Forcing a Reason to Worry about Mike Trout

Understand, immediately: Mike Trout is currently first in the American League in WAR. In the majors, he’s sandwiched between two Rockies, one surprisingly healthy and one surprisingly awesome, and Trout’s current season pace puts him at 13 WAR, which would eclipse what he’s already done, and what he’s already done has been basically impossibly good. That Mike Trout doesn’t lead the majors in WAR isn’t a reflection of Trout; it’s a reflection of, hey, sample sizes, and also, don’t forget about Troy Tulowitzki, who is also amazing.

But let’s talk about something, just because it’s interesting. Trout is so good, so almost perfect, that we’re at heightened awareness when something might not be right. At the moment, he’s running an extraordinary 161 wRC+, which is an almost exact match for his career mark. But behind that summary number is another number that doesn’t look like the numbers that’ve come before it. What I’m referring to inspired an article in the LA Times.

From Mike DiGiovanna:

“I think you worry about strikeouts when they aren’t balanced by walks or production, and I think he’s doing OK in those departments,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “For guys who work counts, strikeouts might follow.”

Trout, who finished second in AL most-valuable-player voting in 2012 and 2013, has two three-strikeout games and had the first four-strikeout game of his career in Detroit on April 19.

“It’s not a concern for me,” Trout said. “My last couple of years, I’ve had over 100 strikeouts. Sometimes I’m chasing pitches, trying to do too much, like I did in the first month last year, when I was too anxious. I have to look for my pitch and hit it. Pitchers are throwing good pitches too. You have to give them credit.”

This is about Mike Trout and strikeouts. In his first full season, he struck out about 22% of the time. Last year, he struck out about 19% of the time. This year he’s struck out about 28% of the time, showing up on the first page of the strikeout-rate leaderboard. At the same time, his walk rate has gone a little down, so it’s not simply a matter of ending up in a lot more deep counts. For Trout, this obviously isn’t a thing that’s killed his productivity, but it’s a thing that’s different.

There are 153 players who have batted at least 100 times this season after batting at least 250 times last season. Trout’s strikeout-rate increase is the third-greatest, behind only Edwin Encarnacion and Brad Miller. Miller has whiffed his way almost out of favor, and Encarnacion is deserving of a post of his own, but he, at least, has struck out some in the past. Trout has a track record of not doing this so much. So what might be driving the strikeouts?

It’s not simply swinging and missing. Trout’s contact rate is down, but it’s down only a few percentage points, so that doesn’t seem to be enough of a factor. His swing rate, also, is above last season’s, so it’s not like he’s watching more strikes. His chase rate isn’t up, and there’s no clear difference in the way he’s been pitched, in terms of pitch selection. He’s seeing a characteristically low rate of first-pitch strikes.

Something one notes, though: Trout has hit a lot more foul balls. So far, 45% of his swings have resulted in fouls. The two years previous, that rate was 39%. Fouls, before there are two strikes, are no better than whiffs, and fouls are specifically not balls in play. So you can combine the dual facts that Trout has hit more fouls while also making a bit less contact.

Here’s what you end up with: 33% of Trout’s swings this season have resulted in a ball in play. His career rates:

2011: 44% balls in play
2012: 41%
2013: 41%
2014: 33%

Between years, Trout has seen a drop of 8.4 percentage points. That’s the largest drop in baseball, barely bigger than Justin Upton‘s but considerably bigger than everyone else’s. Justin Upton, of course, has an even higher OPS than Trout does. This is a marked change for Trout, and in-play rate usually holds up pretty consistently season to season. So you wonder if there’s something Trout’s been doing differently, on purpose.

And there might be. First, for the sake of reference: the difference between this year’s rate and last year’s rate so far is about 20-21 balls in play. This year, Trout has put 82 balls in play. At last year’s rate, by now he’d be up to 103. I’ll leave it up to you to decide on the significance of 21 swings. But, last season, Trout had an even distribution of pulled balls and balls hit to the opposite field. In his first full year, Trout’s ratio was 1.1. So far this year, he’s at 1.7. That is, Trout has hit fewer balls the other way, and he’s pulled more of them toward left. There’s also a very slight increase in balls hit up the middle.

