Don’t let 20-year-old Mike Trout be overshadowed by 19-year-old Bryce Harper

32 Comments

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is getting all sorts of attention for doing things rarely done by 19-year-old hitters, and rightfully so, but Angels outfielder Mike Trout probably deserves a little more attention for doing things rarely done by 20-year-old hitters.

Trout doubled and drove in two runs against the Yankees last night and is now hitting .303 with a .366 on-base percentage and .521 slugging percentage in 30 games. That includes five homers, seven doubles, and two triples in 119 at-bats, plus eight steals in 10 attempts and some spectacular outfield defense.

Sure, he’s a year older and that’s a big part of the attention gap, but Trout tops Harper in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage while running more and being more valuable with his glove.

Trout’s current .887 OPS would be the highest by any 20-year-old since Alex Rodriguez in 1996 and in the entire history of baseball only Rodriguez, Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Al Kaline, Jimmie Foxx, Frank Robinson, and Mickey Mantle have posted a higher OPS at age 20 while qualifying for the batting title.

Trout has a long way to go to maintain that production for an entire season, but all seven of those guys are either in the Hall of Fame or will be some day. He might not get as much attention as Harper right now, but Trout has played even better and what he’s doing at age 20 is pretty incredible.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
23 Comments

The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.