After an incredibly emotional come-from-behind victory of historic proportions in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series – one which saw the Anaheim Angels force a deciding Game 7 at Edison Field – the home team had every ounce of momentum on its side.
The Angels entered the bottom of the third inning tied, 1-1, with the San Francisco Giants. Though the scoreboard said it was clearly not make or break time, the guts of 44, 598 fans in the stadium and millions more watching on television said otherwise. Every pitch delivered in the World Series seems to hold the collective fate of everyone with a rooting interest.
David Eckstein led off the third with a single to left field off of Giants starter Livan Hernandez, who won Game 7 of the 1997 World Series for the Florida Marlins. Darin Erstad followed with a single of his own to left in front of Tim Salmon, who was hit by a Hernandez off-speed pitch, loading the bases for team MVP Garret Anderson.
Anderson, who finished fourth in American League MVP voting in 2002, had a remarkable season, finishing with a .306 batting average, 29 home runs and 123 RBI. But his World Series performance had been a modest one entering his second at-bat of Game 7.
The stage had been set for Anderson, who needed to just put the ball in play to give his team a lead. He did two better, driving a Hernandez high fastball down the right field line and into the corner. Eckstein, Erstad and Salmon all scored on the double, giving the Angels a 4-1 lead.
Anderson had cleared the bases! Arguably the greatest Angel, GA had collected his greatest moment.
The Angels would not score another run in the 2002 season. But three rookie pitchers and their outstanding closer made sure they didn’t need to.
New for the 2017 season are the Sports Daily Major League Baseball Power Rankings. Comprised of writers from Burning River Baseball, Cards Diaspora, Metstradamus, Angels Win and The Giants Cove, every month we’ll get together to determine who is the best of the best and rank all 30 MLB teams.
1. Chicago Cubs – 2016 Record: 103-58 – World Champions
No longer the lovable losers, the Cubs are poised to be the most dominant MLB franchise since the late 90’s Yankees. Las Vegas has them as the heavy favorite to repeat as World Series Champions (4/1) and why wouldn’t they? With all the young talent having shed 108 years of baggage, they’re free to ball. Oh… and they get Kyle Schwarber back for a full season. – Aaron Hooks
2T. Boston Red Sox – 93-69 – AL East Champions
The Red Sox look to be a team vying for the American League Crown this season. They did lose David Ortiz to retirement and it will prove interesting to see how he is replaced both on the lineup as well as in the clubhouse, but they bolstered their pitching staff with the addition of Chris Sale and still have MVP candidate Mookie Betts returning. – Danny Cunningham
2T. Cleveland Indians – 94-67 – AL Champions
The Indians have been dealing with health concerns at every corner this camps as they look to defend their AL crown. Andrew Miller ramped up early for the WBC, Carlos Carrasco had an up and down camp health wise, Jason Kipnis is out a month and Cody Anderson, one of their depth starters, is out for the season. Michael Brantley appears to be back though and they scored the most runs in the Cactus League (212). – Justin Lada
4. Los Angeles Dodgers – 91-71 – NL West Champions
The Dodgers are built to be balanced offensively and defensively, with quality multi-positional hitters and a flexible bullpen. They start the 2017 season ready for post season play in October. – Richard Dyer
5. Washington Nationals – 95-67 – NL East Champions
Blake Treinen has been named the Nationals closer. With the rest of the team so stacked, the Nats hope that they don’t have a luxury car with two dollar brakes. – John Coppinger
6. Houston Astros – 84-78
On paper one of the better lineups in all of baseball, top to bottom, but will they have enough starting pitching to challenge their Texas rival? One thing is for certain, they have a loaded farm system so I expect them to make a trade mid-season for a top tier starting pitcher. Jose Quintana anyone? – Chuck Richter
7. New York Mets – 87-75 – NL Wild Card
With Steven Matz starting the season on the DL, the Mets’ “Big Five” might never be in the same rotation at the same time. Luckily, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo give the rotation some depth. – John Coppinger
