Tag Archives: Mike Trout

Going to sleep on Mike Trout was a bad idea

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I had the Angels game somewhat queued up last night when I passed out on the couch with my bulldog – Garrett Richards was doing everything he could to hand the game back to the A’s despite those darling Angels doing everything they could do to get him the win in the face of his own futility.

And I fell asleep on Michael Nelson Trout. And wouldn’t you know it that he did something that I very much would have liked to have been awake for. He hit a majestic two-run home run off the A’s closer Du Jour Sean Doolittle. It sent the game into extra innings. And that’s what Mike Trout does – he takes something and makes it beautiful. Trout’s gift to the world on Jackie Robinson Day was bonus baseball. As M.J. Lloyd would say, he isn’t real.

The Angels would lose the damn game 10-9 in 11 innings, making all those handicappers who said Oakland would win last night correct and my very gut feeling that the Angels would steal one so very wrong (I am picking stuff at around a 75% clip this season on the money line, giddeup).

Mike Trout has five home runs and just may have learned a new trick: how to lead the American League circuit in homers. Don’t worry about what the A’s players did because they’re boring.

Anaheim Angels sign Mike Trout to six-year Contract Extension

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On the eve of the opening weekend of the baseball season, baseball’s brightest star signs his contract extension a day after baseball’s best hitter of the generation signs his own.

This is great for baseball: the Angels keep their homegrown star for six more years, and $144.5 million was all it took to do it. Trout could have conceivably signed a deal worth $30 million dollars per year, instead this contract checks in at an AAV of just over $24-millon per.

The fact that it comes on the start of Opening Day weekend just makes it all that much sweeter and easier to smile about. Mike Trout will be an Angel for a long, long time. We tip our cap to all Anaheim fans out there like M.J. Lloyd and Mike Hllywa on this day of rejoice.

Anonymous MLB Players are polled to the tune of interesting results

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Over the years – it has became a rarer and rarer occurrence for ESPN to have a feature that really reaches out and grabs you. Today, they posted an item that will be featured in the upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine that is about as ‘must-read’ as it gets for a baseball fan.

Here’s what we learned (actually, we’ll highlight the graphic above since you know exactly what we learned):

  • 24% of polled MLB players feel Bryce Harper is the most overrated player in the game. He’s followed up closely by Yasiel Puig at 21%. I guess that means we have an affinity for overrated guys.
  • 81% of those polled feel baseball is ready for an openly gay player.
  • Best estimate at the percentage of players still taking PED’s is 9.4%.
  • Mike Trout was voted an overwhelming 56% as the best player in the game. Agree wholeheartedly there.
  • It’s about a split on if the polled players want Alex Rodriguez kicked out of the players union.
  • Clayton Kershaw has mad, league-wide respect.

In all, 143 players were polled. Any time we can get a look inside the mind of what those inside the game feel and believe, it’s worth reading. This would include takes from professional scouts, and it would certainly include players themselves like this poll did.

And as for the most important takeaway take from the whole bit – Bryce Harper has been a bit overrated so far – even if he’s been pretty good. If his career has one feel to it, that’s the word you might use to describe it. It’s not a bad thing because the best is yet to come.

Mike Trout hit a Grand Slam today

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This is probably a signal that there will be no lettting up in Mike Trout’s game this season. When you think back across time, a player like Trout comes along every 30 to 50 years. You better take a step back this year and enjoy the kid, because he’s probably the most amazing thing to enter the game of baseball since early 90′s Ken Griffey Jr. – and that Griffey was nothing short of hypnotizing. Can this season get underway already so we can just see what insane things Mike Trout has in store for fans of this great game?

Today, Mike Trout took a piece of James McDonald he can never have back. Of course it was a grand slam bomb to left field.

Click through the jump for the video.
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Mike Trout breaks the non-arbitration eligible record

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I will stop short of calling my colleague M.J. Lloyd a Nostradamus on this one, but something he has been saying for years came to fruition today.

Mike Trout signed a $1 million dollar one-year contract today, breaking the record $900,000 pre-arbitration deals earned previously by Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard.

