04 May Mike Trout: AL Player Of The Month; Sets The Bar For Elite Play
By: Chris Northrop
In a universe in which a star is going supernova, all the other stars tend to pale by comparison. AL Rookie of the Month, Aaron Judge, stole the stage from AL Player of the month, Mike Trout in April. The breakout rookie upstaging the grizzled veteran is the oldest story in baseball. In this instance, the grizzled veteran is a still youthful, Mike Trout, who just keeps producing at an elite level year after year since he was the rookie sensation for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2012. In April, Trout batted .363/.455/.706 with 7 HRs, 18 RBIs and a WAR of 2.2.
These are superb numbers for Trout, easily the best of his career. Also bests for his career are the 1.151 OPS he posted and the 14 game hitting streak which became a 15 game hitting streak as Monday May 1st closed play. Clearly, Mike Trout is the best player in baseball today. How did Trout stack up against Judge in April? Judge’s slash line of .303/.411/.750 with 10 HRs in April amazed Yankee fans who watched him struggle at the plate when he was called up at the end of last season. Trout beat the rookie in all but OPS. Now, Judge is being talked by about by some not only as the AL Rookie of the Month for April, but also forecast as the MVP of the AL by season’s end.
Clearly a rush to judgment, no pun intended. Let’s not rush to crown Judge just yet, there’s many months of baseball left in the 2017 season and, unlike Trout, he has yet to prove himself over a season, let alone over five seasons as Trout has. If Trout keeps on pace, he’ll surpass his career numbers (.308/.407/.562) and continue to raise the bar for Judge and the rest of the league to follow.