8. San Francisco Giants – 87-75 – NL Wild Card
The Giants strength is that they will throw Bumgarner and Cueto in every 2017 series, but this is a one-dimensional 25 man roster that has no league-average replacements, and a terrible farm system. – Richard Dyer
9. Texas Rangers – 95-67 – AL West Champion
The Rangers are the team to beat in the AL West with the best 1-2 punch out of the rotation in the division in Darvish and Hamels. If starters 3-5 out of the rotation are solid, combined with a strong lineup, this team could be a force in the AL all season. – Chuck Richter
10. Toronto Blue Jays – 89-73 – AL Wild Card
The Blue Jays powered their way to conescutive ALCS losses and will bring back most of that offense, with the exception of Encarnacion who was lost to the team that beat them in the ALCS in 2016. They probably can’t hold off the Red Sox, but are definitely in the hunt for another play-off appearance. – Joseph Coblitz
11. St. Louis Cardinals – 86-76
Will adding Dexter Fowler (via free agency) and Lance Lynn (back from surgery) be enough to close the 17.5 game gap they had with the Cubs in 2016? Probably not, but after missing postseason action via the wild card by only only 1 game last year, the Cardinals are willing to live by the old “make it to October and see what happens” mantra in 2017. – Aaron Hooks
12. Seattle Mariners – 86-76
The Mariners have a good blend of offense, speed and defense heading into the 2017 campaign. With big boppers like Cano, Cruz and Seager and newcomers Segura and Haniger atop the lineup, the M’s look poised for another winning season. The rotation 1-4 while not spectacular, is solid. – Chuck Richter
13. Baltimore Orioles – 89-73 – AL Wild Card
The Baltimore Orioles are in an interesting position having one of the games’ most enjoyable players to watch in Adam Jones as well as one of baseball’s best relieves in Zach Britton. It will be interesting to see how they compete in the AL East with Boston looking to hold on to that crown. – Danny Cunningham
14. New York Yankees – 84-78
The Yankees have some of baseball’s best young hitters and, after resigning Aroldis Chapman, have a top-notch bullpen. If the rotation performs and the young players meet expectations, the Bronx Bombers could one of the game’s most dangerous teams. – Gavin Potter
15T. Pittsburgh Pirates – 78-83
The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in the middle of what could be baseball’s best division. The reigning world champion Chicago Cubs as well as the most consistent team in baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals will fight for the top spot. It seems as if the best Andrew McCutchen and the Buccos can hope for is a WC spot. – Danny Cunningham
15T. Colorado Rockies – 75-87
The Rockies have a talented young starting staff and a potent bullpen. Oh, and the best offense in the Majors. If it all comes together Colorado could be the surprise team of 2017. – Richard Dyer
17. Detroit Tigers – 86-75
Detroit’s best players – led by Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander – are as good as anyone’s. How the team addresses concerns in the bullpen and outfield will determine whether the Tigers can play in October. – Gavin Potter
18. Miami Marlins – 79-82
It’s up to Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich to carry this team. Yelich has been solid between spring training and the WBC. Stanton is starting slow though. Without him, it’ll be a long season in Miami. – John Coppinger
19. Kansas City Royals – 81-81
The Royals were barely hanging onto contention hopes early in the off-season, but the untimely death of Yordano Ventura hurt the team more than any other loss could have. With a very thin rotation and an otherwise unremarkable team, they’ll probably hang towards the middle of the AL Central this year. – Joseph Coblitz
20. Tampa Bay Rays – 68-94
It’s hard to believe that a team with this much good starting pitching only won 68 games a season ago. Chris Archer will finally get the results he deserves, when Wilson Ramos returns this offense is interesting and they have depth behind their starting five. Don’t count them out for a playoff run. – Justin Lada
21. Arizona Diamondbacks – 69-93
The DBacks thought they would be contenders in 2016, but many set backs hurt them before they even got started. They have multiple potential bounce back players and at least they aren’t as bad as San Diego, but they aren’t likely to contend with the Dodgers and Giants at the top of the West. – Joseph Coblitz