This deal figures to be a minor-carrot in the large scheme of things, and it allows the Angels a nice bridge to begin negotiating on a much larger contract. Current talks that have been tossed around through the press discuss a six or seven year pact that settles around the $150 million mark.

And being that we all know the things Mike Trout can do and figures to do over that span, that will be a bargain.

The Angels are thinking it’s time for a Mike Trout extension

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Here’s something that’s good for all of baseball: Mike Trout extension talks with the Anaheim Angels are heating up.

It was just a short blurb today in the LA Times, so you might have missed it entirely. We’ll post it here for your viewing pleasure.

There’s a good chance the Angels will renew Trout’s contract again in March, but it won’t have the sting of last spring’s renewal because it will be done amid negotiations for a multiple-year extension that is expected to make Trout one of baseball’s highest-paid players.

The sides hope to reach a deal after the season starts. Any disappointment over a renewal should be erased by the prospect of what could be a record-setting contract likely to include a signing bonus far exceeding Trout’s 2014 salary.

We hope that this is the big one. The 12-year, $300+ million big deal that everyone has been talking about for a while (the Mike Trout Sign-o-meter is holding steady at 12 years and $337 million).

And if you’re a baseball fan, this news should make you happy. Trout is going to end up an all-time great. He should retire in that Angels uniform he broke into the big leagues with. If you’re someone that for some reason finds yourself wanting Mike Trout to sign elsewhere at some point in time, you’re an awful, awful person and we hope you get a cold sore on your tongue.

Our Top 20 Fantasy Baseball Outfielders for 2014 & Commentary

You never lead with the top guy. Just one of the top guys.

You never lead with the top guy. Just one of the top guys.

Since we’re fantasy baseball nerds, we’ll be running down as much of a commentary as we can prior to your March fantasy drafts. If you’re having a draft before then, you’re violating a major man-law. Don’t do it. You’ll inevitably draft some guy who breaks his nads installing a hardwood floor or something. Here are our top-20 Outfielders for fantasy baseball 2014. We’re running this down similar to the guys at Razzball, though we could never pretend to be of the legendary status they’ve achieved.

1. Mike Trout: Until the younger bull knocks the old bull off the hill (Trout is the old bull in his age 22 season, didn’t you know?) you have to keep putting this guy here and leaving him alone. We just hope you were one of the lucky bastards who snagged him late and were able to keep him after that lackluster cup of coffee in 2011. That was so, so long ago. We figure Trout finally wins that MVP award, hits 30 homers, drives in around his career-high 97 and steals close to 40 while hitting around .320 again. No regression in sight.

2. Andrew McCutchen: There’s just no reason to move an MVP much when he’s entering that magical age-27 season. He wasn’t as Heavenly as his 2012 last season, but he was still remarkable and helped owners win a lot of leagues. What is there to say that hasn’t been said (that’s what we hate about these rankings at the top, everyone has these guys up here). McCutchen is a Ferrari, get him in your garage if you can.

3. Carlos Gomez: This is the guy we’re pretty proud of. He was our major sleeper heading into 2013, and he finally put it all together. What we love about Gomez is he’s a guy who seems to want those stats for you. He steals bases when his team is up big, he challenges for the extra base, he isn’t happy settling with that three-hit night. He plays the game hard and we think the power could enjoy another slight up-tick in 2014. The only thing about Gomez that sucks is when he takes away home runs from your other fantasy players playing center field. He owes Jay Bruce several.

4. Giancarlo Stanton: Big Mike struggled last season hitting .249, but he’ll enter 2014 with major motivation: play so well he can escape Miami for greener pastures and a mega-deal soon following. This will be the year that he eclipses 40 home runs if anyone does in the National league. This will be a .900 OPS season. This will be the year he finally plays like a first rounder. As they say on eBay, bid with confidence.

5. Carlos Gonzalez: 2010 seems so long ago when he finished third in MVP voting. Since then he’s missed time each season but was still spectacular when he was on the field. The only question with Gonzalez is health, if you believe he can stay healthy he will be stellar and steady. He’s not going to go out there and hit .260 at Coors Field. It’s just not going to happen. A solid first-round guy if he can play in 140-150 games.

