On pace for the greatest single season since Babe Ruth's 1923, Mike Trout needs an across-the board upgrade.
His numbers are other-wordly:
1) Trout is leading the major leagues in everything from homers (23), runs (60), total bases (176), extra-base hits (42), walks (62), and a mind-blowing 1.152 on base plus slugging percentage
2) Since May 18th, Trout has gone off to the tune of a .388/.504/.827 slash line. That would be a 1.331 OPS over 31 days
3) Entering Monday, 21 lineups in Major League Baseball have produced 6.0 or more Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs. Well, 21 lineups and Mike Trout, who comes into the week at 6.1.The best player in baseball has singlehandedly produced more value than nine entire lineups, including the Blue Jays, Rangers, Mets, and White Sox.
4) Since he became a regular in April 2012, he has never gone longer than two games without reaching base. In the last week alone, he reached base 25 times in seven games, with a double, four homers and seven RBI.
5) In the history of baseball, only five players have a higher career batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage than Michael Trout: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Rogers Hornsby and Jimmie Foxx.
Part of it is lack of team success, but in a lot of ways Trout doesn’t get that kind of coverage in large part because baseball doesn’t get as much coverage nationally as the NBA and NFL do. Like it or not, the sport just isn’t creating transcendent superstars right now. Who was the last to really become a household name? Griffey? Bonds? Maybe Jeter, and for at least a season, McGwire and Sosa? Baseball just doesn’t dominate the headlines any more.
They’re going to have to find someone or some group of players that pretty much revolutionize the sport and make it appealing to younger demographics again. This isn’t a “baseball is dying” post, because I don’t believe that, but it is losing visibility in the mainstream. Not sure what all can be done, but the best player in baseball will almost always be “underrated” from a media coverage standpoint, until baseball can get back to the top of mind of young fans again.