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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mike Trout has been diagnosed with a small calf strain and is day-to-day, the Los Angeles Angels announced on Monday.
Trout underwent an MRI earlier in the day for a calf strain that caused him to leave Sunday’s game. Trout said at the time that the injury was not serious, but the team still removed him and had him undergo testing as a precaution.
The testing showed pretty much with the Angels and Trout thought: the injury is minor.
Trout was not in the starting lineup for Monday night’s game against the Houston Astros. The leading AL MVP candidate is batting .305 with 30 home runs, 75 RBIs and a 1.121 OPS. He is in the middle of his best offensive season ever.
Mike Trout briefly caused Los Angeles Angels fans to panic Sunday when he left the team’s game against the Seattle Mariners.
Trout left the game at the start of the third inning, with the Angels ultimately announcing that he was suffering from right calf tightness and is considered day-to-day.
In other words, the Angels and their fans can breathe easy. It’s not ideal, but Trout’s injury does not appear serious.
Trout is hitting .306 with 30 home runs in what is, in many ways, the best offensive season of his career to date. The Angels, who are still on the fringes of the AL wild card race, could hardly afford to lose him for very long.
Mike Trout has been the best player in baseball for at least the last five years, if not longer. He’s won two AL MVP awards and has finished second in MVP voting four other times. Despite all that previous success, 2019 is shaping up to be his best offensive season ever.
Trout smacked a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning on Saturday night to put his Los Angeles Angels up 5-0 on the Seattle Mariners. That was his 30th home run of the season, and he accomplished it in his 89th game of the season (the team’s 93rd), which is the fastest an Angels player has ever reached 30 homers in a season (besting his previous mark of 98).
As The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya noted, Trout is posting his highest weighted runs created plus per at-bat mark of his career.
Trout current leads the American League in nine categories: home runs (30), RBIs (75), walks (77), on-base percentage (.458), slugging percentage (.670), OPS (1.128), OPS+, total bases (207) and intentional walks (11). The most categories he’s previously led the league in is five (2017 and 2018).
The slugging percentage and OPS are the highest marks of Trout’s career, and he is on pace for a career high in home runs (his previous is 41 in 2015). He is the runaway favorite to win AL MVP this year.
Mike Trout has seen Shohei Ohtani up close for over a year and believes strongly in his ability.
Trout is not participating in this year’s Home Run Derby during the All-Star Game festivities, but Ohtani has expressed interest in doing so. Trout believes Ohtani would win if he were to participate. Why? Trout believes Ohtani “has the best power in the league.”
That’s a heck of a compliment, especially when you have guys like Bryce Harper, Josh Bell, Pete Alonso and Nomar Mazara regularly slugging 450-foot home runs.
Ohtani is helping to prove Trout right. He homered again on Thursday night, giving him 10 on the season and 32 in his first 148 games. He’s been hot in June and has seven home runs this month.
Mike Trout and the rest of his Los Angeles Angels teammates had a tough time facing Marcus Stroman on Tuesday night, but the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher managed to let Trout know how highly he thinks of him in the middle of the game.
Stroman got Trout to fly out to the warning track en route to leading the Jays to a 3-1 win over LA, and cameras caught him telling Trout he’s the “best player ever” as the slugger made his way back to the dugout.
Stroman is one of the more animated players in baseball and can rub people the wrong way, so many thought that was his way of patronizing Trout after retiring him. However, Stroman took to Twitter after the game to reiterate that he truly does believe Trout can go down as the greatest player in MLB history.
Trout is certainly one of the best to ever do it. He’s abusing baseballs once again this season to the tune of a .294 average and absurd .462 on-base percentage and 1.092 OPS. He’s only 27, so he will certainly be in the discussion for greatest player of all time if that continues.
Stroman has gotten into it with some opponents this season, so it’s no surprise people thought he was heckling Trout. But in this case, he is probably telling the truth.
Though their careers aren’t yet over, there are a number of MLB players who have likely already done enough to punch their ticket to the Hall of Fame after they quit playing. There are other young players who have started promisingly, but a handful of veterans have really stood out and put together resumes that will be hard to deny when their names come up on the Hall of Fame ballot after their retirement. Some are still producing at a high level, while some are not, but all of them should be treasured as long as they are still entertaining us with their talents.
Here are ten active MLB players who warrant strong Hall of Fame consideration — if they haven’t all but clinched it already.
10. CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees
Sabathia has a clear Hall of Fame case, but it’s a somewhat murky one. His peak was certainly good enough, but his 3.69 career ERA is somewhat high for a Hall of Famer. And, despite some memorable postseason exploits, he doesn’t have the playoff resume to stand out, either, and only won the Cy Young once. Still, it’s easy to see how Sabathia gets in. His longevity and consistency ensure he should get to 250 wins, and he’s already surpassed 3,000 strikeouts. Plus, his history of clutch pitching — including his stretch run with Milwaukee — could play on voters’ minds.