The 2012 Major League Baseball season has been a great one for stories. But the main story that hits the front page almost everyday is: What did Mike Trout do last night? Mike Trout, Center Fielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, is having one of the best rookie seasons in baseball history for a position player. How historic you ask? Well let me try to put it in perspective for you. Look at these great rookie seasons before him:
Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners RF 2001
Stats: .350/.381/.457, 8 HR, 69 RBI, 242 H, 127 R, 56 SB, 126 OPS+, Gold Glove, MVP, ROY
Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals 1B 2001
Stats: .329/.403/.610, 37 HR, 130 RBI, 47 2B, 112 R, 157 OPS+, 4th in MVP
Mike Piazza, Los Angeles Dodgers C 1993
Stats: .318/.370/.561, 35 HR, 112 RBI, 81 R, 153 OPS+, 9th in MVP
Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox RF 1939
Stats: .327/.436/.609, 31 HR, 145 RBI, 44 2B, 11 3B, 131 R, 160 OPS+, 4th in MVP
Frank Robinson, Cincinnati Reds OF 1959
Stats: .290/.379/.558, 38 HR, 83 RBI, 122 R, 143 OPS+, 7th in MVP
Fred Lynn, Boston Red Sox CF 1975
Stats: .331/.401/.566, 21 HR, 105 RBI, 47 2B, 103 R, 162 OPS+, Gold Glove, MVP, ROY
*WAR: Wins above replacement
Above you see the names and statistics of some of the best rookie seasons of all time by position players. As you see they all seem to have many statistics in common. Most have a batting average above .315, hit 25 plus homeruns, and knock in over 100 runs batted in. Two in that list did the impossible. Fred Lynn of the Red Sox in 1975 won both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards which he was the only one to do so in history for 26 years. From Fred Lynn to the man who equalized his feat Ichiro Suzuki became the second player in Major League Baseball to win Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player awards. Kepp in mind, Lynn was 23, while Ichiro was 28.
Now how does Mike Trout compare as of July 30th, 2012 to these men above? Let's see:
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim CF 2012
Stats: .351/.408/.600, 17 HR, 53 RBI, 114 Hits, 78 R, 31 SB, 1.008 OPS, A.L. All Star
As of those stats above Mr. Trout at the age of 20 (21 on August 7th) is on pace for one of the "best" rookie seasons in MLB history. Many believe as do I that Mike Trout will win both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards this season. Why not? Look at the numbers as of July 30. Trout is hitting over .350, on base over .400, a leader hitter with 17 home runs, 53 runs batted in, and is on pace to get close to 200 hits this season. Plus there are a couple of stats I want to talk about that aren't posted above for Mike.
Oneof those is his hitting with runners in scoring position stat. Trout is hitting .385, but RISP with 2 outs he is hitting .290 which is remarkable for a rookie. Trout not only does well with runners on and in scoring position he comes in the clutch with RISP with 2 outs. It is just mind blowing. Those are just his hitting stats he also is an amazing fielder. Trout has made only 3 errors in outfield with a fielding percentage of .992 in center field. The numbers will only grow as we have two months left in the season plus we don't if the Angels will make the playoffs and what he will do on that stage.
There are two players I mentioned before that won both ROY and MVP in the same season. Those two were Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 and Fred Lynn in 1975. Besides winning those two awards both teams made it to the playoffs, each won gold gloves, hit over .300, and made the all star team. Mike Trout has already made the All Star this season, the Angels on pace to make the playoffs, he is on pace to win a gold glove, leads American League with batting average, and the favorite for ROY award.
Many due believe that to automatically win this award besides looking straight at your statistics that your team has to make the playoffs. I do not believe that your team needs to make the playoffs for you to win such an award, but if you look at past recipients of ROY or CY Young or MVP all the players who have won their teams made the playoffs. So as the Angels stand second in the AL West and tied with the A's in Wildcard. Mike Trout is making his chance of winning those prestigious awards easier every day with the Angels.
So do you believe Mike Trout is having the "BEST" rookie season in MLB history? Here is my answer. He certainly is on his way to making it the "BEST" rookie season of all time. If Trout were to make the playoffs, win the batting title, gold glove , lead in steals, come in the top five in hits, keep batting average with RISP with 2 outs where it is now, and stay in the lead in steals his 2012 rookie season in my book would become the best rookie year of all-time by a position player.
*All stats obtained on baseball-reference.com