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  1. Like
    AngelsWin.com got a reaction from ettin for a blog entry, Shohei Ohtani deadlifts unbelievable amount of weight, proving he's at full strength (Video)   
    Angels slugger and superstar pitcher Shohei Ohtani dealt with both knee and elbow injuries toward the end of last season, but he appears to have fully recovered from both of those.
    We say that because there’s one weightlifting exercise that truly involves nearly every muscle in one’s body — with elbows and knees both playing a key part. In part, the knees — as well as one’s back — play a major role in load bearing.
    The deadlift, as it’s called, is a functional exercise that is a great display of one’s strength. Ohtani recently showed off a video of him deadlifting — 495 pounds at that. You’ll want to check out this massive display of strength below.
  2. Like
    AngelsWin.com reacted to Chuckster70 for a blog entry, World Champion Angels | Classic Rewind: April 5th, 2002   
    APRIL 5, 2002 GAME 4 - ANGELS AT RANGERS   By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor   ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Scott Schoeneweis did Friday what Jarrod Washburn, Kevin Appier and Aaron Sele could not in the Angels' first three games of the season -- pitch into the sixth inning.   In fact, Schoeneweis went a few steps further, going into the ninth inning and leading the Angels to a 3-1 victory over the dangerous Texas Rangers Friday afternoon before Vice President Dick Cheney and a sellout crowd of 49,617 at The Ballpark in Arlington.   While his fellow starters needed around 100 pitches to get through five, Schoeneweis walked off the mound with one out in the ninth having made 99 pitches. He gave up one run and five hits, struck out six and walked only one.   The Rangers' murderers' row of Alex Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez combined to go 2 for 12 with four strikeouts against Schoeneweis. Alex Rodriguez struck out three times himself, including taking a called third strike in the ninth inning that caused him to slam his bat to the ground.   ''I don't know what happened to us,'' Rodriguez said. ''He took it to us. Our thing is, I think we were too aggressive.''   Schoeneweis kept the Rangers off balance by changing speeds and throwing fewer sinkers, his primary pitch.   ''We mixed it up,'' catcher Bengie Molina said. ''They all know he throws a sinker, but we mixed in a fastball and changeup. We got 'em by surprise. Last year he didn't have a changeup.''   Schoeneweis entered the ninth inning and gave up a leadoff double to Gabe Kapler. He struck out Alex Rodriguez looking on a slider and was taken out of the game. Al Levine came in and retired Gonzalez on a groundout and Palmeiro on a flyout to earn his first save.   ''I've learned once (Scioscia) steps out of the dugout, there's no discussion,'' Schoeneweis said of coming out of the game. ''It was for the best.''   ''That was a great performance,'' Scioscia said. ''You have to understand that's a very powerful offense, there's not much leeway. He made great pitches all day, he changed speeds well, and we played good defense behind him.''   For a while, though, Schoeneweis' performance appeared as though it might not be good enough. Rangers starter Ismael Valdes, who went 9-13 for the Angels last season, shut out the Angels on two singles through six innings.   When Valdes took the mound to start the seventh, the Angels had not even moved a baserunner as far as second base.   ''Ismael pitched a terrific ballgame,'' Scioscia said. ''One thing about today's game is he didn't use his breaking ball as much. But his fastball command was as good as I've seen it.''   The Angels finally got to him when Tim Salmon led off the seventh inning with a double to left. One out later, Troy Glaus homered to left on a 1-2 pitch to give the Angels the lead for good. Molina added an RBI single in the ninth off reliever Colby Lewis.   ''He's absolutely getting better,'' Scioscia said of Glaus. ''He understands the big picture of a guy in the middle of the lineup and what he has to bring. He's done a great job in RBI situations this year.''   The Rangers' only run came home in the second inning after Gonzalez singled, went to third on a double by Palmeiro and scored on Carl Everett's sacrifice fly. After that, no Ranger reached second base until Kapler's double in the ninth.   Schoeneweis believes adding the changeup was the difference.   ''I think there was a little bit of uncertainty, a little bit of surprise,'' Schoeneweis said. ''Hitters will look for a certain pitch in a certain area at a certain speed. That's not how I want to get hitters out.   ''That's a tough lineup. When you've got Carl Everett hitting seventh, that's a pretty good indication.''   NOTEBOOK   ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Already playing short-handed because of the suspension to Scott Spiezio and the injury to Troy Percival, the Angels suffered another blow Friday when first baseman Benji Gil had to leave the game in the first inning with a sprained left ankle.   After the game, the Angels placed Gil and Percival on the 15-day disabled list.   