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Happy 21st birthday to the American League’s best player

Aug 7, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT


Happy birthday to Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who turned 21 years old today. Which means the best player in the American League–and reigning American League player of the month–can finally buy alcohol legally.

He leads the league in batting average (.348), steals (36), and runs (86), ranks second in slugging percentage (.598) and OPS (1.009), and rates third in on-base percentage (.411). And course he’s also an excellent defensive center fielder, which is part of how Trout leads all of baseball in Wins Above Replacement (7.4).

And he wasn’t even called up by the Angels until 20 games into the season. Oh, and officially this is actually Trout’s “age-20 season” because baseball uses a player’s age of as June 30.

For a birthday present I’m giving him this complete list of all the 20-year-olds in baseball history with an OPS above 1.000: Mike Trout, Ted Williams, Alex Rodriguez, Mel Ott.

  1. biasedhomer - Aug 7, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    My prediction before the season was he is the true phenom, not Harper.

    • donniebb23 - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      • biasedhomer - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:25 PM

        Thank you!

    • heyblueyoustink - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Careful there homer, the natives don’t like it when you badmouth their version of Gozer the Gozerian.

      • harrysatchel - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        Does anyone else think that Kurt Warner’s wife looked liked Gozer?

  2. mirmz - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Halos play a 12:30 game tomorrow. My money is on Trout getting a “scheduled” day-off.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Aug 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      Perhaps he’ll have the ever-popular “flu-like symptoms” that have plagued many a player the day after their team clinches a playoff berth.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    He won’t get the counting stats that Trout has, but Strasburg has a fairly comparable batting line: .343/.410/.543. Maybe Scioscia should give Trout a crack at the 5th starter job and really make this competition interesting.

    • natslady - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      Yeah, but have you seen Stras on the basepaths? Never gonna get the steals…

  4. APBA Guy - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    You really have to see this guy play in person to appreciate how gifted and special he is, and I urge every fan in towns that the Angels visit to make the effort to watch him in person.

    When I was a kid, my dad would take us on the long drive from Northern Virginia to Baltimore to see Mickey Mantle on his last legs. I’d ask him “Dad, why are going all this way to see an old man wobble around the base path?”. He’d glare at me and tell me that when Mickey was 21 he was the most exciting player he’d ever seen.”

    I was a Trout skeptic after his 2011 season, but after what I saw last night, he is, while not directly comparable to Mickey (I doubt Trout will hit a 500 foot home run) certainly incredibly exciting to watch.

    • pellypell - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:44 PM

      Nice try Director of MLB Ticket Sales.

  5. napoleonblownapart6887 - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Mike Trout is going to celebrate this evening by taking a shot for every vote he would get if the AL MVP vote occurred today.

    He will be missed.

  6. mybrunoblog - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    It’s not a 21st birthday if you don’t end up smelling like booze,have gratuitous vomiting and drunk dialing your old
    girlfriend(she hangs up on you of course)……
    Happy B-day kid. Live it up.

    • ajcardsfan - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      My guess is any exes he has were before he had a major league contract; I’m sure they’d love a drunk dial….also who if they’ve done their 21st right, has the ability to drunk dial? Also, I hope he doesn’t have the same results mine ended with, only 2 day hangover I’ve ever had.

  7. papacrick - Aug 7, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Finishing second to Cabrera in the MVP is a great way to start your career

  8. yahmule - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Just another reason to award him the MVP are the utterly ridiculous numbers he’s compiled against the Rangers this year in 13 games: 4 HR, 15 RBI, 16 R, 5 SB, 0 CS, .392/.492/.745.

    I agree with the poster who urged people to watch him play in person. I drove 275 miles from Las Vegas to see him single, homer and hustle non-stop in a game against Texas last month.

  9. jeffbbf - Aug 7, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    What this guy has done so far never really hit me until yesterday when my 12 year old son said that Trout might end up doing what Mickey Mantle always said he should have done.

  10. phillieseaglessixersflyers - Aug 8, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Best of luck to the guy, I could try to compare him to so many players but that wouldnt do him service. The kid is that special.

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