Mike Trout has never ceased to amaze us in his already Hall of Fame-worthy career and has shown no signs of regression in his first 7-years in the MLB. From winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 2012 to winning 2 MVP Awards, Trout has spoiled Angels fans (and baseball fans in general) with his superhuman feats. To be blunt, he just keeps getting better and better and better.
Now, 9 days from Opening Day, we have another thing to be in awe of. Mike Trout has not struck out at all throughout the entire 2018 Spring Training thus far.
“Nothing new,” Trout stated regarding the feat. “Just with two strikes, I’m trying to battle and get a pitch and put it in play. … Just getting better at it.”
In 44 Cactus League plate appearances, Trout has hit .278 with 10 hits, 2 home runs, 1 triple, 7 walks, and, you guessed it, zero strikeouts. While Spring Training statistics, especially for a player of Trout’s caliber, are pointless, it is still fascinating the Trout has not K’d in 44 at-bats (even though he is generally facing weaker pitching). It is especially impressive since Trout has never been known for being a stickler for avoiding the strikeout.
“It’s not like we made it a priority for Mike,” Angels’ assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento said. “Mike just keeps evolving as a player. He keeps getting better and better. I don’t think it’s a conscious effort.”
The only other players to have participated in more than 10 plate appearances without a strikeout are Humberto Arteaga with 23 AB, Tony Cruz with 18 AB, Oscar Hernandez with 10 AB, and Jacob Stallings with 18 AB. 923 players have struck out at least once this Spring, which just goes to show how hard it is to not strike out, even in Spring Training.
“As crazy as it sounds,” Sorrento said, “I don’t think he’s tapped his full potential really. He’s getting older. He’s getting smarter at the plate. He’s got a better concept of the pitches he can and can’t handle, which is really very few. I think he’s just evolving, getting better and better every year. I don’t know what his ceiling is. Hopefully, it’s a lot higher. We’re looking at someone who comes around once every 20-25 years.”
While most will take this feat with a grain of salt, it shows baseball fans that the best player in baseball is getting better. Throughout his career, Trout has just above a 21% strikeout rate, which puts him at about league average. If Trout’s streak can translate to the 2018 regular season, he will continue to spoil Angels fans and help the Halos immensely as they push for a Wild Card spot.