Percival, bothered by a strained intercostal muscle on his right side for the past three weeks, last pitched on April 2 and will be eligible to return on April 18.   Al Levine and Ben Weber are most likely to get the call to pitch the ninth in a save situation.   Percival and Scioscia insist they aren't worried that the injury will become a long-term ordeal, and they say they don't expect the right-hander to end up on the disabled list. He'll be re-evaluated on Monday.   The injury has lingered for weeks, as Percival said he first hurt himself March 14 in a spring training game against the Rockies. He pitched six more times during the spring, and then again on Tuesday, when he pitched the ninth and got a save.   After Percival hurt himself initially, the Angels thought he could pitch through it. But when treatment didn't fix the problem, the tests were ordered. After the MRI revealed the strain, Percival said he wasn't surprised.   ''It's consistent with what I thought it was,'' he said. ''But it's too early in the year to go out there and try to pitch through it. I'll take three or four days and get back to 100 percent. If this was September, I could go out and pitch.''   Conscious of the injury, Percival said he threw at about 90 percent in last Tuesday's game against the Indians, throwing his fastball at 92-94 mph, below his typical 95-98 mph. He gave up a leadoff homer to Russell Branyan before getting the final three outs.   Scioscia and the Angels seemed relieved with the diagnosis.   ''It could have been a lot worse,'' Scioscia said. ''When you hear the word 'MRI' you think the worst, it's almost like a curse. But this is something that's fixable, and fixable on a short-term basis.''   Gil, who is eligible to return April 21, hurt his ankle in a play at first base against the Rangers.   Gil fielded a slow grounder hit by Rusty Greer leading off the bottom of the first. Gil was too far from the bag, so he tagged Greer, who slid into Gil's ankle.   Gil remained in the game as Gabe Kapler flied out to center for the second out. But with a 1-2 count on Alex Rodriguez, Gil limped off the field.   ''It swelled up like a balloon,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''We're going to give him some time.''   Gil was taken to a nearby hospital for X-rays, which were negative.   Utility player Clay Bellinger and right-handed reliever Brendan Donnelly have been called up from Triple-A Salt Lake and will join the team Saturday.   Donnelly was 0-1 with a 4.80 ERA in 12 spring games, while Bellinger, who played with the Yankees the previous three seasons, hit .261 this spring.   *   The Angels had hoped left-handed reliever Dennis Cook (bruised ribs) would be ready to come off the disabled list by Saturday, but he is not ready.   Cook will throw off the mound Saturday, and if he comes out of it OK he could be activated early next week when the team returns to Anaheim.   *   Rangers pitcher Ismael Valdes gave up two runs and five hits in eight innings against his former teammates. But like so many games in his past, he got the loss when the offense didn't support him.   ''I was nervous,'' Valdes said. ''I was pitching in the first opening day game of my career against my former teammates. But it was a great game for me. My control was good. My off-speed pitches were working well today. I'm just trying to keep our team in the game and get the victory. I can't control the offense.''
  3. Like
    AngelsWin.com got a reaction from AngelsLakersFan for a blog entry, Jose Rojas tops Los Angeles Angels Prospect Hotlist, again.. (7/8-7/21 2019)   
    By Tres Hefter, AngelsWin.com Columnist
    Multiple Angels position players continue to post video-game numbers down on the farm, with Jose Rojas continuing to be an absolute force and a hotlist stalwart. A couple new names break into the top this edition, including an unexpected outfielder. On the other side, the Angels pitching performances have shifted as summer takes hold, with early season dominance exhibited by many having waned, now giving way to steady, continued solid production from numerous young arms.
    1) Jose Rojas – 1B/3B/DH, AAA Salt Lake: 
    A hotlist mainstay this year, Jose Rojas’ recent play might just be the most impressive two-weeks yet. Following a stint where he played DH primarily, Rojas returned to the field, splitting time at 1B/3B evenly with DH, as well as a quick appearance at 2B and even on the mound, pitching one scoreless and allowing one hit and one walk in a tight game. Perhaps this return to the field hints at an imminent call-up, as Rojas’ defense has long been the shortcoming for his MLB viability. But enough about all that. Let’s talk about what Rojas did at the plate, slashing .490/.544/.941/1.485 with 8 doubles, 5 homers (13 extra base hits) in 57 plate appearances, coupled with a respectable six walks to 11 strikeouts. Jose Rojas is now second in the Pacific Coast League in total bases (225), which is more than top prospects (who have similar playing time) such as Isan Diaz (198), Kyle Tucker (193), and Mauricio Dubon (178). At this point, it’s likely only a matter of time before Rojas makes his MLB debut, either in Anaheim or elsewhere, packaged in a trade for pitching.
