Why Mike Trout is or isn't a Talent of a Generation

Mike Trout is an extraordinary ball player. He is super talented, no one can say otherwise. But he does have some downsides, thus this article. But it isn’t all bad. He still is SUPER amazing. This is the case for Mike Trout being a talent of a generation, and why he isn’t a talent of a generation.

It’s June 9, 2009. It’s the MLB draft, and the Nationals are on the clock. They take Stephen Strasburg, and this draft has begun. It’s now the 24th pick. The Angels are up. Who they are going to take is obvious, given the title of this article. It’s about Mike Trout. It is NOT about Randal Grichuk, who was taken in Round 1, 24th pick of the 2009 MLB Draft. So, how did the Angels get Mike Trout? Simple. The 25th pick, which they also had.

Even though the Angels drafted Mike Trout 25th, something bugs me. Maybe it’s just that some 22 teams passed up Mike Trout. That means that an astonishing 73% of the league passed up Mike Trout, the face of the MLB. Or maybe the thing that bugs me is the fact that the Angels had a pick before and they took Randal Grichuk over Mike Trout. Let’s compare stats, and then we’ll see the stast coming out of college. Let’s start with Trout.

Over Mike Trout’s 9 year career (2011-2019) he has hit for a .305 average. While this is at superstar level, it certainly isn’t a GENERATIONAL talent. And then you move your eyes one stat over to the OBP, where he has a .419 OBP. In fact, he’s led the league in OBP for the last 4 years. And then you look at the OPS, where he has hit a career 1.000 OPS. He has also led the league for 4 of the past 5 years. Mike Trout also came 2nd in the MVP voting in his rookie season, not his true rookie year. And every full year Trout has played (2012-2019), he has been an all-star. Now let’s see Randal Grichuk.

Over 6 years (2014-2019), Randal Grichuk has batted an average of .244, and he has a .293 OBP. These stats are mediocre at best. He HAS had 122 home runs, but compared to Mike Trout’s 285, he is no match. He isn’t a good fielder either, as he is pretty much average. Now that bugs me.

But this article isn’t about Randal Grichuk. It’s about Mike Trout. Here comes the argument for the talent of a generation.

Mike Trout is incomparable to any other player of his time. Name a player, and we’ll see the stats. Bryce Harper? Was he an all-star in 2019? No. Is he worth his contract? No. Does he have more than 1 K/Game? Yes. Now look at MLB WAA by position. The Angles lead any other team by 2.7 wins. And Mike Trout was the starter. Now let’s go to 2018, where Mike Trout was sidelined by and injury for a good portion of the year. Angels? Still #1. Do I need to keep going? Mike Trout is the best CF in the game, and he has won the MVP 3 out of the past 5 years. Babe Ruth won the MVP once in his career. Willie Mays won the MVP twice. Honus Wagner never won the MVP. Ty Cobb won it once. Mickey Mantle won it 3 times, and he had 18 years to do it! Mike Trout is better than all of them, including Ted Williams who won the MVP twice. Trout is the talent of a generation.

But there can always be a counter argument. And while it won’t be strong, it still exists. Here it goes:

If you look at Mike Trout’s .305 average, it’s magnificent. But then when you think about, in every 10 AB, Trout will get a hit 3 times. That’s baseball, but it’s also, hmmm, Buster Posey’s numbers. (He hit .302) And Posey is a CATCHER. Catcher’s don’t hit. But CF do. If you look at the home runs, yes, 285 in his first 8 full seasons, but Babe Ruth got 366 home runs in his first 8 full years.

Obviously, this argument is not strong. So, Mike Trout is an amazing talent, a talent of a generation even! So let’s give him some respect.

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