Mike Trout, 2012 American League Rookie of the Year
He’s 21-years-old and swings the bat like Alex Rodriguez in his prime. He’s a mirror image of Ken Griffey Jr. in the outfield. He’s Mike Trout, 2012 American League Rookie of the Year.
Who would’ve ever known that a 21-year-old could finish a rookie season with numbers that Trout posted. His mix of power, speed, and intelligence in his repertoire gave Angel’s fans only a glimpse of what’s going to come in the near future from this guy.
Batting Average: .326 (2nd in AL)
Home runs: 30 (Tied 9th in AL)
RBI: 83 (19th in AL)
OBP: .399 (3rd in AL)
SB: 49 (1st in AL)
SLG: .564 (3rd in AL)
Although Trout was edged by Tigers 1st/3rd basemen Miguel Cabrera for the league MVP last year, Trout’s defense is what sets him apart from Cabrera. Trout saved numerous runs from scoring with his stellar glove. His consistent play making ability is no match for Cabrera’s sluggish defense he portrays at the corner infield positions.
Trout may be a more complete player than Cabrera, but Cabrera did bat .330 with 44 home runs; numbers that would make anyone deserving of the Most Valuable Player award.
Before Trout made his mark in the big leagues, 21 teams passed on the opportunity to sign him. Among the 25 was the New York Yankees that ironically traded that pick to the Angels in exchange for Mark Teixiera.
With his imprint made around the league, Trout has accrued 4.2 Wins Above Replacement all under 330 total at-bats. It’s safe to say that Trout will be an All-Star for years to come. Any guy who can perform like he did in their rookie season deserves the award he has been given.
Throughout 2012, Trout flourished in night games. His .343 batting average under the lights didn’t compare to his .285-day game average. Although some may argue a weakness in his game, there may be indications of a slight set back. Trout hit .267 against left-handed pitchers. Despite the low average, he eradicated that number with his consistent batting average (.318 at home .332 away).
Acquiring all 28 first place votes, it was evident that every major league fan felt Trout was the only one deserving of the award, and who could blame them? Among the candidates were, Tampa Bay pitcher Matt Moore, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, and Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. All candidates performed at high levels, but none matched the intensity, consistency, and tenacity that Trout brought to the game.
2013 will mark his sophomore season which fans should expect nothing less than what they saw this past season. Although the Angels didn’t perform at the level people expected them with the signing of Albert Pujols, they’ll be a playoff contending team, and with Trout on the roster, maybe even a world series favorite.