Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout is on pace to have perhaps the greatest season in Major League Baseball history, but we are unlikely to see the six-time MLB All-Star participate in the Home Run Derby in July.
Trout, like many star players have already, told the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin that he doesn’t see himself swinging for the fences at the event:
“I don’t think I’m doing it,” Trout said when asked about the derby on Monday. “I really just don’t have any interest in it. I like going to it, and watching it.”
While Trout also didn’t rule out partaking in a future derby, the lack of star power in this year’s derby could be concerning for baseball. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, J.D. Martinez, and Mookie Betts have already said they are not participating, while Bryce Harper has yet to say publicly whether or not he will as the derby will be at his home ballpark in Washington D.C.
Even though Trout won’t hit in the derby, he will for sure be hitting for the American League All-Stars at the All-Star Game the very next day. Trout is by far and away having the best season out of anyone this season, with a .332/.464/.688 slash line, and 23 home runs with 46 runs batted in and 13 stolen bases. His 6.4 WAR is easily the best mark among all players, with New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom being the next closest at 4.8.
Right now, Trout is on pace to accumulate 14.4 WAR on the season, which could be the most WAR ever by a player in a single season, breaking the 14.1 mark Babe Ruth set in 1923. Trout would also have his third season with 10+ WAR in a season, joining 2012 and 2016 when he had 10.5 both years.
The Angels haven’t been making the most of Trout’s historic season, as they currently sit 10.5 games back of the Houston Astros in the American League West. Things started off promising for the Halos, but health has derailed the team immensely, especially the injury to Shohei Ohtani, the two-way player phenom from Japan.
Los Angeles is also currently 8.5 games back of the wild card in the American League, and if they end up making the wild card game, it would be in the second team slot, meaning they would have to go on the road to play either the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox, making them unlikely to win what would be Trout’s first playoff game since 2014.
At this point in Trout’s career, he has achieved an elite among of personal success that will make him go down as one of the best players in baseball history. Perhaps that’s why Trout is trying to focus less on personal accolades like the derby and more on the team accomplishments like playoff berths.
Team success is something Trout will eventually have to weigh when it comes to his future with the Angels, but that is still a couple of years away. Trout is set to become a free agent after the 2020 season, and will command a boatload of cash from the Angels or any other team.
Trout is on-pace to smack 51 homers and drive in 102 runs while swiping 29 bases in 2018. He will play his 1,00th career game on Thursday night versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
Photo: Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports