Mookie Betts and Mike Trout currently rank at or near the top of the majors in most significant hitting categories, but both star outfielders agree that one statistic is more important than the rest.
MLB.com conducted a poll of several players to determine which stat they believe holds the most weight when they evaluate themselves in a given season. Of 35 position players who voted, 10 players considered on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) to be the best measure of how they are performing. Next was on-base percentage (six votes) followed by RBI (five votes) and then runs scored (four votes). Of the four players who voted for runs, Trout and Betts were two of them.
“That’s big from an offensive side,” Trout said.
Betts, who currently ranks first in MLB with 36 runs scored, agrees.
“You score runs to win games,” he said. “That’s how you do it.”
Again, Trout and Betts are at or near the top of almost every category. You could argue that there was some bias involved if a player who belts 40 home runs a year but has a .240 career average said homers are the most important stat, but that is not the case with Trout and Betts.
If you saw the impressive feat Betts recently accomplished at the plate, you might think the long ball is what he focuses the most on. But let that be a lesson to you youngsters — crossing the plate is a good thing no matter how you do it.
Cody Bellinger is taking a page out of the book of another LA baseball star.
During 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers slugger hit an RBI double in the sixth inning and had a nifty move on the basepaths when he switched hands on his slide to avoid the tag at second.
After the game, Bellinger said that he learned the move by watching Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout on TV, per Pedro Moura of The Athletic.
Indeed, Trout, the two-time MVP, has owned that swim move for years now. Credit to Bellinger for doing what all of us wish we could do and imitating it.
The name of Mike Trout’s drink of choice in the dugout is a nod to a popular animated movie starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny.
During Saturday’s 4-3 win by the Los Angeles Angels over the San Francisco Giants, Trout hit his eighth home run of the season in the third inning. After getting back to the dugout, Trout was shown on the broadcast drinking from a bottle that had the words “Michael’s Secret Stuff” wrapped on the side.
Trout was also spotted with the “secret stuff” earlier this month.
Those who are familiar with the movie “Space Jam” will surely remember the locker room scene where Bugs Bunny drank from a blue water bottle that also had the words “Michael’s Secret Stuff” on it.
Trout is off to an excellent start to this season. He hit a 2-run home run on Sunday, giving him an MLB-best nine dingers on the season. Perhaps Shohei Ohtani has been sipping some of Trout’s drink because his exploits at the plate recently had him moved up to the cleanup spot on Mike Scioscia’s lineup card.
The MLB season gets underway on Thursday, so the focus will inevitably be on the playoff race and who is contending for a World Series title. There is another worthwhile subplot to watch out for, and that is the race for the Most Valuable Player award in each league.
There are many players who could win it, but we’ve narrowed it down to five big candidates in each league. Of course, there are other worthy candidates, and this certainly doesn’t rule out a dark horse candidate emerging and putting together a season worthy of award recognition.
Here are ten big preseason candidates for the Most Valuable Player awards in both the American and National League.
1) Mike Trout, Angels
Trout is pretty much atop this list in perpetuity. His fourth-place finish in last year’s MVP voting was actually his worst since catching on as a full-time player, but that had more to do with missed time due to injury than production. He still hit .306 with a career-best 1.071 OPS, plus 33 home runs. He’ll be heavily featured in the conversation as long as he stays healthy, even if the Angels aren’t a huge factor in the playoff race.
Real recognizes real, especially when it comes to a fellow league MVP.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook went nuts in a 124-116 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday, finishing with 43 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists. Included in that was a clutch triple in the final minute that put the Thunder up for good. Westbrook’s shot also impressed Mike Trout, who is in town for spring training in Tempe, Ariz. and was in attendance at the game along with teammate Garrett Richards. The Los Angeles Angels star was seen on the TV broadcast nodding his head in approval at the cold-blooded three.
The 43 points were Westbrook’s second-highest scoring total of the season, so he definitely put in a show for his fellow superstar. The Brodie probably has reason to feel confident for the rest of the year too since Trout has proven to be something of a good luck charm with his presence lately.
