In no uncertain terms, Mike Trout has been the best player in baseball basically since his rookie year. He’s won two MVPs, probably should have won even more and has never finished lower than fourth in MVP voting. He has never missed an All-Star game. He has had four seasons of 8 bWAR or more since 2012, no player has more than one in that span.
It’s the natural order of sports that players get better as they go from their early 20s to their late 20s, but it was within reason to think he was already playing at his ceiling. There didn’t seem to be many ways he could get better. And yet, he’s somehow still getting better.
Mike Trout posts career game vs. Yankees
For the first time in his career, Trout posted a 5-hit game, as well as four extra base hits, at Yankee Stadium in an 11-4 Angels win. It’s quite surprising Trout had never hit five hits in a game given that 107 other players have managed to do it during his career, but that fact is no longer true.
Trout opened the game’s scoring with an RBI double in the first inning, then added another double in the third inning, homered in the fourth inning, added yet another double in the sixth inning and then threw in an infield single in the seventh inning just to show off his speed.
Mike Trout vs. the Yankees tonight:
109.4 mph double
97.9 mph double
106.8 mph home run
111.2 mph double
It's his first career game with four extra-base hits.
— David Adler (@_dadler) May 27, 2018
Mike Trout’s season so far
That homer also tied Trout for the MLB home run lead at 17 homers, tied with Mookie Betts of the Red Sox. With both players hitting homers at career clips, the homer race might mirror the AL MVP race.
Trout is now on pace for 53 homers, 140 runs, a .461 on-base percentage and a .687 slugging percentage. All marks would represent a new career-high.
As if that wasn’t enough to improve, Trout entered the game batting just 7-for-34 against Yankees starter Sonny Gray, who had seen Trout plenty from his time pitching for the Athletics. Two doubles and a homer later, you could say Trout’s numbers vs. Gray have jumped a bit.
“I just felt like I was seeing a good pitch to hit and not missing it,” Trout told Ken Rosenthal on the Fox broadcast. “I faced him a lot when he was in Oakland. I kinda knew all his pitches, he’s a tough pitcher. I went to bat every time out there against him.
Not the only star at Yankee Stadium
Trout wasn’t the only player to make waves in this Angels-Yankees game, as Aaron Judge continued his torrid home run pace to begin his career. With a long ball in the first inning, Judge became the fastest player in MLB history to reach 70 career homers, doing so in just 231 games. That mark just beat the Phillies’ Ryan Howard, who did so in 233 career games.
It’s safe to say fans got their money’s worth at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, even though it was the home team getting worked over by Trout.
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