Can’t wait for ESPN the Magazine’s survey about what people think of THESE guys. The unlucky winners:
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Minor League outfielder Brandon Bayardi, who is on the roster of the rookie-level Orem Owlz of the Pioneer League, has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine.
- New York Mets Minor League left-handed pitcher Daniel Huchingson, who is on the roster of the Double-A Binghamton Mets of the Eastern League, has been suspended for 50 games without pay after a second violation for a drug of abuse.
- Toronto Blue Jays Minor League catcher Sean Ochinko, who is on the roster of the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons of the International League, has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine.
Nice mix of drugs this week, guys. Really like to see that out there. Way to keep ’em guessing. Now, everyone in … 1! 2! 3! Drugs! — “DRUGS!!”
That’s what I like to see.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.