22. Philadelphia Phillies – 71-91
Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders are nice improvements. The Phillies will need a big year from Clay Buchholz and young pitchers like Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez, but even if it all goes right, it may not matter. The Phillies Pythagorean W-L was nine wins below their actual record. They could improve and nobody would notice. – John Coppinger
23. Atlanta Braves – 68-93
Atlanta was 31-25 after the acquisition of Matt Kemp last season. While Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey seem like a risk, even a normal season from them will be much better than what that rotation had in 2016. – John Coppinger
24. Los Angeles Angels – 74-88
Don’t sleep on the Angels. They were riddled with injuries last season and have improved their overall roster depth. The Angels biggest weaknesses last season were all addressed: LF (Revere/Maybin), 2B (Espinosa) and overall pitching depth. If Richards and Skaggs can stay healthy all season to go along with Shoemaker and opening day starter Rickey Nolasco, they will challenge both Texas clubs for the top spot in the division. – Chuck Richter
25. Milwaukee Brewers – 73-89
From Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton,Domingo Santana, Travis Shaw, Eric Thames and Jonathan Villar, this offense has the potential to score some runs. Waiver pickup Jesus Aguilar had an incredible camp adding to the offense. Beyond Junior Guerra, this pitching rotation has the potential to put the team in some very high scoring games. – Justin Lada
26. Minnesota Twins – 59-103
The Twins may have been the worst team in baseball last year, but don’t look for them to lose 100 this year. They have a decent mix of talented young players with a few veterans mixed in that has nowhere to go, but up. – Joseph Coblitz
27. Oakland Athletics – 69-93
The Athletics won just 69 games last season and they may not do any better in 2017. Still, there’s optimism in the development of players like Healy, Semien, Manaea, Cotton and their opening day starter Kendall Graveman. Khris Davis clubbed a career high with 42 home runs and 102 RBI last season and is surrounded by vets Joyce, Plouffe, Alonso, Davis and Lowrie in the lineup. – Chuck Richter
28. Chicago White Sox – 78-84
It’s going to be a brutal ’17 for the Sox. But. BUT. Unlike the last two years where high off-season exceptions were parlayed into 170 total losses, this year everyone is on front street about sucking. The long-awaited rebuild is underway for the South Siders and while it won’t help the win/loss column this year… Sox fans can take solace in a farm system that went from meh to YEAH in a single winter. – Aaron Hooks
29. Cincinnati Reds – 68-94
The Reds were really bad in 2016 and will continue to be so in 2017. If healthy, their rotation would be one of the worst in baseball, but they rarely are even able to send out the top five. This will be ugly, but at least enjoy the chase for another great draft pick. It worked for the Cubs, Astros and Nats. – Joseph Coblitz
30. San Diego Padres – 68-94
The Pads are a year or two away from contending, but credit their extensive investment in the international player market and their six-year $83 million extension of first baseman Wil Myers as a start in the right direction. – Richard Dyer
“The Angels one out away from their first championship ever. Porter at the plate, he waits. The pitch from Frank … swing and a ground ball hit to Carew. He bobbles it, recovers, throws to Tanana … IN TIME! The 19-year wait is over, they’ve done it: The Angels are the champions of the West!”
In light of all the recent success the Angels have enjoyed this decade – a World Championship and division titles in five of six seasons – it’s sometimes easy to forget just how difficult a struggle it was for the franchise to win its first.
But, oh, did they ever struggle; not only through losing seasons – and there were plenty of those, 13 of the first 17 to be exact – but also debilitating injuries and clubhouse unrest. The Angels even suffered the tragedy of not one, but two players’ deaths during their first two heartbreaking decades. In 18 previous seasons, they’d gone through eight managers, four general managers and played in three different home parks.