So Trout’s pulled the ball a little more, and he’s missed the ball a little more, and he’s fouled the ball a little more, while swinging more aggressively. It could be that there’s something up with Trout’s swing. Or it could be that he’s trying to hit for more power. It stands to reason Trout’s home-run totals will climb as he gets older, and this could be the beginning of a transition to Trout becoming more of a true slugger. Alternatively, this could be a bunch of noise — no matter what you do with the data, it’s still looking at season-to-date data at the beginning of May. You can’t make it not a small sample.

What we know for certain: Trout’s strikeouts are up, a byproduct of putting the ball in play less often. What we don’t know for certain: the why. You can’t actually worry about Mike Trout right now. There are other prominent hitters with changes in their profiles who aren’t on pace for a 13-WAR season. But if Trout was just about perfect before, then the strikeouts change the look of that perfection, which makes them of interest to monitor. If Trout’s just becoming more strikeout-prone, that’s fascinating. If Trout’s becoming more strikeout-prone as a part of his development into a slightly different kind of superstar, that’s fascinating, too.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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Jackson
Guest
Jackson
2 years 1 month ago

Have you looked into whether he has had stretches like this in the past?

Thinking maybe this stretch is noticeable because it is at the beginning of the season

Matthew
Member
Member
2 years 1 month ago

If you conclude he is striking out more because he is putting the ball in play less often, isn’t that common sense?

By definition: BIP = PA – K – BB – IBB – HR..etc. Therefore if Ks go up, BIP go down?

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 1 month ago

Strike zone is expanding year by year, everyones K rate is going up. Its the biggest single reason for the reduction in offense. Fewer batted balls means fewer hits and HR

Belloc
Guest
Belloc
2 years 1 month ago

I agree. I wonder if there is intent behind the expanding strike zone: This is the way the umpires are striking back since balls and strikes cannot be reviewed by instant replay.

dominik
Guest
dominik
2 years 1 month ago

It is probably pitch Fx.

For years umpires did not call the high strike. people said that the steroid era strikezone had the size of a stamp.

now umpires get evaluated by pitch Fx and they are forced to call more strikes.

Grimace
Guest
Grimace
2 years 1 month ago

And of course Trout is on my fantasy team.

vivalajeter
Guest
vivalajeter
2 years 1 month ago

You have a 13 WAR player on your fantasy team? Lucky you!

Bill
Guest
Bill
2 years 1 month ago

If I were you I would trade him immediately for a better player. If you were in my league, I’d be willing to take him off your hands. I have some great closers that I could be convinced to part with.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 1 month ago

That Alfredo Simon has been gangbusters. Simon for Trout? let’s do this.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 1 month ago

I could perhaps be talked into parting with Latroy Hawkins as well, but you would probably need to add something on your side. Pedroia or E5 have both had slow starts and are probably broken, so either of those would work.

Paul
Guest
Paul
2 years 1 month ago

Having watched a lot of Mike Trout games, I think this is a byproduct of him not being a leadoff hitter anymore (also not stealing as much). I would love for someone to ask him what his job is batting in the 2 spot. When he was a lead off guy, he would always say something like, my job to to get on base and have the big guys hit me in. When Pujols was out in the latter half of last season and he was primarily in the 3 spot, his approach didn’t change and he got some of the criticisms Joey Votto gets. What I can’t understand, is why the Angels just don’t bat him lead off again, cause its not like their offense is their problem. They can bat him 1 and someone like Kendrick or Calhoun 2 and probably be just as good offensively.

James
Guest
James
2 years 1 month ago

Maybe they will do something like that when Hamilton gets back. Trout-Kendrick-Hamilton-Pujols-Cron (assuming Pujols isn’t a primadonna who needs to be 3rd) or some variant thereof seems like the best first 5.

MikeS
Guest
MikeS
2 years 1 month ago

Worried for Trout because of the increased K%? Or worried for the rest of the league that this is a small sample size and will regress and he will be even better?

