.
A perfect throw by Mike Trout
— ESPN (@espn) July 24, 2019
As Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com pointed out, Trout’s throw home was clocked at 98.6 mph by Statcast. It was tied for the third-hardest throw from the outfield this season and was Trout’s hardest since Statcast was introduced in 2015. When Trout caught wind of that, he immediately began bragging to his teammates.
Mike Trout found out in the dugout that his outfield assist was thrown 98.6 mph, which is probably his hardest ever. He started bragging about it immediately. "He came *quick* and let me know that," Angels RF Kole Calhoun said.
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) July 24, 2019
Trout still couldn’t get enough of the feat after the game, and he told reporters he planned on calling former Angels pitcher Garrett Richards to let him know.
Mike Trout said he would be sure to let Garrett Richards know he threw a ball 98 mph from the outfield. It was the hardest throw he’s made since tracking began in 2015
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 24, 2019
It was already hard to believe that Trout is doing things at the plate this year that he has never done before in his remarkable career, but he seems even more pumped about that 98.6 mph throw. While belting homers is second nature to him at this point, gunning guys out at the plate doesn’t come quite as easily.
Mike Trout is not in the lineup for the Los Angeles Angels for the second day in a row due to his strained calf. He doesn’t seem too worried.
Trout exited Sunday’s game early with a calf strain and then missed Monday’s win over Houston due to the injury. An MRI revealed a small strain.
According to Angels reporter Jeff Fletcher, Trout says he is feeling better but sitting out due to a cautious approach by the team.
Mike Trout said he feels better today. He has hit the last two days. He said they are “just being cautious.” #Angels
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 16, 2019
The Angels have won four in a row. They swept the Seattle Mariners in their first series after the All-Star break and took Monday’s game against the Astros. They still trail Houston by 10 games for the AL West lead.