But finally, in 1979, with a rallying cry of “Yes We Can!” the Angels buried their demons (well, some of them anyway) and on Sept. 25, behind a dominant complete game by Frank Tanana, they won the American League West in front of 40,631 jubilant fans at Anaheim Stadium.
And true to fashion for this franchise, it still didn’t come easily: Nolan Ryan, Rod Carew and Willie Aikens each missed significant time with injuries and Tanana was limited to 17 starts. But manager Jim Fregosi, hired in the middle of the 1978 season, days after retiring as a player, held it all together.
“We’ve been ready for it for an awfully long time around here and I’m just thrilled to death to be part of it,” said Fregosi, who spent 13 of the team’s first 19 seasons in an Angels uniform. “These players have been absolutely fantastic all season. They’ve gone out under really some tough situations, some tough conditions, they’ve battled all year long and I just couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Great offensive seasons from Don Baylor, later named the AL MVP, Bobby Grich, Dan Ford and Brian Downing, along with a solid season from Ryan and the emergence of Dave Frost carried the Angels to the title, which was a watershed moment for the Angels franchise despite the fact the team would go on to lose the ALCS, 3-1, to the Orioles.
“The biggest thing we had to overcome was that we had never won a division,” Fregosi said. “No matter how good the talent was, there seemed to be a black cloud hanging over the team – injuries, people getting hurt. Overcoming that was special to me. Once a team has won, the team knows it could do it.”
It would be another 23 years before the Angels would win it all, but in 1979 they took that first, all-important step.
TEMPE, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Matt Thaiss of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim poses for a portrait during Angels Photo Day at Tempe Diablo Stadium on February 21, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
2015/16: UR Position(s): First Base
Level: Class A Ball Age: Entering Age 22 season in 2017.
Height: 6’0” Weight: 195 lb.
Present – Future
Hitting Ability 50 65
Power 40 55
Base Running 40 40
Patience 40 55
Fielding 50 60
Range 50 60
Arm 55 60
Overall 50 60
Floor: Pinch hitting specialist in AAA/MLB.
Ceiling: All-star caliber first baseman that hits in the middle of the lineup.
Likely Outcome: Above average starting first baseman that is best suited to bat 2nd, 5th or 6th in the order.
Summary: Thaiss spent his time at Virginia behind the dish, and while reports were divided as to his ability to remain a catcher in the major leagues, the Angels brass felt his bat was more than enough to play up at first base. This is a very similar scenario the Cubs found themselves in with Kyle Schwarber, though the difference being Schwarber’s upside considerably outweighs that of Thaiss, and the Cubs were willing to at least roll the dice on his questionable defense behind the plate.
Thaiss shouldn’t be the type of player that needs to spend a lot of time in the minor leagues before a promotion, and perhaps this, along with a decreased price tag was the Angels motivating factor in selecting Thaiss as high as they did. There were questions surrounding Thaiss’ ability to play a competent first base, but those have since been answered by Thaiss’ impressive showing in Spring Training. The Angels brass raved at his hard work and athleticism he showed in learning a new position. Part of the reason they were willing to pick him s high as hey did was because Eppler and company asked him to play first base for them before the draft and felt he had the necessary instincts and approach to someday become a passable first baseman. After camp, the hope now is that Thaiss could eventually be a gold glove level first baseman.
There were also questions as to whether his power will show as the over the fence variety or the gap to gap sort. Early showings indicate a bit of both. During big league camp, Thiass was found spraying the ball to all gaps with authority. His approach at the plate is highly simplistic. Couched low in the zone, with feet spread apart, Thaiss’ feet don’t extend, but remain in place as his weight transfers and he rotates the bat through the zone. Thaiss’ bat spend a ton of time in the strike zone and his swing is geared toward high line drives.
What isn’t questionable however. is Thaiss’ floor. He’s a safe bet to become a major league ball player. The only question is when, and how good will he be?
In my opinion, Thaiss will a very good starting first baseman in the major leagues, and if the Angels do end up moving him off first base, I think he could succeed in the corner outfield.
