The Top 18 Stats That Make Mike Trout Great

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Sep 9, 2019

We may be watching the greatest player of all-time

I love games. It’s what drew me to fantasy sports and led me to create things like my Free Market Powers League. But my love of games goes beyond fantasy sports. I love board games, and I especially love video games. Isn’t it amazing that we can play incredible games on our phones?

Speaking of apps and awesome games, the other day I was playing one of my favorite new games, MLB 9 Innings 19, and noticed the game provides live stat updates as well as a Player’s overall career stats. I was scrolling through different players, and it was easy for me to see the amazing young talent in the majors. Still, one Player sits above all others in a class of his own—Mike Trout.

Today I’ll give you 18 stats that put into perspective just how incredible Trout has been. At the end of the article, you can find out how to enter for a chance to win Mike Trout autographed merchandise, via MLB 9 Innings 19.

Offensive Stats That Make Mike Trout Great

#1) As crazy as it may seem, Mike Trout keeps getting better. For the first half of the 2019 season, he has played the best baseball of his career with 33 homers, 72 RBIs, 75 runs, and a 1.148 OPS. If he maintains that pace for a full season, we are talking about 66 homers, 144 RBIs, and 150 runs – a feat which has never been accomplished in the history of baseball.

#2) When Trout made his debut in the majors as a teenager, he had played exactly zero games in Triple-A. If you remove that trial-by-fire season, Trout’s numbers spike to a per-162 game average of 40 homers, 28 steals, 124 runs, 103 RBIs, and a 1.010 OPS. There have only been four seasons in the history of baseball with 40 homers, 28 steals, and an OPS over 1.000. (Source: MLB.com)

#3) Trout has prolific power, having hit the ball at a velocity of over 115 MPH seven separate times in his career. Trout is one of only four active players to hit multiple balls over 117.5. The others are Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Source: Baseball Savant)

#4) Like most of his already incredible numbers, Trout’s barrels per batted ball event have continually improved over the course of his career. This year he is all the way up to 19.4% which is double the rates of both Rafael Devers (9.6%) and Kris Bryant (9.6%). (Source: Baseball Savant)

#5) Trout’s wOBA against breaking balls in 2015 was just .269. It has steadily climbed each year and is now at .428. Trout turned a weakness into an all-time strength.

#6) Trout averages 341 total bases per 162 games played.

#7) In Trout’s weakest offensive season, he posted 36 homers, a league-leading 111 RBIs, a league-leading 115 runs, and a .939 OPS

#8) Another tremendous aspect of Trout’s game is his eye at the plate. He has now led the league in walks four times and has had a whopping 15.2% BB-rate since entering the majors. Let’s imagine he was at the league-average 7.8% and maintained his HR-rate and batting average. He’d have an extra 387 at-bats, 25 homers, and 118 hits to his name.

#9) You may have heard the stats about how much Trout strikes out compared to Hall of Famers. Those numbers all ignore the fact that in this era, the average player strikes out 25.4% of the time. Trout is down at 20.1% which would have been astronomical 30 years ago but is 26% below league-average today. Think of it this way: If Trout was 26% below league-average in Ks in previous eras, he would have just an 11.9% k-rate, or less than 70 Ks per season.

#10) Perhaps the most underrated tool in Trout’s game is his capacity to learn and improve. As the sabermetric data poured in concerning the importance of launch angles correlation to improved run production, Trout implemented it into his game. In 2016, he was sitting at an average launch angle of 12.9 degrees. That improved to 18.0% in 2017, 17.6% in 2018, and 21.2% in 2019. Among

qualified players, Trout is fourth in all of baseball this season and has by far the highest average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, and barrels per plate appearance among that group.

