After signing a career forming contract that will likely leave him in an Angels uniform for the rest of his career, Mike Trout sets out to lead his team into the playoffs. Most pundits and projection systems have the Angels as a slightly improved team from 2018 that is one of the last teams to miss the playoffs. While there is some chance that the Angels out-perform these predictions a lot will ride on players not-named Mike Trout. Most notably the starting pitching staff will have to exhibit greater resilience to injury than it has shown in the last several years. Other players such as Justin Upton and Shohei Ohtani will need to return from injury with the power to impact the offense in ways that prevent teams from intentionally walking Trout.
It’s finally done. Mike Trout has signed a contract extension that will almost certainly wrap up his career. The Angels created a new deal for Trout that gives him a pay raise over the next two years and extends him for 10 years beyond that for a total of $426.5 million. The average annual value of the deal is just under $36 million dollars a year. By many accounts it’s a steal considering Trout could be worth $80 million a year over the next four years. One writer was bold enough to say that he should be worth a billion dollars over 12 years (but he’s not getting it because of cultural norms). The Angels might be overpaying on the last few years of the deal, but at his current rate of production, they’ll be paying off earlier years of excess value.
MLB released a ride-along interview with Mike Trout as he prepares for the season at Spring Training in Arizona. The discuss what it’s like to be a teammate with Shohei Ohtani, the toughest pitcher in the league and the pitch he has the toughest time with. It’s a great watch.
Toughest pitcher to face in @MLB? Playing with Shohei?
The Angels have released their promotional schedule for the 2019 season. The list includes several Mike Trout themed items including jerseys, hats, coolers, backpacks and two bobbleheads. The first bobblehead celebrates Trout’s six Silver Slugger Awards. The second honors the Angels professional sports neighbor the Anaheim Ducks.
April 5, Friday – Rangers
Promotion: Trout Silver Slugger Bobblehead Presented By Presented By Automobile Club of Southern California
April 20, Saturday – Mariners
Promotion: Youth Trout Jersey Presented By Angels Radio AM830 | Youth jerseys for first 10,000 fans ages 3-13, while supplies last.
The 2018 season began with a great deal of promise for Mike Trout. Trout had recently gotten married and seen his favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, win the Super Bowl. In addtion, the Angels offseason saw the addition of Justin Upton (through a contract extension), Zack Cozart, Ian Kinsler and the two-way phenom, Shohei Ohtani. It appeared the Angels would be on track for their first playoff appearance since 2014.
The season started with a bang as the Angels won 11 of their first 13 games. The offense seemed to be on fire and the pitching staff healthier than it had been in years. But that optimism didn’t last much past May. Key injuries to Kenyan Middleton, Garret Richards, Shohei Ohtani, and Zack Cozart railroaded the team. In addition Kole Calhoun ran into a major hitting slump which required him to rework his entire swing in the offseason. Justin Upton had a mediocre start to his season that didn’t really strengthen until the latter part of the year. All of these plus a slew of other injuries robbed the Angels of a winning season. Meanwhile Mike Trout continued to do Mike Trout things. Continue reading Diamond in the Rough – 2018 Season Review→
Mike Trout publicly shared his grief over the passing of his brother-in-law Aaron via a Facebook and Twitter post. It’s a heart-touching post that expresses his love for the man he felt was his best friend.
Mike Trout celebrated his twenty seventh birthday in a special way. Instead of setting up a private booth at a club or buying a new car he took time out of his schedule to visit kids at a local children’s hospital with a couple of his teammates. Here are some great videos and photos of Trout showing what kind of role model an athlete can be.
Leave it to our awesome patients to properly celebrate Mike Trout’s big day when he and his teammates visited CHOC Children’s Hospital today. Happy 27th birthday to No. 27 @MikeTrout – and thank you to the team for visiting today! Go @Angels! pic.twitter.com/YDeqjkF3oe
On the Monday before the All Star Game Bill Shaikin started a lot of trouble by publishing a piece in the LA Times about the struggles in getting Mike Trout the kind of attention he deserves. Aside from playing most of his games on the West Coast and a lack of playoff appearances Shaikin also stated that Trout turns down high profile opportunities to promote himself and the sport. Torii Hunter is quoted in the piece as saying:
“If Mike really wanted to, if he got a marketing team and everything, he would be the face of baseball,” . . . “He doesn’t. He wants to be with his wife and keep it simple.
“It’s his choice. It’s not anybody else’s choice.”
At the end of the article Shaikin asks:
Should the league do a better job of promoting him?
“I don’t know,” Trout said. “I’m not telling anybody to do that.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred went on The Dan Patrick Show (go to the 33 minute mark) the next day and when asked about promoting players cited Shaikin’s piece and agreed with it. Manfred felt it was the responsibility of the league to promote its players but they could only promote them as much as they were willing to be promoted.