6. Adam Jones: He’s in a great lineup, he’s in a nice hitter’s park, he’ll be just 28, and he’s baseball’s closest present-day version to Eric Davis. What we like most about Jones is his games played the past three years: 151, 162, 160.

7. Bryce Harper: Someday soon the nagging injuries that drive fantasy owners like us nuts will end, and Bryce Harper will have the biggest numbers of his young career. It’s not too much to ask for a player like Harper to post an average in the .280-.290 range with upwards of 35+ home runs and over 100 RBI and runs scored. We don’t look for him to steal many more than 10 – he’s bulked up – but that power is coming in a big way. He hit .344 and 9 HR in April last season. If he can put that together over a full year like he’s going to try to do……

8. Jacoby Ellsbury: We don’t like that he’s turning 30. We don’t like that he misses monstrous amounts of time about every other season. We do like that he is in that hitter’s park in the Bronx and think he offers 20-50 potential. Solid bet to be very good in the near-term. I want no part of him in a year or two though.

9. Jay Bruce: The Reds are going to have an average year. Jay Bruce is going to have a career year. He’s entering his age-27 season. He’ll get as close to 40 home runs as he has yet and he’ll hit around .275, and with Bruce what you’re buying is the consistency. A lock for 30+ home runs and 150 games played. His slumps will make you want to drown kittens. His hot streaks are other-worldly.

10. Ryan Braun: He’s really not going to miss a beat when he returns from his little hiatus in 2013. He’ll be the same old Braun, which is video-game numbers. It won’t be his career year, but short of that you’re getting one of the top sluggers in baseball with some steals, albeit a few less steals and probably a few less homers. All things considered, a guy we would love to have; even with the cheating!

11. Justin Upton: So now the world knows that he’s not the second coming of Ken Griffey Jr., and that’s okay! What Upton is, is just a pretty good player. And he’s going to be more comfortable in his second season in Atlanta. Something about Upton worries us a little bit; but when we think about it it’s just the poor taste he left in our mouth in 2012. Even then, he was pretty solid. He’s deserving of this high ranking.

12. Shin-soo Choo: He’s going to score a lot of runs out in that Texas heat and don’t be surprised if his numbers improve across the board in a lineup full of threatening hitters.

13. Yasiel Puig: There will be no in between for Puig in 2014. He does not simply maintain; he either becomes full-fledged fantasy superstar or completely collapses in his sophomore campaign. We’re talking .240 or .315ish with power and steals again. Either way, it’s going to be VERY entertaining. Biggest risk factor of anyone in these rankings.

14. Jose Bautista: He may be quickly approaching his decline. He is at an age where it is reasonable for a lot of players to lose bat speed and miss time to injuries. But we believe enough in Joey Bats’ skills to say he will provide one more glorious summer in the sun for fantasy owners. A return to the 30′s in HR, 100 RBI, and an OPS in the .900s for those that believe.

15. Jason Heyward: We don’t really plan to target him – which is why he’ll inevitably break out. If that’s not a good enough reason, keep in mind he’s playing for a monster contract. If you believe what the scouts originally said about Heyward back entering 2010, that huge year is coming this year or next.

16. Allen Craig: The guy with two first names always wrecks shit when he’s in the lineup. He’s a .300 hitting machine in a baseball town where everything seems to line up nicely for that organization. He’ll probably have a DL stint included, but if you can weather that storm you’ll get a .300 average, 20+ homers, near 100 RBI, and peace of mind rotating him between OF and 1B.

17. Matt Kemp: Another guy we don’t want to own, in part because his risk is not worth the overpay it will take to land him on draft day. If for some reason the bargain exists in the middle rounds – take a flier on the guy. The decline might only be a season or two away, but for now Kemp has something to prove and will be taking the field for a team with World Series expectations. It should be a nice year for the back of his baseball card.

