In an interesting touch of irony, the darling of the sabermetrics community doesn’t exactly think all that highly of sabermetrics.
In an appearance Tuesday on MLB Network Radio, Los Angeles Angels star outfielder Mike Trout revealed that he doesn’t look at advanced stats and gave his reasoning why.
“I don’t use any of that,” said the two-time American League MVP. “If I think launch angle or look at anything like that, I’ll get all messed up.”
The funny thing is that advanced stats love Trout, who regularly ranks atop the league in wins above replacement (WAR), weighted runs created+ (wRC+), win probability added (WPA), and other value-based metrics. But what you have to consider is that he is in the middle of a sixth consecutive transcendent season at age 25. Trout is slashing an unreal .342/.465/.741 with 15 home runs and 35 RBIs through just 42 games in 2017 and is getting a Bonds-level of respect from opposing managers. Given that kind of ridiculous year-to-year production, why try to fix it if it isn’t broken?
How good has Mike Trout been in his seventh MLB season and throughout his entire career? So good that at least one opposing manager has considered intentionally walking him with the bases loaded.
The New York Mets held a 7-4 lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the ninth inning Saturday when Trout strolled to the plate. The bases were loaded, and Mets manager Terry Collins said after the game that he “absolutely” considered walking Trout in that situation.
“The first thought is, ‘I’d rather almost walk this guy than give him a pitch to hit,’” Collins said, via Anthony Rieber of Newsday. “Fortunately, (Addison Reed) made some good pitches on him. That’s the kind of situation where you look back on the time when Buck Showalter walked [Barry] Bonds with the bases loaded rather than pitch to him and I had … the same feeling.”
Showalter, who was managing the Arizona Diamondbacks at the time, chose to intentionally walk Bonds in 1998 with the bases loaded and the D-Backs leading by two runs in the bottom of the ninth. Arizona ended up winning the game.
Reed got Trout to fly out for a sacrifice fly and the Mets eventually hung on. The reliever said he would not have been pleased if Collins forced him to walk in a run.
“No. I mean, I feel confident no matter who I’m facing,” Reed said. “I don’t care who’s in the box. Obviously, he’s one of the best players in baseball right now, but as a pitcher, you’ve got to have all the confidence in yourself, and I felt good out there.”
Trout is hitting .350 with 14 home runs in just 39 games this season, so he obviously had the ability to put the Angels up with one swing of the bat.
Collins has faced a lot of criticism and had to deal with some unfortunate clubhouse situations this season. With the Mets off to a disappointing 18-24 start, he likely would have been lambasted if he intentionally walked Trout and it backfired.
H/T Hardball Talk
One of the savviest things any Major League Baseball general manager can do is get a player on a cheap, long-term contract that covers the athlete’s prime years. It’s often done before a player truly establishes themselves as an elite force, though not always. Regardless, such deals can harness incredible talent while freeing up payroll space to add other pieces — or, for those on a non-contending franchise, add even more trade value to a player on the block.
Here is a list of 10 big league players who are currently playing at prices well below market value.
10) Christian Yelich, Miami (seven years, $49.57 million)
The 25-year-old Yelich has quietly developed into one of the National League’s better players.
Yelich has taken over as the Marlins’ full-time center fielder in 2017 for the first time, all while continuing to grow as a hitter. His offense is down a bit off a breakout 2016, where he hit .298 with 21 home runs and 38 doubles, but the sample size on his 2017 is small.
The Marlins are getting this for a bargain price.
Yelich is in the third season of a seven-year, $49.57 million pact with the Marlins. The deal could add an eighth year for another $15 million if Miami opts to exercise that team option for 2022. All this means is that Yelich, a five-win player by Baseball Reference’s WAR statistic, is signed through his physical prime for well below market value.
9) Chris Archer, Tampa Bay (six years, $25.5 million)
Mike Trout expects to return to action for the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday after missing time with a hamstring injury.
An MRI on Trout’s hamstring came back clean on Monday, the team said. Trout still felt sore and is out of the lineup for Monday’s game against the Oakland A’s. However, Trout said he is feeling better and that he expects to play on Tuesday, according to the OC Register’s Jeff Fletcher.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia says the team has considered placing the two-time MVP on the DL but are in no rush to do so.
The Angels have gone 15-27 in games Trout has missed the past six years while winning at a .531 mark with him in the lineup, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Of course they don’t want their best player missing any more games than necessary.
The Angels have gone 1-2 in the three games Trout has missed due to his hamstring.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim boast the best player in baseball, but the team has made the playoffs in just one of Mike Trout’s five MLB seasons.
After a 74-88 season in 2016, Trout admitted that the team’s repeated failure to make the playoffs has grown frustrating for him.
“It’s frustrating, for sure,” Trout said, via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today. “You want to get to the playoffs. It’s fun. You’ve seen the World Series last year. You want to be in that atmosphere.”
The Angels have added players such as Cameron Maybin and Danny Espinosa to try to get the team back to the playoffs, and those moves have been met with Trout’s approval.
“Cam’s obviously fast,” Trout said. “I got to see him play when he was with Detroit. He brings a lot to the table. Last year we were trying to fill some holes in left field. … It’s going to be fun. The outfield’s going to be fast.”
As long as the Angels have Trout, they can’t be totally written off. Their new additions are fine, and their possible closer has lost some weight, but they’ve got a ways to go to get back to the playoffs.