Hank G.
Guest
Hank G.
2 years 1 month ago

Obviously, you can’t conclude anything from such a small sample size, but assuming that this actually means anything, I think 13 WAR is a fair tradeoff for the increased strikeouts.

Ryan Howard
Guest
Ryan Howard
2 years 1 month ago

Back in 2006 I had 58 HR’s and 149 RBI with a 25.7K%.

Rubén Amaro, Jr.
Guest
Rubén Amaro, Jr.
2 years 1 month ago

That’s my boy.

Dusty Baker
Guest
Dusty Baker
2 years 1 month ago

That’s a bold statement.

Bud Selig
Guest
Bud Selig
2 years 1 month ago

I enjoy these characters more when they comment more selectively.

Ryan Braun
Guest
Ryan Braun
2 years 1 month ago

I don’t like you Bud!

brandon GUYer
Guest
brandon GUYer
2 years 1 month ago

You’re not my buddy, guy!

bob FRIEND
Guest
bob FRIEND
2 years 1 month ago

You’re not my guy, friend!

jim PALmer
Guest
jim PALmer
2 years 1 month ago

You’re not my friend, pal!

Ruben MATEo
Guest
Ruben MATEo
2 years 1 month ago

Enough already!

Jack BROhamer
Guest
Jack BROhamer
2 years 1 month ago

Clown comments, all of you!!

CHUMmy Gray
Guest
CHUMmy Gray
2 years 1 month ago

You’re all bottom-feeders!

LG
Guest
LG
2 years 1 month ago

I bet the one guy who just typed all those comments is really, really pleased with himself

CHUMmy Gray
Guest
CHUMmy Gray
2 years 1 month ago

Congratulations on the great insight, LG!

I only did the one, actually, to join in on the fun. You know, fun? No? Okay.

Pee Wee "Herman" Reese
Guest
Pee Wee "Herman" Reese
2 years 1 month ago

I pleased myself too!

Evan
Guest
Evan
2 years 1 month ago

Wins Below Trout Leaderboard

1. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: -.2 WBT
2. Mike Trout, Angels: 0 WBT
3. Charlie Blackmon: .5 WBT

tz
Guest
Jon
Guest
Jon
2 years 1 month ago

Maybe he’s pulling the ball more. Big pull sluggers have high foul rates because they pull it past the foul pole a lot right? i.e. Dan Uggla

A Sad Braves Fan
Guest
A Sad Braves Fan
2 years 1 month ago

Big pull sluggers…i.e. Dan Uggla

If only this were still true. Mr. Forearms is sadly no longer a major league baseball player.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 1 month ago

Is that Emeril? BAM!

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
2 years 1 month ago

Angels are still only only .500, if team outcomes still matter.

relevant
Guest
relevant
2 years 1 month ago

They really don’t when we are discussing the K profile of individual players.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 1 month ago

“if team outcomes still matter.”

To this particular discussion? They do not.

Or, they are .500 *in spite of* Trout’s monster start, not *due to* it.

Grant
Guest
Grant
2 years 1 month ago

“Encarnacion is deserving of a post of his own, but he, at least, has struck out some in the past. Trout has a track record of not doing this so much. So what might be driving the strikeouts”
Where does Encarnacion show he has struck out some in the past? Trout has never been a low strikeout guy so I’m not sure where you’re coming from there. You seem to be saying Trout is less prone to striking out than Encarnacion, which just isn’t true.

Jon L.
Guest
Jon L.
2 years 1 month ago

Encarnacion struck out this much in 2009, and struck out a whole lot more when he was 22 and first sampling the big leagues. Trout has never struck out nearly this often, not even when hitting .220 around when he turned 20.

Jon L.
Guest
Jon L.
2 years 1 month ago

Which is to say that he’s comparing each of them against their own prior performances, not against each other.

Andy
Guest
Andy
2 years 1 month ago

What no one who keeps assuring us that he’s on a pace for 12-13 WAR seems to mention that much of that pace is driven by his defense. He’s first in run saved, a big difference from last year and even better than the year before.

But he’s not in the top 10 in wOBA or wRC+. So at his current pace–and of course that is helped greatly by when he was very hot hitting earlier this season–he will not end up as the WAR leader or even particularly close, unless his defense continues to be stellar. But that seems unlikely, given his past history and that revisions in the defensive parameters occur during the season.

