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.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.