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Is Mike Trout Becoming "Strike Trout"


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Originally posted at: http://www.trout.la/2014/05/is-mike-trout-becoming-strike-trout/

 

It seems Mike Trout has been striking out much more frequently this year.  Currently his on-base percentage is down 70 points from last year to .363 and his batting average has dropped nearly 50 points to .275.  I pulled up the stats from Baseball-Reference.com and it's true; his strike-out rate has gone from around 20% to 28% this year.

 

What's causing this? Victor Rojas, the Angels television play-by-play announcer posited that Trout was taking too many first pitch strikes.  Trout certainly increased his plate discipline last year and saw all of his batting numbers increase.  But the word seems to be out via scouting reports that Mike likes to take the first pitch.  Knowing this allows the pitcher to throw a strike down the middle of the plate and immediately get ahead in the pitch count.  Any advantage over Trout is worth taking from the pitcher's perspective.  It will be interesting to see if Trout makes the counter adjustment and starts swinging on first pitch fastballs (as he was willing to do against NY Yankee Mashiro Tanaka).

Just for interest's sake I took a random look at players Baseball-Reference.com considers to be similar to Trout; Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx and Ken Griffey Jr.  None of them ever really had a strike out rate higher than 20%. Miguel Cabrera had a similar strike out rate to Trout at about the same age and then found a way to consistently drop that rate through his prime.  Here's to hoping Trout can do the same.

 

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I have it on good authority that Mike Trout will never be the same player because the last 11 games have shown us exactly what he will be the rest of his career and although it is and isn't a slump, it is something we should at the very least be mildly concerned with. I am still waiting to see what his stats look like in the last 12 or 13 games. Oh and we should also ignore the fact that he had a similar slump this time last year.

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I honestly don't understand the negative reaction to these threads. To me, the coolest thing (by far) about Trout is his ability to adjust to anything the league throws at him. It seems like most hitters are afraid of pitchers 'figuring them out'. For Trout, its the complete opposite. So, yes, he is undeniably slumping. And not even Trout slumping- normal human player slumping. But, looking at it, the reasons seem fairly obvious, so now we get to sit back and watch him adjust to this. I mean, I feel like this is kinda just how things on the internet are...and, as for the bulk of threads on it, Trout is obviously the biggest thing in baseball, and he happens to be an Angel. Something is up with him, so...tell me, what exactly did you expect to happen on an Angel's websight?

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Mods,

Unless there's trolling going on there is no reason a member cannot post a new thread on a hot topic.

Got it, but couldn't it easily just be added to any of the other threads, like we have been preaching forever? It's not like Eric or I deleted it, it was just a comment.

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This game is all about adjustments

Trout does something - the pitchers adjust and now are effective against him

so... then Trout adjusts and gets back to where he was

Baseball is a big cat and mouse game

To me this is what Mike has done better than anyone in his three years in the league, he adjusts. He will adjust here, I am sure of it. If we were a little more healthy I would be pushing for him to take a day off. To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me if Scioscia pisses us all off and sits Mike tonight, considering he is scuffling and we have won the first three games of this series.

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This is the best article I've found on this topic.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/forcing-a-reason-to-worry-about-mike-trout/

 

 

Trouts strike zone, and first pitch strike % for that matter, have not varied very far from his career numbers. So far this year, he's seeing 55.8% first pitch strikes....is that high? Maybe. But his career number is 55.4% and he's still below the league average of 59.8% for 2014. I highly doubt you can attribute his increased K rate to a .4% increase in first pitch strikes.

With his strike zone discipline staying fairly constant to his career numbers, that leaves very strong hope he can turn his K rate around and end up back at his career rate.

Edited by TEvans
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Trouts strike zone, and first pitch strike % for that matter, have not varied very far from his career numbers. So far this year, he's seeing 55.8% first pitch strikes....is that high? Maybe. But his career number is 55.4% and he's still below the league average of 59.8% for 2014. I highly doubt you can attribute his increased K rate to a .4% increase in first pitch strikes.

 

That's an extremely relevant stat.  But the question remains, if it's not the first pitch strikes, what's causing the increase in Ks?

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That's an extremely relevant stat.  But the question remains, if it's not the first pitch strikes, what's causing the increase in Ks?

Did you read the fangraphs article? They posed the idea that Trout is pulling the ball a lot more (that is backed up by stats) and that perhaps his role at the plate has changed from being a guy trying to simply get on base, to a guy trying to slug for more power. This has caused a sharp increase in his foul ball rate from years past....

Again, with his strike zone discipline showing only slight variation from 2012 and 2013 I'm really hopeful that his K rate comes back down to earth.

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It's funny, I actually remember reading a quote from Trout in ST saying he was going to try and jump on pitches earlier in the count.  He certainly hasn't taken that approach yet.  I'll see if I can find that quote . . 

 

Also, I think it's possible to discuss the topic without meaning anyone is "worried" about Trout.

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Also, I think it's possible to discuss the topic without meaning anyone is "worried" about Trout.

Don't be stupid! Anyone who partakes in legitimate discussion about the negative aspects of this team and its players is a chicken little who thinks the season is over and is probably a real winner at parties!

People need to stop whining and LTBU!!!!

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