#11) Trout accomplished all of this while playing half of his games in a pitcher-friendly home ballpark. Since he joined the league, even Oakland and San Diego have been easier on right-handed hitters than Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Knowing these park factors from year to year allows us to easily calculate expectations if a player moves from one ballpark to another. For instance, it was easy to forecast Christian Yelich posting substantially better numbers in Milwaukee than he did in Miami. So let’s imagine Trout played for Texas his entire career, check out how much his career numbers would jump:

Actual career in LAA: .306 BA, .419 OBP, .582 SLG, 1315 H, 282 HR, 251 2B, 1.001 OPS, 746 RBI

Translation to TEX: .345 BA, .451 OBP, .656 SLG, 1,484 H, 295 HR, 300 2B, 1.107 OPS, 839 RBI

Defense and Base Running Stats That Make Trout Great

Trout may not quite have the same numbers at the plate as Hall-of-Famers, but you could argue that he more than makes up for it by being one of the game’s best defensive outfielders and baserunners year in and year out. He is the epitome of a five-tool superstar.

#12) Trout has an absolute cannon for an arm. He once launched a ball at 98.6 MPH from the outfield on a throw to home plate. Oddly enough, his arm was the only knock on his scouting report when he arrived in Anaheim. His work ethic has enabled him to turn that weakness into one of the strongest arms of any outfielder in baseball.

#13) Trout may not have any Gold Gloves to his name, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an elite defensive player. In 2012, he was the second-best defensive outfielder in baseball out of 109 players. (Source: Fangraphs)

#14) Baseball Savant has a metric called Outs Above Replacement. It takes into account how long each player had to run from the time the ball was hit and how far they ran. That provides us with the percentage odds a player will be able to make each play. So if a ball has a 1% chance of being caught and Trout catches it, he generated 0.49 outs above replacement.

Last year for instance, Trout saved an additional six outs above replacement. That may not sound like much, but those outs prevented singles and doubles which generate runs. This gave his starting pitchers additional innings pitched which improves their ERA.

You can look at Trout’s 1076.2 innings and see that when he was on the field, his defensive contributions improved his pitcher’s ERA above the league-average player by 0.06. Over a full season that comes to 10 runs, or the equivalent of the difference between Franciso Lindor and Jed Lowrie at the plate in 2018.

#15) Trout is still among the fastest players in baseball according to Baseball Savant’s sprint speed leaderboard. He topped out at the same 29.3 Ft/Sec as Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ronald Acuna this year.

#16) FanGraphs uses a stat called baserunning runs. Essentially, they track how often each runner advances from first to third, second to home, etc, then compares it to the league average base runner to see how many runs a player creates with their legs.

Trout has compiled 58.8 above replacement over his career or 9.8 per full season. To put into perspective how great that is, 9.8 would have placed second in baseball each of the last two seasons. He is not only the best hitter in baseball and an exceptional defender, but he is an elite base runner.

#17) Trout averages 27 stolen bases per 162 games thus far.

And Mike Trout is Great Off the Field

#18) Zero. Zero bad words have ever been said about Mike Trout the human being. Stories of his altruism with the community, selflessness with teammates, and kindness with the fans are endless. He is an example of a superstar athlete doubling as a superstar human, which makes his career all the more exciting for those of us watching closely.

I’ve laid out 18 stats that make Trout great, and the amazing thing is that the list could go on as he’s shown that he’s either at or approaching his peak years. He could have another 10 years of incredible baseball ahead of him.

Go check him out on MLB 9 Innings 19. And as promised, we are presenting the opportunity for you to win autographed merchandise from Mike Trout. To enter, all you have to do is play MLB 9

Innings 19. You’ll log into the game and check out Mike Trout’s Stay Raking event, complete the in- game missions and earn tickets, and then you’ll use those to enter for a chance to win goods autographed by Mike Trout.

Participate for a chance to win merchandise autographed by Mike Trout: http://bit.ly/stayraking

No purchase necessary to enter. Participants must be U.S. residents (including U.S. territories) who are at least 13 years of age (with permission of a parent or guardian) at the time of entry. Enter by playing ‘MLB 9 Innings 19’ mobile game with HIVE ID. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received as of the applicable drawing date. Entries are valid until September 30, 2019. Void where prohibited. Visit http://bit.ly/stayraking for official rules and details. Sponsored by Com2uS.

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Major League Baseball. Visit MLB.com. OFFICIALLY LICENSED PRODUCT OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION MLBPA trademarks and copyrighted works, including the MLBPA logo, and other intellectual property rights are owned and/or held by MLBPA and may not be used without MLBPA’s written consent.

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