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Mike Trout, Five Tool Star Center-Fielder

Updated on April 3, 2018

Epic Major Leaguer, Mike Trout


Mike Trout - the most exciting player in Major League Baseball

Baseball is a game of visual excitement. You get to see big men throw little balls at around one hundred miles per hour in the direction of other big men trying to hit those round balls with a round bat. Sometimes those balls get hit very very hard, and sometimes very far. Baseball is a game of reflexes, not endurance. Fast twitch muscle fibers tend to rule the day on every baseball field.

Speaking of fast twitch muscle fibers, there may be no one playing Major League Baseball who is quicker with the reflexes than is Mike Trout. There are a huge lot of folks who adore the game of baseball who will tell you straight up and unequivocally that Mike Trout is the best player in all of baseball. Some people will go even further and say he's the most advanced professional athlete playing in any professional sport today. Clearly, the guy is making some big impressions on people.

Mike Trout scores again


Mike Trout - the five tool player

In baseball men are routinely evaluated on their physical skills. A player's shortcomings are forever on full blast. Everyone will know what your weakness is in baseball, and they'll talk about it and you in all the papers and radio shows, and, of course, on the internet.

You'll hear people talk about how wonderful a glove someone is, but they don't have much of a throwing arm. You'll hear about the amazing power bat another guy has, but he hits at such a low batting average he can't make the team. Then there's the guy who can always get on base, but he runs as slow as Christmas.

Mike Trout is the most complete player in all of Major League Baseball today. He can hit for a high average, he can hit for power, he is a terrific fielder, runner, and thrower. He's that fabled guy who is called the five tool player. He's so well renowned for being a total package that President Obama has used Trout's name to sell one of his legislative packages, which the President said had a lot of tools.

I know how ridiculous it sounds, but Mike Trout could probably be a big league pitcher too. No, it is unlikely to the extreme that he'll ever get much of a chance to pitch in the Majors. Just you keep in mind he threw a no-hitter in high school.

Mike Trout in the middle of a home run swing

This swing resulted in a four hundred and sixty three foot home run.
This swing resulted in a four hundred and sixty three foot home run. | Source

Mike Trout and a leaping catch.

Who can compare to Mike Trout?

Baseball is a game of strategy, skill, and statistics. Baseball is a lot more than just that, of course, but the statistical analysis end of baseball is booming in today's world more than ever before. There are a lot of new statistics being used to measure a player's performance and there are new statistics used to make for better strategies. It just goes on and on. It grows and grows.

All these things, these newfangled statistics are just feeding and feeding the growing legend that is Mike Trout. Trout is the statistician's dream machine. Who can compare to Mike Trout? Well, the first and most obvious person is the late and great Mickey Mantle. Truly, I think Mike Trout even looks like Mickey Mantle. Of course the late New York Yankees legend was also an outstanding center-fielder, and a five tool player, at least until he injured himself out of his prolific running speed. Though Mickey Mantle was a very fast runner, he was never the kind of runner or base stealing threat Mike Trout is. Other than that, the biggest difference between Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle is that Trout is only a right handed hitter. Mantle, of course, batted from either side of the plate.

One of the most used of the new statistics is wins above replacement. Wins above replacement attempts to quantify the total value of a given player to the player's team.The only player in Major League Baseball who can compare to Mike trout in the realm of the statistic of wins above replacement during the time Trout has played is starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. There is little if any doubt at all that in this exact time in Major League Baseball, Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw are the two single most highly regarded and coveted players in the game.

Outside the statistic of wins above replacement we can see the truest comparisons for players can only be had by comparing players who play the same position. So the Mickey Mantle comparison is a good one, as is a comparison of Mike Trout to another Hall of Fame center-field guy, Willie Mays. Despite the fact Mays hit more home runs in his career than did Mantle, Mays is mostly now remembered for his superlative fielding ability. Center field is right there with short stop, or possibly even more difficult to play than is short-stop. You have to have great running ability and a cannon of a throwing arm to play center-field, and even those two traits aren't enough if you can't read where the ball is going in near instantaneous time. So the Mike Trout and Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle comparisons are good ones, and will continue. What about people who've played Major League Baseball in more recent years?

Ken Griffey Jr. is now in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, and that is where he belongs, but Griffey's career is recent enough for us to compare to. Comparing Trout to Griffey is the most honest comparison as they will have both played in the same era, even though they never played in the Major League at the same time. Griff was definitely a five tool wunderkind as is Trout.

Mike Trout and his flawless swing


Who compares to Mike Trout in hitting?

In baseball if you fail only seven out of every ten times you get a chance to hit, you're a baseball star. You're typically looking at a guy standing on a hill just sixty feet and six inches away from you, and he's throwing a hard little ball in your direction at speeds that eclipse one hundred miles per hour sometimes. You've got a round bat to hit that round ball squarely with, and you're hoping to hit it hard enough and place it so that none of the nine opposing fielders can catch it or otherwise get you out with it.