    2019 hitting (SLC, AAA): .317/.383/.615/.997 with 33 doubles, 5 triples, 22 HR, 79 RBI, 42 BB, 93 K in 90 G/413 PA
    2) Taylor Ward – LF, AAA Salt Lake:
    It’s getting difficult to find new things to say about Taylor Ward’s AAA production – will it ever translate to MLB success? The combination of contact, power, and plate discipline offers a lot of evidence that there’s something there, and it might come down to which team – the Angels or otherwise – will give Taylor the full season or so of consistent playing time to see if it’s true. Playing exclusively left field over the last two weeks, Ward’s signature AAA production continued, as he slashed .367/.426/.735/1.161 with six doubles and four homers, while swiping two bags and walking four times versus nine strikeouts. Like Rojas, Ward’s defensive liabilities might make an Anaheim future hazy, so he too could find himself mentioned in trade talks in the next ten days.
    2019 (SLC, AAA.): .305/.418/.608/1.026 with 28 doubles, 22 HR, 57 RBI, 54 BB, 74 K in 78 G/374 PA
    3) Jeremiah Jackson – 2B/SS, Rookie Orem:
    Jackson added his third and fourth two-homer games to his season in the last two weeks, and hit a total of five over the last two weeks, leading him to a SLG-heavy slash of .283/.306/.696/1.002. Discipline continues to be a bit of an issue for the young infielder, as he drew only two walks to sixteen strikeouts, but the power is real, even if aided by the hitting-friendly environs of the Pioneer League. Hitless in only three games the last two weeks, Jackson at least compliments his raw power and iffy discipline with good contact skills and has yet to be a defensive liability. Grouped with other young infielders like Wilson, Soto, Maitan, and Rondon, the Angels might have a new wave developing in the lower ranks to match up with the Rengifo, Fletcher, Ward, Thaiss, Walsh, Rojas wave currently impacting SLC/Anaheim.
    2019 (Orem Rk.): .254/.331/.595/.926 with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 11 HR, 27 RBI, 16 BB, 51 K in 31 G/145 PA
    4) Brennon Lund – RF/CF, AAA Salt Lake:
    Often forgotten among Angels outfield prospects, overshadowed by the much flashier names with louder tools, Brennon Lund is a name often omitted when discussing future OF plans. A pedestrian debut at AAA Salt Lake (hitting .177 in his first 33 games/140 plate appearances) did nothing to help that, but since May 19th, Lund had quietly put together perhaps the best season by an Angel outfielder not named Adell, slashing .328/.388/.556/.943 over 51 games and 214 plate appearances. The last two weeks, that trend has been maintained, as Lund slashed .372/.413/.581/.994 with five doubles, two triples, drawing three walks against seven strikeouts. Sound defensively at all three outfield positions and equipped with decent offensive skills across the board (contact, discipline, little bit of speed, little bit of pop) Lund is due to be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this winter, giving him a decent chance at being added to the 40-man. Paired with the more high-risk/high-reward Hermosillo, the two should make up a solid 4th/5th OF rotation for the Angels next year – should neither be dealt for pitching help.
    2019 (SLC, AAA): .268/.339/.447/.786 with 22 doubles, 5 triples, 8 HR, 46 RBI, 33 BB, 85 K in 84 G/356 PA
    5) Adrian Rondon – IF,  Rookie Orem/A Burlington:
    Rondon has kept pace since his appearance on last edition of the hotlist, as the infielder also earned a promotion to Low-A Burlington. Playing mostly 3B, Rondon has played second at both games in Burlington, and picked up a game at SS and 1B while in Orem. What’s kept Rondon on the list though is his offense, which continues to progress, giving the Angels some hope he might be realizing the potential that made him one of the best international amateur talents a few years back. Slashing .348/.362/.630/.992 with six extra-base hits (2 doubles, a triple, and three homers), Rondon continues to display a strong, balanced offensive approach. Burlington will be a test for the young infielder as he moves away from hitter-friendly Orem, but a strong showing could vault him back into the lower-hald of the Angels Top 30 – if not higher.
