Mike Trout started the season slowly. At least slowly compared to what he did in his Rookie of the Year season. But he has been tearin’ up the pea patch since then.
Last night Trout reached base in all five of his plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. He has a seven-game hitting streak and since being put back in the leadoff position on June 8 he’s hitting .383/.483/.638 over 12 games. For the season he’s hitting .317/.395/.556 with 12 homers, 44 RBI and 16 stolen bases. His OPS+ at the moment is 167. Last year it was 169. All of that despite the fact that he was only hitting .261/.333/.432 at the end of April.
Trout, in case you were inclined to believe otherwise, is not a one-year wonder.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.