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 1 month ago

Most of the guys ahead of him in wOBA or wRC+ are not going to sustain offense anywhere close to that the rest of the season. Trout’s history suggests he can sustain his current wOBA or improve upon it. He will finish the season in the top 10.

buddyglass
Guest
buddyglass
2 years 1 month ago

Anywhere outside the top two means he underperformed his draft position. Which, honestly, is probably more likely than not when a guy is drafted 1 or 2.

That said, the only other player someone with the #1 or #2 pick was going to take besides Trout is Cabrera, and we know how that’s going. I had the #1 pick and took Trout. Regardless of Trout’s performance, I’m ecstatic that I didn’t go with Cabrera instead.

WAR is only tangentially related to fantasy value in my league, btw, since we ignore defense and only care about R, HR, RBI, SB and AVG. Here are Trouts totals for March and April 2014:

109 AB, 21 R, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 4 SB, 0.321 AVG

And here are his 2013 numbers scaled down to 109 AB:

109 AB, 20 R, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 6 SB, 0.323 AVG

Pretty close.

vivalajeter
Guest
vivalajeter
2 years 1 month ago

buddy, I’m not sure why your fantasy team is at all relevant to the article, or the comment you replied to. The article is about his increasing strikeout rate, and your league doesn’t even include strikeouts. The comments above are about his defensive value (which your league doesn’t care about), and whether or not other players can sustain their pace.

We’re talking about his real life value. We’re not talking about 5 offensive categories.

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 1 month ago

Yeah seriously, where did your fantasy team come from?

buddyglass
Guest
buddyglass
2 years 1 month ago

The article was about whether Trout’s additional strikeouts are cause to worry. Mike Scioscia might answer that question one way as the manager of the team on which Trout is a player. Random fantasy manager might answer it differently depending on the specific scoring structure of his league. Focusing on WAR as the performance metric by which we’re going to judge whether or not there’s cause to worry only touches on one particular context.

My post was basically saying, “The strikeouts may be meaningless with respect to Trout’s contribution to the Angels, so Scioscia needn’t worry, but they may be significant with respect to Trout’s contribution to the fantasy teams on which he’s rostered.”

I thought the fantasy angle would be relevant because much of the content on FG centers around the “fantasy” game and not the actual game of baseball per se.

Andy
Guest
Andy
2 years 1 month ago

Oh, I think he’s likely to finish in the top 10 in offensive numbers. But my point is that he has been projected all along to finish not only first in overall WAR, but by a large margin. For him to do that with the kind of offensive numbers he’s putting up, he will have to play exceptional defense, and steal more bases.

He could finish with 7-8 WAR, which would be a career year for nearly any other player, but quite a disappointment relative to projections.

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 1 month ago

There’s no way he finishes that low without injury. You’re neglecting the fact that he plays center field, and top ten offense at that position really pushes up the WAR totals, even if he plays league average center field defense.

Andy
Guest
Andy
2 years 1 month ago

McCutchen had a slash line last year of /317/.404/.508, which is very similar to what Trout has now, also had wOBA and wRC+ very similar to what Trout has now, had 27 SBs which is greater than what Trout is on pace for now, was 6th in defense among CFers, and finished with a WAR of about 8. So a CF can put up very good offensive including baserunning numbers, very good defensive numbers, and certainly end up with a WAR of 8.

Andy
Guest
Andy
2 years 1 month ago

Cutch was 10th in wOBA, 7th in wRC+, 4th in offensive runs, 14th in SB, 17th in baserunning runs, and as I said before, 6th in defensive runs saved (ahead of Trout).

LG
Guest
LG
2 years 1 month ago

It seems his defense is unlikely to remain stellar? …. who do you think this article is about?

