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Mike Trout is having a ridiculous season

Jun 12, 2012, 9:52 AM EDT

Mike Trou

So much has been said about Bryce Harper, but Mike Trout is having just as insane a rookie season.

Last night Trout either drove in or scored all of the Angels’ runs. The last one was set up by him drawing a walk and then stealing second base. Throw in the earlier homer (and an earlier stolen base) and you’re aware of just how complete a package this kid is.

Trout leads the AL in stolen bases besides being in the minors for almost the entire month of April. Since he’s been called up he’s been an on-base machine. And the Angels have gone 27-15 and find themselves a mere 2.5 games out of first place.

There are reasons why we are hearing more about Harper than Trout. Harper was on the cover of SI when he was 16 and was the number one overall pick. Most of his games are played and end when most of the sporting press is awake.  But let’s not forget about this kid out west. Because he’s been absolutely astounding.

  1. jarathen - Jun 12, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    He is the spark the Angels desperately needed early on. His ability to get on base, to steal bases, and just generally provide the kind of disruptive offense that can get a rally going is huge.

  2. pisano - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Let’s not overlook Trumbo, this guy is a monster, barring injuries he’ll be a force to be dealt with for a long time.

    • paperlions - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      I would like to take this opportunity to take back everything bad I said about Trumbo. There was no reason to think he could have even an average OBP in the majors, his walk rate is way up, and he’s squaring the ball up a lot.

      [I reserve the right to retract this apology if he starts to hit like he did last year.]

    • drewsylvania - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      Hate to say it, but this might be the best Trumbo you’ll see. His BABIP is both high (.366), and 37 points higher than his previous career high. He’s never done this well before, majors or minors.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        FYI Trout’s BABIP is very high as well, though high BABIPs are common for speedsters. I do expect him to not be quite as good going forward this season unless he adjusts.

  3. atworkident - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    He is good. Not on a first place team like Harper… but he is good. Given the choice I think I would still rather have Harper and have to beat out the Braves and Mets than the Rangers.

    • bluburt - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      So what does the Angels not being in first place have to do with how good Trout is? If we go by that logic, the fact that the Angels are 27-15 with Trout would make him better than Harper.

      Both are insane talents with unlimited upside. At this point, Trout is the better all around player…hopefully it is a debate that will likely go on for another fifteen years.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      I don’t understand your point.

  4. card0109 - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    I’m assuming, based upon the warpath that he’s still on, that his wrist is doing just fine. It looks like he bent it back something good on this attempt to rob Colvin (Rockies) of a homerun. Would have been a terrible injury if it had affected him more.

  5. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Picked him up off waivers in all my fantasy leagues the second I heard he was being called up. Keep up the good work, kid!

  6. heyblueyoustink - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Wait a second here, a post promoting a young talent in baseball *other* than Bryce Harper?!?

    Surely this must be heresy, I must inform the Inquisition at once! NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition.

    • Ben - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      I’m torn because I want to downrate you for the stupid part of your comment, and uprate you for the Monty Python.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM

        Could be the first comment was just made in order to properly place the second. And even if I wasn’t being tongue in cheek on the prior, you cannot deny that the things Trout is doing is being undercovered in comparison to Harper, could you?

      • Ben - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        Yeah, I hear you. End up not rating at all.

        Trout has been phenomenal. Like absurdly good. 6th best in baseball by wRC+.
        I’m just enjoying watching them both, and I don’t really read anything other than fangraphs/baseball prospectus/hardballtalk/baseball think factory and they’ve been pretty evenly covered there. Probably worse on ESPN though, yeah?

      • heyblueyoustink - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        That criticism doens’t apply to HBT necessarily, but overall….ESPN….FOX Sports….seems like the praise is uneven for a kid doing ridiculous things and carrying a franchise at the moment.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:45 AM

        That’s funny, I wanted to uprate him for the media snark, and downrate him for stale Monty Python quotes.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      Bring out the Comfy Chair!

  7. stlouis1baseball - Jun 12, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Both (Trout and Harper) are certainly great for the game and very fun to watch.
    Must see AB’s when they are in the box. I would be hard pressed to pick one over the other.
    I guess at this point…if I were forced to choose I would have to go with Trout.
    Time will tell. I look forward to seeing where they stack up at the end of the year.

  8. SmackSaw - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    I didn’t see Mantle or Mays when they came up. I imagine Trout is close. He looks like he’s having fun. Harper looks like a red ass.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      Wrong on two counts:

      First, Trout isn’t a young Mickey Mantle. The Mick had the speed and defense, plus legendary power. Put together Trout and Harper and you might get Mantle.

      Second, Harper is intense. Trout, less so. That’s no reaqson to rip Harper. Nothing wrong with either approach, if it produces results.

      • yahmule - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        Trout is no less intense. He’s just more concerned with playing ball and accepting his place as a rookie on a veteran team than he is with projecting an image. This has more to do with how they were both raised than anything else.

  9. townballblog - Jun 12, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Here are the stats:

    – Harper: 49 games – .294 Avg. – 29 R – 6 HR – 18 RBI – 4 SB – .381 OBP – . 527 SLG
    – Trout: 50 games – .354 Avg.- 35 R – 6 HR – 26 RBI – 15 SB – .412 OBP – .565 SLG

    Except for Avg. and Stolen Bases they are pretty even, statistically anyway.

    Someone mentioned Trumbo earlier; Jason Kipnis, Jose Altuve, Will Middlebrooks, Brett Lawrie… It’s a lot of fun to be a baseball fan right now.

    By the way:

    – Kipnis 59 games – .285 Avg. – 43 R – 10 HR – 39 RBI – 15 SB – .345 OBP – . 460 SLG

    • scottyallenlaai - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      Troutis hitting 60 points higher, has more runs, more RBI’s more SB, an OBP and SLG over 30 points higher and you think they’re even statistically? Brilliant.

      • paperlions - Jun 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

        Within the context of the small samples those represent, yes, they are essentially the same levels of production.

      • townballblog - Jun 13, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        I did say except for avg. and stolen bases, no? Trout also had 15 more ABs when I wrote this so yes, pretty even statistically.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      What a remarkable set of rookies.

  10. KR - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    The difference is that Harper is 19 and Trout is 20. Trout played a bit last year during his age 19 season and didn’t do much. I know it’s only 1 year, but historically there is a huge difference between 19 and 20.

    Good Grantland piece on Harper today:

  11. drewsylvania - Jun 12, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    FWIW, here’s the offensive wins above replacement for Trout, Harper, and Kipnis (via Baseball Reference):

    Trout: 2.2
    Harper: 1.3
    Kipnis: 2.3

    Kipnis has almost 100 PA more than either of those guys, so his oWAR is higher partly by virtue of having played more games.

  12. lostsok - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Trout reminds me of a young Manny with speed and defense.

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