What to expect next season: Before Spring Training, I would’ve told you Thaiss is a solid bet to begin next season at Advanced A Ball Inland Empire. After the performance he put on this Spring, and what he was able to do last year after being drafted, I wonder if Thaiss should start the year in AA Mobile. If Thaiss continues to hit, it shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see him in Anaheim later this year. I admit, this isn’t likely though. The most likely path will be a full yea rat Inland Empire and another full year next year in AA, and onto the majors after that. I still think he climbs higher than that.
Estimated Time of Arrival: 2018, as a 23 year old.
Grade as a prospect: B+
Michael Nelson "Mike" Trout (born August 7, 1991), nicknamed The Millville Meteor, is the center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Major League Baseball. Trout was the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2014, is a four-time All-Star, and a two-time All-Star Game MVP since becoming a regular player in 2012 (More on that below from our Top-50 Greatest Moments in Angels History).
Trout was a first-round pick by the Angels in the 2009 MLB draft, and made a brief major league appearance in 2011. He became a regular player for the Angels the subsequent season, and unanimously won the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year Award. Trout finished second in AL MVP voting in 2012, 2013 and 2015. In addition to being named Most Valuable Player in 2014, he won the 2014 AL Hank Aaron Award. Trout is under contract with the Angels until the end of the 2020 season.
Trout's MLB performances have received praise from both the mainstream media and sabermetricians, and he is regarded as one of the most outstanding young players in the history of baseball, as well as one of the best current players in all of MLB. Trout has led the major leagues in wins above replacement (WAR) during his first three full seasons in MLB (according to Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference.com) and was second to Bryce Harper in his fourth.
Trout's combination of power and speed has drawn comparisons to Hall of Fame center fielder Mickey Mantle. Trout has hit at least 27 home runs and 35 other extra base hits per season between 2012 and 2015, while also maintaining a high batting average and walk rate. He is particularly able to hit pitches that are low in the strike zone. Trout's speed has allowed him to be an above average defender in center field (according to ultimate zone rating) and he is also a proficient baserunner, stealing 113 bases between 2012 and 2015 at a success rate of 84 percent.
In the four-year period since Trout became a regular player, he has been MLB's most productive batter, according to Fangraphs. Trout led all MLB players in total runs above average (park-adjusted wRAA) with 221.5 runs, and led all qualified players in productivity per plate appearance (wRC+), producing runs at a rate 71 percent above league average. Trout's exceptional performance at his young age has caused him to be compared to Ted Williams..
Mike Trout featured in our AngelsWin.com's Top-50 Greatest Moments in Angels History
#9 - 2014, 2015: Mike Trout's MVP's
By Nate Trop - AngelsWin.com Staff Writer
Starting with the day Mike Trout was drafted to all of his accolades in the minors to his dominance of MLB, Angels fans knew it was only a matter of time until he was the AL MVP. In 2012 his first full season he put on a dynamic display of power, speed, and athleticism leading the league in stolen bases, runs, OPS+ and making catches in center field that no human should ever be capable of. In 2013 he did more of the same, leading the league in walks and for the second year in a row, in runs scored, stepping up his OPS to .988 and OPS+ to 179. Both years he finished second in MVP voting to Miguel Cabrera, who might be a statue in the field but offensively he was mashing the ball including the first triple crown in decades. If you are a believer in WAR and sabermetrics, Mike Trout deserved the MVP both years but if you believe in the old school stats they favored Miguel Cabrera and it didn’t help that the Angels failed to make the playoffs both years.
In 2014 it was a different story. After hitting a single in his first at-bat of the 2012 All Star Game and a double in his first at-bat of the 2013 All Star Game, he hit a triple in his first at-bat of the 2014 All Star Game and ended up adding a double and a walk to go 2-3 with a run scored, two RBI and his first MVP, the all-star variety. He wasn’t finished though leading the league in RBI and for the third straight year runs scored and WAR, slugging the Angels to the best record in baseball and his first playoff series. The conversation was no longer about WAR vs old school, there was no doubt he would be the MVP and on November 13th 2014 it was announced that he was unanimously selected as the AL MVP, the sixth player ever to win both the ASG and league MVP in the same season and the fifth-youngest player ever to win the MVP.
