Switch to previous version of Magzter

Try GOLD

Why Mike Trout Is Still The Toughest Out In The Game

MLB’s best player (sorry, Mookie) had his best season yet. ESPN’s Sam Miller explains why Trout is still the toughest out in the game.

Sam Miller

Try to imagine that Mike Trout is the bad guy.

The story of the villain in all his many forms—the Las Vegas casino vault or the Death Star; Goliath or the speedy hare—always follows the same format: first, the seemingly impenetrable wall of defenses and weaponry, then the timely revelation of a mundane-but-crucial insecurity. The retina-scan entry and titanium-reinforced vault doors and the one guard who gets distracted watching Final Jeopardy.

First, the bad news. To beat Trout, you have to get him to swing. Only four batters chased fewer pitches out of the strike zone last season. Every so often he’ll take a whack at a pitch that’s obviously a ball, but even then he has an uncanny ability to swing and miss rather than ground out weakly. So you’re going to need to go through the strike zone and preferably paint the corners. Even if it’s in the rulebook strike zone, you still might not get the call. Trout gets the call on pitches on the corner about 45 percent of the time, according to ESPN Stats & Information, the highest rate in baseball. He has an exceptional sense of what a ball looks like, but he also has an exceptional sense of what the umpire thinks a ball looks like.

Continue Reading with Magzter GOLD

GoldLogo

Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories and 5,000+ magazines

READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE

December 2018/January 2019

MORE STORIES FROM ESPN THE MAGAZINEView All
Who Is The Future Of U.S. Women's Soccer?
ESPN The Magazine
10+ mins read
Which Aussie Rules Football?
ESPN The Magazine
10+ mins read
Who Is The Ass Kicker Of The U.S. Women's National Team?
ESPN The Magazine
10+ mins read
Kyler Murray - Will Past Be Prologue For The Possible Top NFL Draft Pick?
ESPN The Magazine
10+ mins read
Williamson Is Ready For Takeoff
ESPN The Magazine
10 mins read
The Future Of Football Is You
ESPN The Magazine
10+ mins read
Nick Bosa Reveals The Pain Of His Unfinished OSU Business
ESPN The Magazine
10+ mins read
One-Track Mind
ESPN The Magazine
10+ mins read
Dear Future Me - Caroline Marks
ESPN The Magazine
2 mins read
The One And Only Naomi Osaka
ESPN The Magazine
10+ mins read