Video via NBA Reddit
Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno is not in a rush to extend Mike Trout, but he says the subject is on his mind.
Trout signed a six-year, $144.5 million contract with the Angels in 2014 that carried him through 2020 and bought out some of his free agency years. Though he will still be with the Angels for a few more seasons, Trout is not the kind of player you want to let go. That’s why some are wondering if the sides have talked about an extension.
“Let’s put it this way, it’s always in our minds,” Moreno said Thursday, via the OC Register. “We’re always thinking about it. If you look at long-term plans, you’re always trying to position yourself properly.”
Moreno did note that there is no time pressure to get a deal done and that they don’t want to do anything in an “urgent” manner.
The Angels seem to be handling Trout’s contract situation with caution. A report last year said that Trout’s side had proposed something of a lifetime deal with the Angels that would have run for 14 or 15 years before the sides eventually agreed on the six-year extension. Now they’re faced with the possibility of losing him in a few seasons and should probably place more urgency on the matter than Moreno is. Perhaps the way the Albert Pujols contract has turned out has given Moreno some reservations about making another long-term commitment worth big money.
Al Michaels doesn’t appear to have watched much baseball in the last 20 years.
During the second quarter of Super Bowl LII, NBC showed some of the celebrities who were in attendance in Minneapolis for the big game. One person they showed was two-time AL MVP Mike Trout, who is a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan.
When NBC showed Trout, Michaels said that the outfielder played for the “California Angels.”
If that sounds a little off, it’s because the Angels haven’t had that team name since 1996. They were known as the Anaheim Angels from 1997-2004; the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from 2005-2015; and they’ve been the Los Angeles Angels since 2016.
While that was embarrassing, it’s not like we haven’t seen much worse.
Mike Trout sounds like a true game-time decision as to if he will be back in the stands to support the Philadelphia Eagles for Super Bowl LII.
Speaking with the media during a conference call on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels star, a New Jersey native and avowed Eagles fan, said that he was unsure if he would make the trek to Minnesota for the Big Game. Here was Trout’s funny reason why, according to Lindsey Adler of Deadspin:
Trout has been something of a good luck charm for the Eagles this season, attending multiple games, including last week’s NFC title game win over the Minnesota Vikings. Here’s hoping to see him in the house on Super Bowl Sunday so that we can enjoy more great antics like this from him.
Tom Brady is arguably the most clutch player in the history of professional sports, and his fourth quarter performances in the Patriots’ last two Super Bowl wins were two of the best of his Hall of Fame career. This time around, MLB superstar Mike Trout expects things to be different.
Trout, a lifelong Eagles fan who grew up in New Jersey, has a bold prediction for the Super Bowl. In addition to believing Philadelphia will pull off the upset, Trout thinks Brady is going to have a chance to win the game late and blow it.
Try not to be offended, Patriots fans. The two-time American League MVP isn’t trying to take anything away from what Brady has accomplished.
“It’s going to be tough,” Trout added. “Obviously, anybody that goes against Tom Brady, he’s the best and greatest of all-time. Growing up watching him, last year’s Super Bowl, and I still think the Eagles are going to pull one out.”
Trout isn’t qualified to offer an unbiased opinion on this year’s Super Bowl. If you saw what he wore to the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, you know exactly what we’re talking about.
Fans in New England might not want to hear it, but the Patriots have lost two Super Bowls with Brady under center. The Eagles have a tremendous defense and have been extremely motivated by being underdogs throughout the postseason. Anything can happen in Minneapolis.
It is no secret that Mike Trout is a Philadelphia Eagles super-fan, and he proved his credentials again at the NFC Championship on Sunday.
The Eagles and their fans, inspired by Lane Johnson, have been embracing dog masks during the week in response to the fact that they were underdogs against the Atlanta Falcons despite being the NFC’s No. 1 seed. The Eagles were underdogs against for the NFC Championship against Minnesota, and the star outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels was at the game with a dog mask of his own.
Trout is a native of nearby Millville, N.J. and has long proven himself as one of the biggest Eagles fans around. This is further proof, not that anyone needed it.