According to ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan, Mike Trout became the proud owner of the most significant contract in professional sports history Tuesday: 12 decades and $430 million.
What better way to celebrate than with the very best season of his career?
Trout has already collected more wins over replacement through the age of 26 than any hitter in MLB history, based on Baseball Reference. The only catch is that he’s needed a single-season ceiling of 10.5 WAR.
The counter for this catch, however, is that Trout is becoming better with age.
Per his 186 OPS+ in 2017 and his 199 OPS+ in 2018, Trout has become the best hitter in baseball every one of the previous two seasons. This is life for a guy who walks about as frequently as he strikes and is also among the game’s elite power hitters.
Meanwhile, Trout is still the fastest baserunner on the Los Angeles Angels, and he has been a readily above average center fielder in three of their last four decades. Otherwise to get a bothersome wrist accident, all this would have led to readily the best year of his career in 2018.
All of Trout wants to perform in 2019 is remain healthy, and also a new career full of WAR will probably be as great as his. So might a American League MVP. . .but that’s not just a bold prediction, is it?