His first at-bat of the 2015 All Star Game was a home run to right field that few players in baseball could hit, finishing off the first at-bat of the ASG cycle. He was the fourth player ever to lead off the ASG with a home run and he finished the game 1-3 with an RBI and two runs scored and became the first player ever to win back to back All Star Game MVPs. Unfortunately the rest of 2015 ended with a familiar story, there was another catch and even though he lead the league in slugging, OPS and once again, WAR, the Angels missed the playoffs and Josh Donaldson had an equally impressive season playing for a playoff bound team, leaving Trout the MVP runner-up for the third time in four seasons.
Some baseball writers and pundits would tell you that there is such a thing as “Trout Fatigue.” That he is so consistently good, and makes it look so easy, that baseball fans and experts take him for granted. I believe it to be true so to claim another MVP award on a team that quite frankly stunk would be a huge accomplishment. As the 2016 season wound down the usual conversation was going on, stop me if you have heard this before… Trout lead the league in WAR, runs, OPS+, OBP, second in OPS, and the list goes on, but he was on a team that was not ever close to the playoff race, and the young Mookie Betts of the hated Chowds seemed to be the favorite to win the award, he had an excellent season and he played for one of the best teams in baseball. Also in the conversation was Jose Altuve, a lovable short guy (seriously, who doesn’t love a short guy) that played for a team that just missed the playoffs and lead the league in average and hits while playing excellent defense. Fortunately, the Trout Fatigue was overcome and once again Mike Trout was rightfully recognized as the best player in the AL with his second MVP award.
As Angels fans, it really is great to be able to watch the best player in baseball do his thing day in and day out..
#19 - 2012: Trout's Rookie Season for the Ages
By Geoff Bilau - AngelsWin.com Senior Editor
Of all the superlatives that can be lavished upon Mike Trout’s rookie season, perhaps the simplest and most appropriate is “unprecedented,” because no rookie in Major League history reached the statistical heights Trout achieved. For that matter, no second-, third- or even 20th-year player did so, either.
And he did it all as a 20-year-old.
.326/.399/.594, 129 runs, 27 2B, 8 3B, 30 HR, 83 RBI, 49 SB
Trout led the American League in runs scored and stolen bases and finished second in batting average, despite starting the year at AAA Salt Lake and missing the first 20 Major League games. As for “unprecedented,” no player in Major League Baseball’s 141 years had ever surpassed 125 runs, 30 home runs and 45 stolen bases in the same season. Not one. Furthermore, he became the youngest player in history to record a 30 HR-30 SB season and the first rookie to combine 30 HR and 40 SB. Only two rookies scored more runs: Joe DiMaggio (132 in 1936) and Ted Williams (131 in 1939).
He was named an American League All-Star, American League Rookie of the Year, won a Silver Slugger and finished second in the American League MVP balloting to Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera.
And, oh, all of those gravity-defying catches…
After making his celebrated, but far-from-polished big league debut as a 19-year-old in 2011 (batting just .220 and coming within a couple plate appearances of qualifying as a rookie), Trout was no sure bet to make the Angels 2012 roster out of spring training, especially not with an outfield/DH picture crowded by big contracts (Albert Pujols, Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells), big emergences (Mark Trumbo, Peter Bourjos) and big question marks (Kendrys Morales). When Trout missed almost all of the spring with an energy-sapping illness, his fate was sealed — he would start the season in the minors.
While the “Millville Meteor” was batting .403/.467/.623 for the Bees, the Angels were woefully matching the franchise’s worst start (6-14) and falling nine games behind the Rangers for the division lead. In the midst of a five-game losing streak, the Angels recalled Trout on April 28 with the team in Cleveland. He went 0-4 from the leadoff spot, but the Angels won, 2-1.
