Mike Trout has been baseball’s elite player for the past nine seasons. It’s too bad the Los Angeles Angels can’t win with him on the roster.
Mike Trout has been unquestionably baseball’s elite player since he broke in with the Los Angeles Angels back in 2012. Over the past nine years, he’s finished in the top two in AL MVP voting eight out of nine years (finishing fourth in an injury-shortened 2017), winning the award three times, while earning an All-Star spot and a Silver Slugger Award every year.
This year, Trout is again having a great season. Though his OPS is down slightly, the power numbers are great for a shortened season, with 17 home runs and 46 RBIs. He figures to be in the MVP discussion yet again this year.
The Angels are wasting Trout’s best years
Yet it’s sad that the Angels have done little winning with Trout on the roster. With the Angels now officially eliminated from playoff consideration for 2020, as Trout will turn 30 in August of next year, the team will now go through his entire 20s without a single postseason win.
They only have made the playoffs once during that time, in 2014, when they were swept by the eventual AL Champion Kansas City Royals.
This season, it wasn’t for lack of trying to build a roster around Trout on the Angels’ part. They brought in the highly-regarded Joe Maddon to manage the team, and they made a big splash in free agency by bringing in Anthony Rendon. While they missed out on Gerrit Cole, they did upgrade the rotation by adding Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran.
Bundy has been solid, but Teheran has been awful. On the offensive side, again apart from Rendon, Trout hasn’t gotten the help he’s needed; Albert Pujols is well past his prime, Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton have been a bit of a disappointment, and Jo Adell has struggled in his first taste of big league ball, among other players.
Even with a 16-team playoff field, the Angels still couldn’t get in this year. With more opportunities to play in the postseason, the Angels still can’t seem to break through.
Will the Angels do anything this offseason to improve the roster again? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, with Trout signed long-term, the Angels have got to figure out how to build a winner around him. It’s an absolute shame that we haven’t been able to see the game’s biggest star much in postseason action.