18. Starling Marte: A lot of people out there will shy away from putting Marte in their top-20 because it’s too out on a limb. His power numbers should improve and he’ll be a realistic possibility for a 20-40 season. His average should not dip much further than .280 because speed like his doesn’t slump. An .800 OPS player who will be 25. The soon to be Pirates outfield of Marte, McCutchen, and Polanco could be a lot of fun.

19. Yoenis Cespedes: Why do I feel like the guy is probably older than his listed age of 28? He’s probably like 34, but these damn Cubans are ageless wonders with their chicken blood voodoo cocktails. If you want a projection on him an average of his first two seasons is fair to expect: 25ish HR, .265-.270, 81 RBI, 12 steals, 70 runs.

20. Domonic Brown: The bottom line is power comes at a premium these days in baseball. Gone are the days where any number of middle infielders slug 27 home runs for you and drive in 80-plus. For that, you’ll need to pick up a guy like Brown who should continue to hit home runs in bunches. If it wasn’t for an injury he would have easily entered the 30-homer club. He’ll be inducted in 2014.

The Baseball Show: Mike Hllywa

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In this thrilling edition of The Baseball Show Podcast, M.J. Lloyd and I were joined by Mike Hllywa (@mike_hllywa on twitter) of Halo Hangout and Gammons Daily. Here’s how the flow went – and if you missed it make sure you catch up here because it was a very good show:

-Trying to predict the Mike Trout contract (Mike introduces us to the Mike Trout Sign-o-meter).
-Reaction to Shin-Soo Choo’s signing with the Texas Rangers
-We handicap the field for the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes
-Yasiel Puig’s value to the Dodgers as a potential trading chip
-How we voted for the Hall of Fame
-More reaction to the Fielder/Cabrera/Avasail Garcia rumor

The show went over an hour and a half, so there’s a lot of great tidbits that we talk about that aren’t listed there. If you’ve got some time this Saturday to listen to three guys talk baseball, this is the podcast you want to listen to them do it on.

The Baseball Show: Trademageddon

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A few evenings ago on The Baseball Show Podcast, M.J. Lloyd (Off Base Percentage) and myself discussed the full rundown of off-season activity. M.J. is also a great follow on twitter (@MnkysThrwngDrts).

Of the high points:

*Clint kicks off the show with a huge rumor involving Miguel Cabrera’s injury, Prince Fielder’s wife, Avasail Garcia, and why Prince might have been traded from Detroit.
*We recap many of the moves that happened on Trademageddon Tuesday.
*We talk Robinson Cano free agency.
*We discuss sabermetrics, and how many million dollars each win in WAR is worth.
*We weigh in on Brandon Phillips hot stove chatter.
*We make dick jokes.

If you have some time to kill on the weekend when you’re supposed to be doing chores, give us a listen. We’ll be sure to entertain if you love baseball.

The Baseball Show: Trade Deadline Edition

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Tonight on The Baseball Show, M.J. Lloyd and I talked about the trade deadline. It wasn’t much of a deadline, but we still found some quality discussion (and dick jokes). Topics covered in the podcast include:

-The Pittsburgh Pirates making a push for Giancarlo Stanton
-The smaller deals that went down (Callaspo to the Athletics)
-The Jake Peavy trade
-What the Hell are the Phillies doing?
-Our favorite trade deadline memories
-A Mike Trout mention
-Biogenesis suspensions

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll love our show if you love the game!

Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial Player of the Week

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I feel like we don’t talk enough about the monster manbeast residing in Detroit. And he came thisclose to not being named the HHMWMPOW due to a couple of other strong efforts. I went back and forth the past few days on who would win this week’s award, and up until tonight I wasn’t sure. Let’s look at the men who made themselves nominees.

Adam Jones: .343, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 1.086 OPS, 3 steals, BUT no walks

Mike Trout: .462 (12 for 28), 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1.385 OPS, 4 steals, 2 BB.

Trout also went ahead and hit for the cycle since you all wanted to see it done the organic way by a 21 year old.

