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« The Bill Chuck Files: Three for Thursday | Main | Jeff Bussgang: Flybridge Capital »
Thursday
Jan242013

The Fantasy Baseball Diary: Mike Trout

Fantasy owners drafting first overall in 2013 are going to be tasked with answering a very important question, who to take with that first pick? Most industry pundits would agree the three most qualified players are Mike Trout, Ryan Braun, and Miguel Cabrera. If you think Matt Kemp deserves to be in the conversation then your team is going to lose, but hopefully my analysis pulls the curtain over your eyes. Each player has their own pros and cons as to why they deserve the selection, but like with closers in major league bullpens, there can be only one. 

 

In the next few posts I'll provide evaluations on these three players as to why they they should or should not be the first pick overall. Stay tuned!

 

Let's look at the numbers

Mike Trout

Year

LVL

AGE

AB

HR

R

RBI

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

BABIP

FB%

GB%

LD%

2010

A+

18

196

4

30

19

11

6

.306

.384

.434

.341

28.6%

47.4%

15.5%

2010

A

18

312

6

76

39

45

9

.362

.452

.526

.418

34.6%

42.2%

15.6%

2011

AA

19

353

11

82

38

33

10

.326

.414

.544

.390

29.2%

39.0%

21.4%

2011

MLB

19

123

5

20

16

4

0

.220

.281

.390

.247

39.4%

39.4%

13.8%

2012

AAA

20

77

1

21

13

6

1

.403

.467

.623

.476

27.7%

40.0%

24.6%

2012

MLB

20

559

30

129

83

49

5

.326

.399

.564

.383

29.7%

46.4%

18.7%

 

Pros: five tool player; biggest upside; lineup top heavy; hasn’t reached physical peak; didn’t play a full season in 2012; makeup; Josh Hamilton

 

Cons: only has done it once; lowest floor; plays in a pitcher friendly park; lack of RBI opportunities; batting average may have been BABIP driven, sophomore slump; AL West ballparks

 

Analysis: Is there anything Trout can’t do? He was so good he received all 28 first-place votes for Rookie of the Year, becoming only the eighth player in history to accomplish that feat. Should he have won the MVP? Yes, but that’s another matter all in itself. One strike against Trout as the first pick is his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) was extremely high and unsustainable. But is it? Trout is an elite runner, which is conducive for higher BABIPs because he can beat out a lot of infield hits with his speed. Since he's expected to bat lead-off again, his RBI opportunities will be limited. But, on the flipside the signing of Josh Hamilton, whose expected to bat cleanup, is a substantial upgrade over Kendrys Morales. Even though his RBIs may decrease his runs scored should increase. Can he repeat 30 home runs again? The Angels ballpark is the sixth worst stadium in baseball for home run power and his HR/FB rate of 21.6% should regress (a normal HR/FB rate is 9.5%). However, according to Baseball America’s 2012 Prospect Handbook the scouting grade they gave his power potential was in the high 20s and low 30s (65 grade for the scouts out there). Supposing Trout only hits 15-20 home runs, he’ll still provide elite stolen base production, allowing fantasy owners more flexibility during their drafts. 

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