Matt
Guest
Matt
2 years 1 month ago

Yeah seriously. Is this guy a Rangers fan?

roadrider
Guest
roadrider
2 years 1 month ago

I’ll give you a reason to worry about Trout. The SOB has shafted me nearly every time I’ve picked him in the MLB Beat the Streak contest (including last night). I know, Tulo, Arenado – rinse and repeat.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 1 month ago

Fun fact about Tulo’s 2014 season:

He is on pace for a career high 35 HR and 122 RBI. At Coors Field alone.

pank
Guest
pank
2 years 1 month ago

What a shocker. Another Ms fan on fanfraphs writing an article to downplay trouts success. The mariners will never have a player as good as trout. Get over it .

Max
Guest
Max
2 years 1 month ago

Yep, strong anti-Trout bias from the salmon-loving Northwest…

Quotes from the article: Trout’s current season pace puts him at 13 WAR, which would eclipse what he’s already done, and what he’s already done has been basically impossibly good. That Mike Trout doesn’t lead the majors in WAR isn’t a reflection of Trout; it’s a reflection of, hey, sample sizes, and also, don’t forget about Troy Tulowitzki, who is also amazing…Trout is so good, so almost perfect,…

Although I am not a Mariner’s fan, I would say that the Mariners have actually had the 2 most Trout-like young players in the last 20 years (A-Rod and Griffey, Jr.). So “never” must refer to the future, correct?

Baseball Jesus
Guest
Baseball Jesus
2 years 1 month ago

Nobody will ever have a player as good as Trout

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
2 years 1 month ago

Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth.

Hmmm
Guest
Hmmm
2 years 1 month ago

Barry Bonds and the Mick w/knees maybe, but those other guys didn’t run or play D. I’d add Willie in too.

Bonds, Willie, Trout, da best.

Stan Gable
Guest
Stan Gable
2 years 1 month ago

‘Bonds, Willie, Trout, da best.’

Ha ha, yea – Ruth & Gehrig weren’t all that notable.

philosofool
Guest
philosofool
2 years 1 month ago

In all seriousness, you could have an extensive debate over the ten greatest hitters ever and Mike Trout would not even enter the discussion. I have no idea how I left Willie off that list, but the list was only supposed to be a non-exhaustive list of guys who you can say are definitely better than Trout-thus-far.

David
Guest
David
2 years 1 month ago

not even the 2014 LAoA Angels…

RIFF
Guest
RIFF
2 years 1 month ago

I think the offensive “worry” is real, at least in the sense that he has not been as good offensively thus-far than he has been the last two year. Not enough to make him, not, the best player in the league, but seemingly a clear negative change. He is on pace for 13 WAR,but he has also already amassed 9 Defensive runs above replacement (3.3 in 13, 13 in 12). There is probably some noise there.

Edwin Encarnacion
Guest
Edwin Encarnacion
2 years 1 month ago

I have a lot more reason to be worried than Trout. My K-rate has almost doubled compared to last year. Trout’s rate is noticeably higher than last season, but not twice as high, and is actually not a noteworthy increase when comparing this 2014 smaller sample to his rookie season. Perhaps his rookie season represents a more typical K-rate, and last year was his career-best? Either way, this K-rate increase is not a large enough increase over past performance to suggest a career-altering decline is in order.

Myself, on the other hand, sheeesh. I only struck out 62 times last year and I’m already up to K’d 27 times this year and we got a lot more baseball left to play. As an added bonus, my HR/FB % is 70% less than it was last year. Either I’m in a seriously sharp age-related decline or am secretly playing through an injury….or there aren’t enough wheaties in my wheaties anymore….or something.

Emcee Peepants
Guest
Emcee Peepants
2 years 1 month ago

I’m a little surprised it wasn’t mentioned, but he has pretty much sucked against RHP this year and his good offensive numbers are mostly due to crushing LHP. He hasn’t had much of a platoon split in the past, but has a very pronounced one this year and an almost Almonte-ian K% against RHP. Might be an actual reason to worry. Numbers below:

Year – Hand – wOBA – wRC+ – BB% – K%
2012 – RHP – 424 – 177 – 9.2 – 22.2
2012 – LHP – 367 – 137 – 14.0 – 20.5

2013 – RHP – 425 – 177 – 14.0 – 18.5
2013 – LHP – 416 – 171 – 19.2 – 20.2

2014 – RHP – 337 – 117 – 10.3 – 32.7(!)
2014 – LHP – 576 – 281 – 17.1 – 11.4

Not to mention his RHP slash line is currently 245/337/447 and only 9 XBH vs. RHP in 107 PA.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 1 month ago

“Pretty much sucked” = 117 wRC+?