And then there was the winner. Miguel Cabrera. The stud of all studs in fantasy baseball and real baseball and all things in between. This monster went crazy to the tune of 12 for 26 (.462 batting average), six home runs, six walks (three of which were intentional), 15 RBI, 11 runs, and a berserk 1.755 OPS. If that’s not as Mark Whiten of a week that there is, then I want to be done playing this Mark Whiten game.

Here’s Miguel Cabrera’s week in homers. Keep in mind he had six other hits that weren’t homers. This is just the week in homers. If he did nothing else in a week except pick his nose and eat bacon and eggs, but he had these six homers, he’s still the Whiten Memorial Player of the Week.

Cabrera is probably on his way to another Triple Crown. That doesn’t get talked about enough in any baseball circles. It just kind of got glossed over. I mean sure, he won the MVP award. That’s great and all but the guy WON A TRIPLE CROWN! If Jay Bruce or Joey Votto or someone that mattered in my life more won a TRIPLE FREAKING CROWN I would probably just quit everything else in life because it would have rewarded me with such completeness.

Mike Trout hits for the Cycle

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Last night in Anaheim, Mike Trout became the youngest player to ever hit for the cycle (21 years, 288 days). Trout stepped to the plate in the 8th inning for his final at-bat needing a home run, and a home run is exactly what he did against Lucas Luetge.

My good friend and Mike Trout enthusiast (he’s also an Angels fan) remarked via text that this is what it must of been like to watch Mickey Mantle. Player steps to the plate in his final at bat needing to go deep to reach his historic feat. He sees a few pitches and then just goes ahead and makes it happen.

The Angels routed the Mariners 12-0 – and while this is just another chapter in Trout’s young and historic career – it also provides a nice highlight moment in the middle of what has been an 18-27 season for the Angels. In the wake of Miguel Cabrera’s three home run game on Sunday Night Baseball it’s a nice encore act.

I also want to say something I might change my mind on in a few weeks; but it’s not likely. I think Mike Trout is the best young talent in baseball, with Bryce Harper a close second. I might enjoy the ebb and flow of a Harper season a bit more because Trout is so good that he’s almost boring. With Harper, there is more chaos; in every way. Pound for pound, right now Mike Trout is on another wavelength.

The Watch Report: Cincinnati Reds Opening Day

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Who had Chris Iannetta in the Opening Day hero pool?

[Angels 3, Reds 1]

This was actually my first Opening Day that I haven’t been in the stands in Cincinnati since Joe Randa and Adam Dunn went back to back to walk off the Mets back in 2005. That’s a lot of Opening Days that I strung together. I doubt I ever make it back to that many consecutive Opening Days. I’m satisfied with the streak I put together. I’ve seen some unbelievable openers in the Queen City. From Randa’s walk-off, to Ramon Hernandez’s walk-off grand slam, to last year’s Cueto masterpiece with Bruce’s moonshot to seal it shut.

Here’s some notes from today’s ballgame, which was a long one.

  • The Reds really didn’t hit all spring long, and they didn’t hit today. Jay Bruce wore a golden sombrero in the middle of the order. Joey Votto went 0 for 4 but at least drew a few walks.
  • Shin-Soo Choo had two hits and Todd Frazier had one. And that’s all the Reds offense tallied. There weren’t even any hard hit balls.
  • Of the Angels fearsome three, Mike Trout was the only one with a hit. Trout went 1 for 6, Pujols and Hamilton went 0 for 4.
  • Chris Iannetta was the hero in this one, hitting a solo home run and doubling in the top of the 13th inning with two outs off J.J. Hoover.
  • The Angels pen just earned this game, though I would give it to the lack of Reds hitting. After Jered Weaver exited, six Angels relievers combined for seven scoreless innings. Ernesto Frieri was the final one and he earned the save.
  • I’m not too upset with this game. The Angels are a World Series contender, and the Reds are going to hit at some point. It hurts that they’ll miss Ryan Ludwick for the better part of a month with separated shoulder.
  • How could I forget Johnny Cueto. I feel like for the last year and a half, if you’ve seen Cueto throw once you’ve seen the same solid, dependable game. I love the effort this guy always brings to the mound with him.

