Mike Trout is having one of the very best rookie years of all-time, if not the greatest. His numbers are worthy of a Most Valuable Player award, and the level at which he’s playing could very will win him the award, even if Miguel Cabrera ends up taking home the Triple Crown in the American League. But can Trout’s success continue into 2013?
Trout obviously came into the league as a top prospect in all of baseball. This is no fluke, since we already knew he had the skill set to be a legitimate five-tool player. He really is the total package. However, a couple of his stats might indicate a regression at the plate next season.
Trout’s overall numbers are stellar. He’s brought the bat (.324 average), the power (27 homers), the baserunning (46 swipes and 118 runs), and the glove (+13 UZR) in a combination that really no one since Willie Mays has been able to match. Put that in perspective: Trout is having a year like none other since 1957.
A few of his numbers, however, do concern me. For example, his BABIP is up near .400. That’s something that is almost impossible to maintain. Just ask Joe Mauer. He also strikes out a bit more than you’d like (about 21 percent of the time), and just under 21 percent of his fly balls end up in the seats, something that could very well decline next season.
Working in Trout’s favor are the rest of his tools. That great speed is going to help him steal some hits, as well as bases. With his ability to run, he should be able to maintain that BABIP, at least to some degree. And he has power, so balls are going to clear the fence, regardless of if it’s at a 21 percent rate or not.
It’s almost as if Mike Trout is too good to fail. Sure, his average may dip, or he may hit less homers, but his game is so strong all over the diamond. He’s still going to be a nightmare on the basepaths. He’ll still be his own highlight film in center field. He’ll still do everything a 10 WAR player should, even if his numbers do regress a bit. He’ll still continue to be one of the very best in Major League Baseball.