The baseball world is now three days post-Mike Trout for the 2019 season.
While it isn’t productive to continue mourning the ability to see the pure art that he and Christian Yelich play with again this season, the fact that either could and/or should still win the MVP award is proof to how dominant they’ve been.
Going into the numbers would make for a crazy, long article in itself. However, it’s more efficient to try to determine why some still are not able to recognize and appreciate Trout’s true greatness. Alex Bregman has been great as well, but in a different weight class.
While Trout could win the award every season, sometimes true greatness can be taken advantage of. In the same way that coaches or managers of dynasties could win their award every year and don’t, generational players fall into the same bucket.
There are three main reasons why Trout isn’t viewed as an all-time great already.
The first reason is that he plays on the west coast. The East Coast bias is overplayed a lot in most sports, but I it doesn’t have as large of an impact elsewhere as in baseball. When the Angels typically don’t start a game until after 10 p.m. Eastern Time, the casual fans in time zones spanning half of the country are robbed of seeing Trout’s greatness. That said, if he was a Dodger, we wouldn’t have the same issue due to pure media exposure.
The second reason is personality. It has been well documented that Trout is a relaxed, even-keel guy. That is just fine and it’s who he is. However, it has been a question on the podcast, if you see Trout and Ronald Acuna (a star in his own right) walking down a random street, who appears to be a star player more. Neither handle themselves the wrong way, just different.
Finally, the biggest reason: something that Trout doesn’t have much control over…his teams overall winning. Back to casual fans, as they are a majority of who watches the game. A number of these casual fans just watch the playoffs. When Trout has just 15 postseason plate appearances in three games for his career, a chunk of the fans of the game never see him at all.
For Trout, his overall stardom and his ultimate legacy as one of the greats comes down to exposure. Right now, the Angles are not only squandering his prime on the field with yet another losing season. They are also limiting his opportunity to go down as one of the greatest to ever play, where he belongs. Regardless, his season ended early this week. Even though he should claim his third MVP despite anything Bregman does to close the gap, this will be just another ruined season in the books.