Mike Trout won the 2016 AL MVP award, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Thursday. The honor marks the second of Trout’s career, although I’ll argue it should be his fourth (yes – he deserved in 2012 and 2013 over Miggy).
Trout won the award over Mookie Betts, who finished second. Trout received 19th 1st-place votes, 8 second-place votes and 356 points overall. Betts received 9 1st-place votes, 17 2nd-place votes and 311 overall points. The voters pretty much proved it was a 1-2 race between the two of them.
But there was one particular voter whose ballot was inexcusable.
27 of 30 voters had Trout in the top two of the MVP voting; one had him third; another had him fifth; and then you had Oakland-based writer John Hickey, who voted Trout 7th.
I can understand if you feel Betts deserved the award over Trout. After all Betts was spectacular and his team reached the postseason, while Trout’s Angels won just 74 games. But to have Trout 7th? There is no explanation for that.
Trout was worth around 10 wins over a replacement player, according to Baseball Reference and Fangraphs’ WAR metrics. No other player in baseball approached Trout’s value. Yet Hickey thought, in order, that Adrian Beltre, Betts, Jose Altuve, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and Miguel Cabrera were all more valuable this year.
What’s worse is that Hickey, who covered the A’s, saw Trout in person multiple times this season, and the Angels outfielder shined in those games. Trout batted .418 with five home runs against the A’s this season, posting a 1.172 OPS against them.
Trout was again the best player in baseball this season. Why penalize him because his owner and GM stunk at putting together the rest of the team? Without Trout, the Angels would have won around 60 games. With Trout, any team in baseball would have had a much greater win total. Now that’s value.
The Los Angeles Angels had a down year in 2016, but Mike Trout continued to show why many have labeled him the best player in baseball. It would seem crazy for the Angels to consider trading the 25-year-old superstar, but one scout believes the richest team in baseball is going to try to convince L.A.’s brass to do just that.
After the New York Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller back in September to add more top prospects to an already impressive farm system, an MLB scout told Sweeny Murti of WFAN that he’s convinced the Bronx Bombers are gearing up to make an offer for Trout.
“You don’t accumulate all those prospects with the intent of keeping them all,” Murti claims the scout told him. “They have value and it makes complete sense to spin off four of five of them for Trout. It’s very much a Yankees kind of move and makes too much sense for them.”
The same scout noted that the Angels have one of the weakest farm systems in baseball, so dealing Trout to the Yankees would be a quick way to restock it. It would also be a quick way to infuriate your entire fan base, which is why a GM from another team told Murti the trade has “a zero percent chance of happening.”
“Nobody wants to trade that guy,” the GM said. “(Angels GM) Billy (Eppler) can’t be the guy who traded Mike Trout. Arte Moreno (the Angels owner) can’t be that guy. It would be like the Bulls trading Michael Jordan in his prime. The only thing that team has going right now is Mike Trout. Without him they’d be a Triple-A team.”
In a disappointing 74-88 season last year, Trout appeared in 159 games for the second straight season and had a .315/.441/.550 slash line with 29 home runs, 116 RBI, 123 runs scored and 30 stolen bases. He is signed in L.A. through 2020, with his salary set to jump from $19 million to more than $33 million in 2019.
The Yankees already had to apologize to the Angels once when they made this comment about Trout, and you know they would absolutely love to make him the next face of their franchise. Even if Trout does eventually end up in pinstripes, it would be a surprise if it happens within the next few years.
Neither Mike Trout nor Bryce Harper is on the United States’ preliminary roster for the World Baseball Classic, according to a report.
The New York Post says a preliminary 50-player roster needed to be submitted in October, and neither of the two former MVPs were on the list. Harper’s agent told the Post’s Joel Sherman that the Washington Nationals outfielder will not play in the event. Trout has not said definitively whether he will play, though the Angels star did not participate in the last WBC.
The WBC has been held three times since its first year in 2006, with countries from around the world sending teams to participate, similar to the World Cup. Japan has won the event twice, while the US’ best finish was fourth place in 2009.
A final roster is due in January. Chris Archer, Nolan Arenado, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Eric Hosmer, Ian Kinsler, Corey Kluber, Jonathan Lucroy, Andrew Miller, Buster Posey, David Price, Max Scherzer, Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Verlander, Christian Yelich, Dellin Betances and Noah Syndergaard have already committed to the US team.
Mike Trout was involved in a car crash after Wednesday’s Angels game but was uninjured.
There was a collision on the 55 freeway in Tustin, Calif. just before 9:00 pm that was bad enough where one of the women involved had to be cut out of her car. Trout apparently tried to brake as he approached the cars involved and hit one.
The OC Register has a photo of Trout’s damaged Mercedes.
Angels GM Billy Eppler said in a statement that Trout told him he was “fine.” Trout will travel to Seattle with his team on Thursday.
Mike Trout was trying to leg out a triple against the Houston Astros on Monday night, but he tripped around second base and ended up having to retreat. In a way, the Los Angeles Angels star got what he deserved.
Here’s the video:
Over the weekend, Astros infielder Jose Altuve literally fell 90 feet short of hitting for the cycle when he lost his balance rounding second on a would-be triple.
At some point, Trout must have given Altuve a hard time about the play. You could tell by the way the two were laughing and joking with one another after Trout tripped that something was up. Altuve explained after his team’s 4-2 loss.
What goes around comes around, Mike.