    2019 hitting (Orem Rk./A): .328/.383/.552/.935 with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 11 BB, 21 K in 31 G/128 PA
    6) Will Wilson – SS/2B, Rookie Orem:
    Eight straight multi-hit games lifted Orem infielder Will Wilson to a .396/.420/.563/.983 slash over the last two weeks (he’s hit .486 during the streak), highlighting the strong offensive profile that led the Angels to pick Wilson in the the first round of the 2019 draft. Being a little advanced for the league, Wilson might soon find himself alongside Adrian Rondon in Burlington for a look at more age-appropriate talent, and continued strong performance there could even place Wilson in A+ Inland Empire to start 2020, giving him a potential Anaheim arrival as early as 2021. Wilson hasn’t produced the best BB:K ratio through ~100 plate appearances, though this is likely only a product of being aggressive while swinging the bat well.
    2019 hitting (Orem Rk.): .337/.378/.522/.899 with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 6 BB, 19 K in 22 G/98 PA
    Honorable mention, hitters:
    Kaleb Cowart (3B/RHP, AAA): .350/.386/.625/1.011 with 2 2B, 3 HR, 3 BB, 4 K and 2 IP, 2 H, BB, K in two relief appearances 
    Jack Kruger (C, AA): .370/.433/.556/.989 with 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 BB, 6 K – sorely needed hot streak for both the Angels and the prospect
    Jared Walsh (1B/LHP, AAA): .314/.429/.829/1.257 with 3 2B, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 6 BB, 12 K, plus IP, K – SLC/Anaheim shuttling cost him some PAs to rank, otherwise he might have been Top 5
    Gareth Morgan (OF, A+): .283/.313/.652/.965 with 2 2B, 5 HR, only 2 BB to 27 K 
    Wilfredo Tovar (SS,  AAA): .378/.404/.556/.960 with 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 8 K
    Spencer Griffin (OF, A): .310/.383/.571/.954 with 1 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 12 K – continues to put together a semi-breakout season
    Connor Justus (IF, AA): .310/.419/.520/.939 with 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 7 K – good defense and occasional good bat could still lead to a UT IF role
    Julio De La Cruz (2B/3B, AZL Rk.): .333/.419/.472/.891 with 5 doubles, 4 BB, 13 K – 18-year old IF playing first stateside games, occasional flashes of good contact, discipline, and power for age
    Jo Adell (OF, AA): .275/.370/.500/.870 with 3 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 11 K since MLB Futures Game
    7) Kyle Bradish – RHP, A+ Inland Empire:
    Three more solid games for the Angels’ 2018 4th rounder in his debut season, a year that will probably see Bradish locking himself into a spot onto various publications ‘Top 30 Prospects’ for the Halos, perhaps placing Bradish in the conversation for MLB action as early as 2020 in a spot-starter/multi-inning relief role. Across these most recent three appearances, Bradish posted a 2.16 ERA and .190 BAA in 16.1 IP, allowing only three walks to 19 strikeouts. Bradish has only allowed more than 4 runs in an appearance once, kept the ball in the yard (only 6 HR allowed in HR-friendly California League), and has that blend of decent GB% (46%) and swinging strike (15%) that Eppler likes, a little similarly to what the Angels had hoped to get from Trevor Cahill. Bradish might earn a AA promotion before the season is out, and is likely to start 2020 there.
    2019 (A+): 4.18 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, .228 BAA, 33 BB, 91 K across 71 IP in 17 G/11 GS
    8) Oliver Ortega – RHP, A+ Inland Empire:
    While Ortega’s most recent three appearances do not come with the shiny ERA we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from him – 4.41 ERA in his last 16.1 innings – the peripherals continue to indicate Ortega’s development and rapidly improving stuff. The righty fanned 22 in those 16.1 innings, allowing 5 walks and 10 hits (.172 BAA), giving him an organization-leading 112 strikeouts and and K/9 rate of 11.7. Having only allowed 62 hits on the season, Ortega’s ability to limit hits and rack up strikeouts could fast-track the 22-year old to Anaheim next season as a multi-inning reliever, much like Luis Madero. Eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason, the Angels will need to protect him on the 40-man, a move which is seeming increasingly certain.