With Trout setting the table, the Angels fortunes quickly turned. The team went 18-11 in May and climbed back to .500 for the first time since the season’s fourth game. Trout batted .324/.385/.556, but continued to fly under the radar of a baseball world that seemed preoccupied by Nationals rookie Bryce Harper. He was even better in June, posting a .372/.419/.531 line and helping the Angels to a 17-9 record in the month to pull within 4.5 games of the division-leading Rangers.
It was what he did on June 27 in Baltimore, however, that finally made the baseball world truly sit up and take notice. With his family and friends watching at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Trout made an unbelievable leaping catch in center field to rob shortstop J.J. Hardy of a first-inning home run. The catch was replayed for weeks and when people started to look at what he was doing with his bat and on the bases, as well, the youngster was not only a lock for the All-Star game, but suddenly in the discussion for AL MVP.
In July, Trout moved from “discussion” to “front runner,” posting an astounding .392/.455/.804 line. Comparisons to baseball’s immortals — DiMaggio, Williams, Mays, Mantle, even Ruth — became commonplace as statistical projections started to paint a picture of accomplishments matched only by the greatest of all-time — or no one in some cases.
Though he “slumped” to .287/.383/.500 from Aug. 1 on, and the Angels were ultimately unable to keep up with the Rangers and surprise division-winning Athletics, Trout made three more remarkable HR-robbing catches and sold more merchandise in the Angels team store than Pujols and all of his teammates combined.
At 10.7, he led the Major Leagues in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), a “new-age” unit of measure that combines all conceivable statistical information — offense, defense and base running — into the number of victories a player is worth over a league-average alternative. Only three players in history posted a higher WAR before the age of 25: Ruth (11.6 in 1920), Gehrig (11.5 in 1927) and Mantle (11.1 in 1957 and 11.0 in 1956). His season ranks 20th all-time and every player ahead of Trout (Ruth, Hornsby, Yastrzemski, Bonds*, Gehrig, Ripken, Wagner, Cobb, Mantle, Mays, Morgan, Musial and Williams) is in the Hall of Fame.
For Angels fans, it was a rookie campaign for the ages, only the franchise’s second ROY (Salmon, 1993) and left just one question: What will he do for an encore?
A running list of Mike Trout's accomplishments
All-Star Futures Game selection (2010)
American League Most Valuable Player (2014)
3× American League Player of the Month (Jul. 2012, Jun. 2014, Jul. 2015)
3× American League Player of the Week (Jun. 11, 2012; Jul. 13, 2014; Jul, 12, 2015)
4× American League Rookie of the Month (May–August 2012)
American League Rookie of the Year (2012)
2× Baseball America Major League Player of the Year (2012, 2013)
2× Baseball America Minor League Baseball All-Star Team selection (2010, 2011)
Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year (2011)
3× Baseball America Top 100 prospect (2010–12)
ESPY Award for Best Major League Baseball Player (2015)
Fielding Bible Award at center field (2012)
GIBBY/This Year in Baseball Hitter of the Year (2014)
GIBBY/This Year in Baseball Rookie of the Year (2012)
Hank Aaron Award (2014)
Heart & Hustle Award (2012)
J. G. Taylor Spink Award (2010)
4× Major League Baseball All-Star Game selection (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
2× Major League Baseball All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (2014, 2015)
MLB.com Top 100 prospect (2012)
Players Choice Award for American League Outstanding Player (2014)
Players Choice Award for American League Outstanding Rookie (2012)
4× Silver Slugger Award at outfield (2012–15)
Sporting News Rookie of the Year (2012)
Topps Minor League Baseball All-Star (2010)
USA Today Minor League Player of the Year (2011)
Wilson American League Defensive Player of the Year (2012)
Mike Trout Highlight Video clipsK BELOW TO LISTEN TO A FISH LIKE THIS