Because simply being the best player in the league as a 20-year-old wasn’t nearly enough for Mike Trout, the Angels outfielder celebrated his 21st birthday last night by homering against the A’s.
ESPN’s stats department found that Trout joins Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, Alex Rodriguez, and Jason Heyward as the only players to homer on their 21st birthday since 1939.
Which goes nicely with Trout joining Williams, Rodriguez, and Mel Ott as the only 20-year-olds with an OPS above 1.000.
Trout has played 88 games since being called up by the Angels in late April and prorating his numbers for a full, 162-game season looks like this: .348 batting average, .409 on-base percentage, .601 slugging percentage, 1.009 OPS, 37 homers, 38 doubles, 10 triples, 68 walks, 66 steals, 110 RBIs, 161 runs.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.