Every tenth of a second the ball pitched to you travels another twelve feet. Trout gets about .07 seconds to recognize the speed and trajectory of the ball, and he's got to decide whether to swing at the thing or not. Of course the ball traveled another ten feet in that .07 seconds. Trout, of course, being one of the quickest of all in baseball, still has more of an advantage than just about anyone alive.

The art of swinging a baseball bat is a subject which has been studied very very thoroughly. A player like Trout has his every swing recorded and thought about. He's got as flawless a swing, mechanically speaking, as anyone ever has. Of course the goal is hitting the ball, and hitting it hard. There's more going on than that, though, as the player wants to hit the ball as hard as he possibly can. You want every ounce of power and weight you have behind your swing at the exact moment it hits that ball.

Mike Trout is listed as standing six feet and two inches, and weighing in at two hundred and thirty five pounds. The man is built like a tank. Still, Trout isn't big by baseball standards at all. The thing is, when he hits a baseball he hits it so very hard so often that he's only comparable to the biggest and strongest men in the Major Leagues. So you will see Trout compared to the monster of a man known of as Giancarlo Stanton. While Stanton is listed as weighing only 240 pounds for his six feet and six inches, I wonder if that isn't fudged a bit. In any event, Trout is often compared to Stanton, and only because there are few to compare to Stanton. Yes, Stanton's exit velocity measuring the speed of the ball off his bat is slightly faster than Trout's is. Trout though, is forever getting a lot more hits than Stanton, and so he hits for a much better average than does Stanton.

Mike Trout's five tool baseball highlights from 2014

Can Mike Trout win a triple crown?

How good is Mike Trout? Well, I entered the search terms 'can Mike Trout win a tripe crown?' into Google search engine, and the first thing that popped up as a search result was something saying that even were Miguel Cabrera to win a triple crown, Mike Trout is still the best player in all of baseball. Yes, I know, it is just Google and some search results. Thing is, Miguel Cabrera may be as great a hitter as Trout, but he doesn't play center-field.

Trout and Cabrera are both so good and so very comparable as hitters that very likely, the only reason one of them doesn't win the triple crown in a given year is because the other one of them stole one third of the crown. Just so things are forever the more interesting with two leagues, there is Bryce Harper, another legitimate triple crown threat. Let's not get carried away just yet with Harper, he's only had one season of the kind of offense that Trout and Cabrera have proved to have over several more seasons.

Miguel Cabrera won the American League triple crown in batting in 2012. For this his name will always be among the greatest of the greats to play Major League Baseball. If anyone is going to join Cabrera on the roll call of triple crown winners in batting, and is playing today, that person is Mike Trout.

Mike Trout - one of baseball's fastest runners


How fast is Mike Trout?

While mike Trout is clearly one of the fastest runners in Major League Baseball, we can't call him the fastest runner. Then again, we can't just rule him out straight away either. Most people at this time judge Billy Hamilton to be the single swiftest foot man in the Major Leagues. Dee Gordon, another major contender, has been recorded running faster than Trout as well. Trout is no slouch in the fleetest of feet contest though, he's been recorded running at over twenty miles per hour. A 2015 statistics organization recorded Billy Hamilton's running speed at 21.2 miles per hour, Dee Gordon at 21.1 miles per hour, and Trout at 20.8 miles per hour.

Trout won the American league Rookie of the year award in 2012. He led the American league that year in stolen bases with forty nine steals. He also led the American league in runs that year, and he did so the next two seasons as well. Yes, Trout has had declining totals in stolen bases every year since his rookie year. He has stated that for 2016 he will be putting a renewed emphasis on the stolen base game. Suffice it to say you don't lead your league in runs scored for three straight seasons without being very, very fast.

Mike Trout takes a vicious swing


Mike Trout: The Inspirational Story of Baseball Superstar Mike Trout (Mike Trout Unauthorized Biography, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, MLB Books)

What next for Mike Trout?

Now the steroid era of baseball is mostly done away with, we've entered a new age to where we can admire modern athletes for their performances and know they're legitimate. We can judge our Major League ballplayers more objectively. Today's pitchers are throwing harder than ever, and the age of the one hundred miles per hour fastball, as a common pitch, is upon us. Mike Trout is the hero of the day. He is practically wearing a superman t-shirt already, what more can we expect from him?

We can literally expect more from the man. Going into the 2016 season Trout is only 25 years old, and he won't be 26 until August. An athlete isn't thought to be into his prime years until he reaches 27. The list of accolades and accomplishments this guy has already is too long to print out here, and you can forever get that on Wikipedia. Barring injuries, Trout is the greatest player since Alex Rodriguez, but again, Trout has never been suspected of performance enhancing drug use. So maybe he's the greatest thing since Derek Jeter? Eh, maybe in popularity, but Jeter never had the kind of power that Trout has. In a game of statistics, comparisons are inevitable, and so many are now claiming Trout as the greatest thing since Ted Williams. These days there are much deeper pools of talent to choose from for Major League Baseball, and so no comparison with a player of days gone by is ever satisfactory. You may or may not be rooting for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but everyone who loves baseball is rooting for the amazing Mike Trout. Thanks for reading.

Mike Trout's amazing 2015 highlights

© 2016 Wesman Todd Shaw


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