The Anaheim Angels had another wild win last evening 12-8 over the Chicago White Sox. Mike Trout had the huge blow in this game with another home run; this one of the three-run variety to break it wide open. He failed to homer in five straight games, but it was his fifth home run in six games and his 13th of the season. It came off a very tough reliever named Anthony Swarzak. Trout doesn’t exactly shoot cripples. He homers off the elite arms.
The Angels raised their record to a scrappy and unlikely 22-21. Mike Trout and a bunch of guys are keeping them in this thing (Bud Norris, J.C. Ramirez, Matt Shoemaker, and Cameron Maybin of late).
But it raised the question: is Mike Trout actually getting better?
Through 37 games, Angels slugger Mike Trout is off to the best start of his career. He’s hitting .341/.451/.742 with 13 home runs, eight stolen bases, and 24 walks.
Normally, it’s not at all odd for a 25-year-old star to show signs that he is still improving, but it’s more than a little frightening to be faced with the possibility that Trout, who essentially entered the league as a fully-formed, ideal ballplayer, is still somehow improving. Can a guy who put up 10.8 WAR in his rookie season really get any better? So far this season, the answer is yes.
That’s jarring, particularly because the idea that Trout will end up as the greatest baseball player in history is one we’ve already had to begin entertaining.
Trout’s a 51.3 WAR player with only five full seasons, a call-up season, and the six weeks of this current season under his belt. If he keeps up his current pace, it’s entirely possible that he will surpass 100 WAR by the time he is 30. Nobody—not Ty Cobb, not Rogers Hornsby, not Alex Rodriguez, not Mickey Mantle—has ever done that before.
He recently became the youngest player ever to reach 150 home runs and 150 steals. It was hardly a footnote because; you know, he’s Mike Trout and we’re so accustomed to him being great.
But it looks like exactly what he’s going to do this season is the one thing he hasn’t before. He’s going to hit 50 home runs. Oh and he’s probably going to steal 30. And he just might be good enough to take a very average squad to the cusp of the playoffs.
This is the most we’ve ever enjoyed Mike Trout. We hope he’s having as much fun putting on the show as we are watching it.