Maybe “pretty much sucked against righties compared to previous Trout seasons” or some such. But against the whole of MLB’ers, 117 wRC+ =/= suckitude, nor anything close to it.

Emcee Peepants
Guest
Emcee Peepants
2 years 1 month ago

Sorry, I forgot people on here would nitpick my comment apart if it wasn’t worded perfectly.

I of course meant relative to his past performance and expectations, I am aware of what wRC+ means and he is currently 17% better than average against RHP, so he does not suck. But, that is 50-60% less than he was expected to be (vs. all pichers).

Also, a 245/327/447 line with a 32.7% K% is a lot closer to sucking than it is to being great.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 1 month ago

Your right, it was a nitpick. 117 wRC+ sucks and Mike Trout does too.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 1 month ago

Also, “a 245/327/447 line with a 32.7% K% is a lot closer to sucking than it is to being great.”

1) False, in today’s run scoring environment, which is EXACTLY what wRC+ is telling you, it’s 17% ABOVE AVERAGE, and 2) the K% doesn’t matter much if the other production is there (as the article details at length).

Emcee Peepants
Guest
Emcee Peepants
2 years 1 month ago

Dude, settle down, from my comment: “I of course meant relative to his past performance and expectations, I am aware of what wRC+ means and he is currently 17% better than average against RHP, so he does not suck. But, that is 50-60% less than he was expected to be (vs. all pichers).” How you got to “Your right, it was a nitpick. 117 wRC+ sucks and Mike Trout does too.” is beyond me.

The point of my comment, completely leaving the word suck out of it, since you tend to focus solely on that, is this:

1) Trout has been much worse against RHP this year than in his first 2 years by wOBA and wRC+
2) He has struck out at a much higher rate against RHP than in his first 2 years and at a rate which would be 4th overall
3) His ridiculous stats against LHP are currently making it look like he is having a better season, offensively, than he is
3) If he put up a 245/327/447 line for the season, it would be a massive disappointment because of his past excellence
4) There seems to be something worrisome going on with him and RHP at the moment

Also, *you’re

David
Guest
David
2 years 1 month ago

1 and 2, factually correct evidence.

3. slightly incorrect interpretation, his dominance against lefties isn’t “making it look like he is having a better season than he is”, it is making him have a better season than he would be having, were he to not crush lefties.

3(b). yes, when viewed only against righties, then again, if he continues to put up a 283 wRC+ (or whatever his actual number is) against lefties, it’ll balance out. I will acknowledge here, however, that that massive a platoon split over the course of the season would almost certainly lead to a drastic change of approach (ex. he would never see another lefty pitcher)

4. This is one conclusion, the other is that his currently elevated K rate will fall back to career norms while leaving an elevated ISO behind, and he will actually exceed his prior projections. This is the point of the article, He currently is displaying both elevated (with respect to career norms) K’s and pull power, which of these will remain elevated, and which will regress?

David
Guest
David
2 years 1 month ago

Sorry, not “the other… [conclusion]”, but “another conclusion”.

Emcee Peepants
Guest
Emcee Peepants
2 years 1 month ago

I hope my counting ability regresses back to my career norm.

With regard to 3(b) I should have specified that if he put up that line for the season, even just against just RHP, it would be a massive disappointment considering he was 327/440/572 against RHP in 2013 and 346/410/588 in 2012. Since that line would be for ~70% of his at-bats, it’s reasonable, to me at least, to consider the full season disappointing as well though.

And for 4, fair enough, maybe I should have left out the word “worrisome”.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 1 month ago

I like “dude settle down!” followed by an impassioned multipoint defense. :) I was simply pointing out that 117 wRC+ is not below average, or sucky, or anything in the realm of those things. That’s all.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 1 month ago

Trout is currently tied for 18th in wOBA. He is trailing such luminaries as Adam Dunn and Jarrod Saltalomachia. It is obviously still pretty damn good, but he has done nothing exceptional so far. His supposed exceptional value is all tied up in the largely imaginary defensive measures, positional adjustments and park effects. It isn’t real.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Guest
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
2 years 1 month ago

Im a luminary! Look at me!

