On April 27th the Los Angeles Angels were 6-14, and many suggested that poor start meant their season was already over. The Texas Rangers had a significant lead at this point, and with Albert Pujols struggling it looked like there wasn’t any hope for the Angels. With several players under producing, and injuries hitting the Halos, they called up super prospect Mike Trout to help them out. And the decision to call him up just might have saved their season.
Since Mike Trout was called up to the majors the Angels have gone 33-18. That’s good for a 647 win percentage, a pace that over 162 games would have a team finishing 105-57. Sure, it helps that Albert Pujols rebounded and Mark Trumbo finally found a position to play at, but the big reason why the Angels are winning is because of Mike Trout.
The 20 year old struggled in his first tour of duty in the majors, but he’s been one of the best players in the league this season. The young superstar is hitting 338 with 7 homers, 19 steals and 29 RBI. He’s got a 942 OPS on the season, and is playing phenomenal defence in center field. Add it all up and he’s got a 3.6 fWAR, good enough to lead the American League.
While we can debate about the value of WAR another time, it’s clear that this season Mike Trout is one of the best players in the American League. If he keeps this up, and the Angels end up winning a playoff spot, he should be a strong candidate to win the MVP award. While Mike Trout turns 21 in August, he would be the first player in the history of baseball to win an MVP in his age 20 season.
There are a lot of talented players in the American League right now. A few weeks ago Josh Hamilton looked like a strong candidate to win a triple crown. Adam Jones is having a career year while Paul Konerko is looking like one of the top sluggers in the league. But nearly 3 months into the season, it’s looking more and more like the guy who didn’t even play the first month in the majors, Mike Trout, might be the favourite for the MVP award. And don’t be surprised if we hear his name linked to this award for the rest of his career, as he has the talent to be one of the best players in baseball.