    2019 (A+): 3.44 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .201 BAA, 42 BB, 112 K across 86.1 IP in 19 G/14 GS
    9) Jeremy Beasley – RHP, AA Mobile:
    Beasley continues to do Matt Shoemaker things in AA Mobile, a skill which keeps him in the 2020 mix for a spot-starter/multi-inning relief role with the Angels. Beasley worked three more starts, posting a 3.14 ERA and .241 BAA in 14.1 IP, walking four, striking out 13. One poor start – 7 ER on May 10th – has been Beasley’s only real blemish on the year. With that start removed, he has posted an incredibly strong 3.02 ERA in essentially 18 starts. Overall, his 19 ‘starts’ (one was a tandem-relief appearance) leads the Angels organization, a sign of Beasley’s resiliency. Not eligible for the Rule 5 until after the 2020 season, Beasley will likely continue to percolate in the minors as he doesn’t come with the pedigree of other prospects, but once he reaches AAA, a strong showing could change those opinions.
    2019 (AA): 3.61 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, .253 BAA, 34 BB, 83 K across 89.2 IP in 19 G/18 GS
    10) Kyle Tyler – RHP, A Burlington:
    A 20th round pick in last year’s draft, Kyle Tyler has never drawn much attention as an Angels farmhand, until a string of solid performances placed him on the last edition of the prospect hotlist. Since then, he’s done nothing but continue to impress, delivering two more appearances totaling 12 IP, only allowing three hits, six walks, zero runs, and striking out nine. Going back to June 7th, Tyler has posted an eye-popping 1.19 ERA across nearly 40 innings, only allowing 20 hits in that time – good for a .156 BAA. In fact, Tyler has been quietly ‘dominant’ this season – in essentially 17 ‘starts’ (multi-inning RP/tandem starter) he has allowed six runs three times, three runs twice, and then zero or one run in the other twelve games. While he doesn’t post big strikeout numbers – only 71 in 83.1 IP – and only a 12% strike-swinging rate, it’s fair to say Tyler has probably been the lucky recipient of some good luck and defense, but a .195 BAA on the season is hard to ignore as the summer continues on.
    2019 (A): 2.92 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, .19% BAA, 29 BB, 71 K across 83.1 IP in 17 G/12 GS
    Honorable mention, pitchers:
    Travis Herrin (RHP, A+): 10.1 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 14 K, 0.87 ERA in 2 games – has had a few good stretches on the year and worth watching
    Hector Yan (LHP, A): 9.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 12 K, 4.82 ERA in 2 games – the lefty continues to post gaudy strikeout rates
    Cole Duensing (RHP, A): 9.1 IP, 7 H, 7 BB, 8 K, 3.86 ERA in 2 GS – still has control struggles, but a big turnaround year continues to go Duensing’s way
    Nate Bertness (LHP, A+): 9 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 2.00 ERA in 4 games – 6’6″ lefty has moved to relief, K/9 has jumped from 7.8 to 10.7
    Jennry Gonzalez (LHP, AZL Rk.): 9 IP, 6 H, 5 BB, 13 K, 2.00 ERA in 2 games – 18-year old lefty worth watching in first pro seasons stateside
    Parker Bridwell (RHP, AAA): 13 IP, 17 H, 2 BB, 9 K, 3.46 ERA – because the Angels just can’t quit him and there’s always a need in the rotation
    Matt Leon (RHP, Orem Rk.): 16 IP, 12 H, 2 BB, 14 K, 3.38 ERA in 3 GS  – a little old for league, but pitching well after demotion from Burlington
    Cooper Criswell (RHP, A+): 10 IP, 11 H, 3 BB, 6 HR, 3.60 ERA – improving as year goes on; April/May: 5.45 ERA 38 IP, 31 K June/July: 4.08 ERA, 35.1 IP, 37 K 
    Clayton Chatham (RHP, A): 9.2 IP, 6 H, 5 BB, 10 K, 0.00 ERA – 6’6″ RHP has a 1.99 ERA, .158 BAA across 22 IP against younger competition
    Robinson Pina (RHP, A): 10 IP, 10 H, 6 BB, 13 K, 5.40 ERA – an even 100 strikeouts on the year now for the 20-year, in only 79.1 IP
    Zack Kelly (RHP, AA):  10.1 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 3.48 ERA – converted to rotation in May, 3.93 ERA, .257 BAA, 52 K in 52 innings, only 2 HR allowed
     
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  4. Like
    AngelsWin.com got a reaction from Chuckster70 for a blog entry, Mike Trout’s 2017 MVP Case   
    By @Brent Maguire, AngelsWin.com Staff Writer
    Mike Trout missed 39 games in the middle of this season due to a torn ligament in his thumb from sliding into 2nd base. At the time of the injury, it presumably knocked him out of the American League MVP picture, which seemed fair given the precedent set by previous MVP winners. Fangraphs very own Craig Edwards examined this exact precedent earlier this week and, based on his data, Trout would end up receiving the 2nd lowest amount of plate appearances for any MVP winner in baseball history(in a non-strike shortened season). Given the vast amount of data available now and, quite frankly, the integrity of the writers, the Trout MVP case isn’t as far fetched as some may believe.
