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Stat of the Week: Mike Trout is Even More Amazing

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By Jon Becker

In this, a season of many, many home runs, 162 batters have hit at least 11 home runs.

Mike Trout has hit 11 home runs in his last 13 games.

Since July 3, the first of 13 games, here’s where Trout ranks among qualified hitters:

HR: 1st, with 11

RBI: 2nd, with 23 (Yuli Gurriel has 24, in four more games played)

SLG: 1st, 1.040 (Gurriel is next closest at .884)

OPS: 1st, 1.437 (Ramon Laureano ranks second at 1.323)

Isolated Power: 1st, .720 (Gurriel is next at under .500)

That 1.040 slugging percentage is the highest Trout’s ever had over a 13-game period in his entire career, topping the .975 SLG he had from May 12 through May 25 of 2017, when he hit only seven homers.

It’s an amazing tear Trout’s been on for sure, but let’s not minimize just how awesome he’s been for the entire season.

Trout leads the American League in HR (33), RBI (80), OBP (.445), Slug Pct (.666), OPS (1.110), BB (79), IBB (11), and WAR (6.6 on both Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs).

If he continues on this pace, he’ll set or tie his career-highs in all of the stats above except for OBP and IBB, all while striking out less than ever (under 18% of plate appearances) and pulling the ball with authority (44% of balls in play). His hard-hit rate of 34% would also represent a new high-water mark (it was 33% last season).

It’s not just hitting, though. A big part of Trout’s value comes from his all-around play, which has also stayed strong. He’s gained more bases on baserunning advances (taking a base on a wild pitch, going first to third on a single, etc.) than he did in each of the last two seasons (+15 Bases Gained in 2019).

Defensively, Trout has also remained steady according to Defensive Runs Saved. He’s saved four runs in center so far, which would represent his second straight season of providing positive value in the field after costing the Angels six runs in 2017.

His arm has been his most-improved attribute, in the field or otherwise. He’s already got four unaided outfield assists (those without a cutoff man), just one off of his career high. And opposing baserunners have taken the extra base in only 30 of 64 opportunities (47%). He’s never finished a season with an extra-base-taken percentage under 50%.

If there’s one thing to watch it’s how he can adjust to balls hit to the deepest part of the outfield; he’s saved two plays fewer than an average fielder would have the last three seasons, after saving 21 more than average over his first six years in center.

Every season, there’s always debate about who’s having the best season. But in those discussions, Trout is the only constant from year to year. As the numbers always show, he rates as the best player in Major League Baseball.

On the newest edition of the Sports Info Solutions podcast, Tigers broadcaster Kirk Gibson discusses trying to measure how a player survives a season, and what goes into a swing change. Dan Brooks of Brooks Baseball tells us what to expect at Saberseminar 2019. Listen here.

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