Remember when the Angels were the laughing stock of the baseball world? When Albert Pujols looked lost, when the lineup couldn’t score a run to save their lives, or whatever it was at the moment. However, the Angels now sit in second place in the A.L West, just five games back of the American league best Texas Rangers, and all of early season concerns are long gone.
It’s very simple. A man name Mike Trout was called up, and the Angels haven’t looked back since, posting a 32-19 record since the arrival of their highly touted prospect. The 20 year-old phenom was the answer that Mike Scioscia’s ball club was looking for back in May. He instantly provided a spark plug to a dead Angel’s lineup, and not many rookies can make that type of impact right off the bat. However, Trout is just not an ordinary rookie, he’s an MVP contender, and here are three reasons why he should win the honor.
He’s a Game Changing Player
Trout is a very rare commodity in that he can steal bases with ease, while still boasting the ability to hit the ball out of the park. The 20 year-old rookie has stolen 21 bags and every time he gets on base he’s a major threat to run. While opposing pitchers always check and throw over to the base he is on at least once, there are very few catchers in the world that can throw him out, as he has only been caught stealing three times in 21 attempts.
So let’s say that Trout takes a walk. It’s almost a guarantee that he steals second, which basically creates a whole different situation. The number two hitter could bunt him over, then it’s up to Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo to knock him in with one out. So, a single turns into a double, a double turns into a triple, and even a triple could possibly turn into a steal of home. That’s called game changing folks.
He’s a Winning Player
It’s hard to imagine where the Angels would be without Trout right now. Like I mentioned before, the Angels have a 32-19 record since he was called up, and have picked up nearly five games on the first place Rangers during that span. Trout essentially stepped into the leadoff spot and put the team on his shoulders. And now that guys like Albert Pujols, Torii Hunter and Kendry Morales are hitting the ball too, the Angels’ lineup is more dangerous than ever. And they have the 20 year-old Trout to thank.
However, Trout is not just limited to contributing offense as he’s also a spectacular defensive player. Obviously his speed has a lot to do with the insane plays he makes, but the point is that he leaves it all on the field when playing defense. Whether it’s diving to make a catch, jumping through a wall, or gunning a runner out with his arm, Trout can be labeled as a gold glove candidate too.
All MVP races are going to come down to the player’s stats, and despite playing in just 51 games, Trouts stats are off the charts. He leads the majors in stolen bases, he’s second in the American league with a .338 batting average, sixth in OPS (.931), third in OBP (.399), and fifth in the majors with a 3.7 WAR. Considering that he has played in just 51 games, the numbers that he has put up during that period have been pretty darn good compared to the rest of the league.