    Right now, Mike Trout has the 4th highest fWAR(Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement) among all position players(5.1 fWAR) and ranks 3rd in the American League behind Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve, who both have 5.9 fWAR, respectively. WAR is not the be all end all stat but it does a good job of combining every element of a player’s game and Trout has somehow racked up 5.1 fWAR in just 70 games. For those curious, that would put him on pace for 11.8 WAR over a full 162 game season, which would rank as the 12th most valuable season in Major League Baseball history, and rank only behind some dudes named Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby and Honus Wagner. Mike Trout has already has a historic start to his career, putting up 7.9 fWAR in his first 5 full big league seasons and 9+ WAR in 4 of those 5 seasons, but his 2017 season has been on a completely different level.
    If you’re not a WAR believer(cue chorus from ” War” by Edwin Starr), then let’s just break down the individual elements of Trout’s game. Offensively, Trout has been absolutely smashing baseballs and getting on base at will in his 70 games. His current slash line is .347/.468/.710, which essentially looks like an average Babe Ruth season(.342/.474/.690). If he qualified, Trout’s batting average would rank 3rd in baseball and he’d boast the highest on base percentage and slugging percentage in both leagues. Trout is walking a career high 17.7% of the time and is striking out in a career low 19% of his plate appearances. He’s on pace to hit 38 home runs, which would be the 2nd highest total in any season despite the fact that he missed a quarter of a season. Trout’s current 208 wRC+(108% better than the league average hitter) is far and away the best in baseball and well above his career 171 wRC+. If Trout maintains a 200+ wRC+, it’d be only the 5th time that has happened in this century and the other 4 instances were accomplished by Barry Bonds from 2001-2004.
    Defensively, Trout has more or less been slightly below average in center field this season based on the metrics. He’s currently at -1 defensive runs saved(DRS) and -2.3 UZR(Ultimate Zone Rating). Statcast has essentially backed up this claim as Trout has had zero 5 or 4 star catches but has caught a vast majority of his 1-3 star opportunities. This isn’t necessarily a knock on Trout either: performing as the league’s best hitter while playing near average defense in center field is uber valuable. On the bases, Trout has continued to run the bases with the best of them as he is on pace to swipe 20+ bags again and will end up with 3+ Baserunning Runs(BsR) despite missing 39 games. All around, Trout has been an absolute monster yet again.
    While it seems more likely that Trout doesn’t win MVP this year, there is a real case that he will be competing for a top 2 or 3 spot again in the race. If Jose Altuve hits .350+ with 7+ WAR on the best team in the American League, it’s going to be hard for the writers to pass that up. Aaron Judge is struggling since the break but he’s still on pace to hit 45+ home runs and post a 7+ win season while manning right field for the New York Yankees. Chris Sale is having a season of historic measures and may represent Trout’s biggest rival for the award as the terrifying lefty has already hit 7 fWAR and has a 2.57 ERA along with his sub 2 FIP. As of now, there’s a pretty clear top 4 and it looks like Trout will squarely be in the mix of things.
    Mike Trout might be one of the select few players in baseball who can miss 1/4th of a season and still be in the conversation for being the league’s most valuable player. Clayton Kershaw threw 149 innings of historic baseball last season and finished 5th in the Cy Young voting so we don’t have to look back too far to see how writers will penalize players who miss time. Kershaw’s 237 ERA+ and 15.64 strikeout-walk ratio were legendary numbers but they still weren’t enough to get him a top 3 finish. The writers could penalize Trout the same way but if this pace keeps up, it’s going to be impossible for the writers to ignore him. If the Angels somehow sneak into the playoffs, that will likely boost his case even further for the writers.
    Whatever ends up happening with the MVP voting, enjoy Mike Trout. The fact that we can even have this discussion speaks volumes to the incredible talent that Trout is. If he doesn’t win MVP, he’s still likely had a legendary season that was hurt by a fluke injury. If he does end up in fact win the award, then this is going to be a season that is talked about for a very long time. Long live Mike Trout.


     
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