Mike Trout is on pace to have the highest WAR season in Major League Baseball history. It takes a special effort to improve upon his previous seven stellar years. Leading the league in runs, homers, walks, on-base percentage, OPS, total bases, and intentional walks qualifies. And as we approach the halfway point of the campaign, he’s somehow finding new ways to astound.
Like the torrid eight-game stretch he’s on right now. Trout has hit .696 and reached base in 29 of his last 37 at-bats. He has 16 hits, 11 walks, a hit-by-pitch, and drew a catcher’s interference during that span. That’s good for an on-base percentage of .784.
Over the past week, he’s gone, 4 for 4, 4 for 5, 5 for 5, 2 for 4, 4 for 5 (and the out was a sacrifice fly), 4 for 5, and 3 for 5 in the on-base department. Only one of his last 14 plate appearance has resulted into a return trip to the dugout. He’s made a total of seven outs in seven games.
Trout is 26. He’d be a Hall of Famer if he never stepped into the batter’s box again. We’re running out of superlatives to describe his game. The Mickey Mantle comparisons are getting tenuous because he is probably more skilled than Mickey Mantle. And yet it’s very possible we haven’t even seen Trout in his prime.
Maybe this is the very beginning. Maybe he will rip off multiple seasons of 1.100 OPS production. Maybe he will go weeks where his hits more than double his outs. Putting any sort of limitation on his potential seems foolish.