Mike Trout: Has the world's best baseball player finally.
May 20, 2022
Mike Trout, who entered Major League Baseball as a 19-year-old back in 2011, has long been regarded as one of the best players in the league. The three-time MVP award winner finished second in the voting four times as well. It makes for one of the most impressive resumes of any player in the first dozen seasons of their career.
Despite Trout's success as a player, the Los Angeles Angels have not been particularly successful as a team. Los Angeles posted only four winning records and made the playoffs just once in 12 seasons. With a 24-16 record and one of the most impressive run differentials in the majors, the Angels blazed to a fast start in the 2022 MLB season.
One game separates the Angels from the mighty Houston Astros, who dominated the American League West in the past few years. However, this Angels squad has the potential to change that with a balanced squad, a stellar Trout season, and Shohei Ohtani's freakish talent.
While there are still plenty of baseball games left in the 2022 MLB season, the Angels could be a serious contender in the American League. Here are the reasons why.
1. The Angels are among the most balanced teams in MLB
In recent years, baseball has been a game driven by statistics. Simply put, the goal of baseball is to score runs and prevent runs from being scored. In both the team ERA and runs scored categories, the team ranks among the top ten with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Houston Astros, the New York Yankees, and the New York Mets.
Moreover, the Angels posted the second-best run differential in the American League, better than the Astros. Despite their fielding issues, it is clear that they are one of the more balanced teams in baseball.
2. Trout is surrounded by elite players
Ohtani, Taylor Ward, Noah Syndergaard, and Patrick Sandoval are only a few teammates surrounding Trout who contributed to the Angels' success in 2022.
The Angels also have another player who has been performing better than Trout at the plate in the 2022 MLB season. Ward has been somewhat of a late bloomer, but he has exploded for a career-high of an MLB-leading 1.209 OPS with nine home runs, 23 RBI, and 26 runs scored.
With a strong pitching staff and elite-level lineup protection, the Angels should not be underestimated in the American League in 2022.
3. Trout is enjoying a great season
Trout still does not get the attention he deserves. With a 1.120 OPS, Trout is only second to teammate Taylor Ward in terms of OPS. He ranks second in runs scored. With 2.7 Wins Above Replacement, he is tied with San Diego Padres star Manny Machado for the most in the league. In 2022, Trout has been a dominant offensive force and he seems poised to win his fourth American League MVP award.
Trout has been a stellar player, but his performance has not always translated into success for his team, as his career shows. However, the tide has turned in 2022. The Angels and Mike Trout need to be taken seriously in 2022.