LG
Guest
LG
2 years 1 month ago

Groundbreaking analysis. Really hard-hitting stuff.

Stan Gable
Guest
Stan Gable
2 years 1 month ago

Did you have to seek out a chair as well?

Belloc
Guest
Belloc
2 years 1 month ago

Please tell me you are trolling. You used wOBA to make the ridiculous argument that Dunn and Saltalamacchia are better players than Trout. Yet wOBA is based on linear weights, which in the Universe According to You is a metric that it isn’t real.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 1 month ago

Please tell me you are trolling. Nobody thinks Dunn or Saltalamacchia are better players than Trout. However both have actually hit better than Trout so far this year. Nobody thinks wOBA is a metric that isn’t real.

Hank
Guest
Hank
2 years 1 month ago

Exactly.

A UZR/150 of 42 might not be something folks should use for their “on pace for” WAR calculations.

I don’t get why WAR is even referenced in this article or that commenters are even referencing it as if it has some meaning for this discussion.

If folks are trying to find out what the tradeoff from K rate is resulting in, they should be looking at his past offensive value, not total value. Unless he’s saving his legs for defense by striking out more, why is total WAR coming into play?

Very early on, it seems like it is a wash, but since it’s Mike Trout it’s being played up as if it’s a good thing because he’s “on pace” to exceed his past DEFENSIVE value in CF by 2-2.5 wins?

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
2 years 1 month ago

Are we sure he’s not being pitched differently? The pitch selection looks similar, but that doesn’t mean that location is. Could he be getting more pitches in a location that he fouls away, for example?

In any event, a 7.5% above estimate change in K% is pretty statistically significant through 142 PA. I’m not saying that is will stay this high, but through those 142 PA, we have evidence that something is different from previous PA.

Belloc
Guest
Belloc
2 years 1 month ago

He’s had a handful of games where he’s worn the shirt collar. That skews the percentage in a small sample size. It’s nothing but noise.

To put it another way, do you really think that Charlie Blackmon will be hitting .359 when he reaches 500 plate appearances? The next road trip will probably drop Blackmon’s batting average another 50 points.

philosofool
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philosofool
2 years 1 month ago

It’s not *nothing* but noise, it’s statistically significant at the .06 level. I ran the Chi Square test. We have pretty strong reason to believe that there’s something different about Mike Trout and/or the environment he’s been in as compared with his historical performance.

I will repeat a point I already made (in slightly different words) just to avoid debating it: this does not mean his true talent level have changed or that he will continue to strike out at a high rate.

dude
Guest
dude
2 years 1 month ago

How the hell does he already have an 8.5 UZR?

A wizard did it
Guest
A wizard did it
2 years 1 month ago

Magic

Ron
Guest
Ron
2 years 1 month ago

Clearly you haven’t been watching him play.

Fart Proudly
Guest
Fart Proudly
2 years 1 month ago

ZZZZ again
yah, yah Trout is Sooo great that the Angels are a .500 team

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 1 month ago

Exactly! Andrew Romine is *clearly* a better player. Tigers are 19-9. Case CLOSED.

dcs
Guest
dcs
2 years 1 month ago

You can’t (or rather, you shouldn’t) look at K in isolation. I have a stat that takes more into account about a batter’s approach. The scale is similar to wRC+. Here are his numbers:
2012–104
2013–158
2014–123

I have little reason to think this is anything other than sample size.

S. Urista
Guest
S. Urista
2 years 1 month ago

Well, another Golden Sombrero for Trout last night. He hadn’t K’d 4 times in a game in his career, now he’s done it twice in the span of a few weeks.

He’s still generating counting numbers when he -does- hit the ball, but if he’s going to keep on striking out at this rate, we have to tweak (not slash) our projections for him. That’s the relevant part, not the idea that he’s suddenly a bust or something.

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