Here’s some running total stats from today’s game, and from my most recent watched game:

Home Runs: 1 (Chris Iannetta 1)
Strikeouts: 30
Runs: 4
Hits: 9
Errors: 4
Stolen bases: none
Official time watching baseball: 4 hours, 45 minutes
Times taking the dog out to pee: 2
Chores my wife asked me to do during (unofficial): one half

EDIT: I watched about two innings out of the Rockies Brewers game today, I watched Chris Sale’s entire start on and off, and I watched about five innings out of the Phillies-Braves game today. I’m not going to count it, because my totals aren’t exact. And I’m honestly ready to abandon the 2000-Inning Quest after just a night and a day. It’s too damn tedious. But still I press onward to go where no idiot has ever gone before.

STATS during the 2000-Inning Quest:

Home Runs: 4
Bryce Harper home runs: 2
Strikeouts: 59
Runs: 16
Hits: 31
Errors: 5
Stolen bases: NONE
Official time watching baseball: 9 hours, 55 minutes
Times taking the dog out to pee: 6
Chores my wife asked me to do during (unofficial): .5
Innings left to go: 1,969

10 Bold Predictions for 2013: Harper bests Trout

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As part of our preview for the upcoming 2013 season, we’ll be doing a 10 Bold Predictions for 2013 series that will be featured between now and Opening Day. Our first prediction: Bryce Harper has a better statistical season then Mike Trout.

We’re already getting really tired of all the accusations that we’ve got some kind of weird man-crush on Bryce Harper. We really aren’t responsible for how we feel about the guy at this point. That’s on him. Last year he arrives on the scene right on cue to be closest thing to Mickey Mantle of my children’s era. He does exactly what he’s supposed to do in going out and straight balling. The only thing that didn’t go according to plan was Mike Trout posting that Mantle slash line of .399/.564/.963 to overshadow Harper and make everyone believe that the kid in Washington will be the second best player in this generation.

But not so fast my young padawan.

Harper was just 19 last season, and hasn’t had the opportunity to produce his own age 20 season as Trout did in 2012. When Mike Trout was 19 he was instilling doubt in a lot of people’s minds about just how good he would be.

These guys are both tremendous ballplayers and should entertain us on a nightly basis for the next twenty years if we’re lucky. But Harper is the better of the two and he’s going to start to prove that right now.

My friend M.J. Lloyd made the brilliant comparison shortly after both guys were setting the world on fire last summer that this debate was going to end up baseball’s version of Jordan versus Bird. I couldn’t agree more, and they’re both in for huge seasons in 2013 once again.

Here’s what I see for Trout:

.290, 28 HR, .880 OPS, 50 stolen bases, 130 runs, 85 RBI for good measure.

These are all numbers that will have Trout in line for the MVP award that he should have had last season. But they won’t be good enough to best Harper in 2013. Rumor has it that Harper’s goals for this year include a 40/40 season and hitting .300 on the campaign.

Before you start doubting Harper; before you insist that the guy is human, you need to read this book and come back to me. He will do things in this game that are not human and you can remember where you read those words first.

Here’s Harper’s 2013 numbers:

.285, 35 HR, .900 OPS, 35 stolen bases, 110 runs, 110 RBI

A lot of people are saying those numbers aren’t better so we will need something that will give us apples to apples. Thank God for WAR. At season’s end, Bryce Harper will have a higher WAR than Mike Trout. And he’ll do it in his age 20 season, still putting him on schedule to be the best player of this generation.

And if you want me to sign on for something crazy like predictions Harper’s 2013 WAR tops Trout’s 8.6 WAR from 2012, I simply won’t do that. For anyone feeling like I’m slighting the mighty Trout here, please don’t go away angry. The guy is unbelievable in his own right as he proved last season and without someone as insane as him there wouldn’t even be a close debate for Harper to go ‘up against’ for this generation’s next great player.

These predictions are the gospel though; and you can count on this one being the first of ten we’ll nail in 2013 just as we did in 2012.