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Entries in Mike Trout (16)


The rookie Septembers of Mays, Mantle, Harper, and Trout 

This post, comparing the rookie Septembers of Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout  was inspired by an observation from the great biographer Jane Leavy on Face the Nation on October 7, 2012 on CBS.

Willie Mays - September/October, 1951

  Sept/Oct 28 120 103 5 24 5 1 1 9 3 0 17 17 .233 .342 .330 .672
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 10/7/2012.

Mickey Mantle - September/October, 1951

  Sept/Oct 23 87 76 17 22 1 0 4 14 1 1 11 19 .289 .379 .461 .840
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 10/7/2012.

Bryce Harper - September/October, 2012

Sept/Oct 31 126 112 27 37 8 3 7 14 5 1 12 24 .330 .400 .643 1.043
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 10/7/2012.

Mike Trout - September/October 2012

Sept/Oct 30 135 114 23 33 5 2 5 9 7 1 20 35 .289 .400 .500 .900
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Original Table
Generated 10/7/2012.

September/October Leaders

  • Batting average: Harper
  • Homers: Harper
  • RBI: Harper
  • OBP: Harper/Trout
  • Slugging: Harper
  • OPS: Harper
  • Steals: Trout
  • Doubles: Harper
  • Triples: Harper

Bill Chuck’s Friday Nine to Know


  1. From the day of Andy Pettitte’s first start May 13th (a loss) through his last game (a win) on June 27, the Yanks went 27-14 (.659) tied with the Angels for the best record in baseball. Since that date, the Yanks have played .515 (35-33) ball.
  2. The last time the Red Sox did not have a 15-game winner was 2001, the streak will end this season.
  3. The last time the Red Sox did not have a hundred RBI batter was 1997, the streak will end this season.
  4. Mike Leake leads all pitchers this season with two homers, but Yovani Gallardo has one this season, giving him 10 in his career tying him with Livan Hernandez among active pitchers and trailing only Carlos Zambrano who has 24.
  5. While Albert Pujols is ending up with a strong season, he is not stopping an alarming trend: Pujols hit .357 in 2008, .327 in 2009, .312 in 2010, .299 last season, and .286 this season.
  6. Aroldis Chapman leads all full-time relievers with 119 strikeouts in just 67.2 innings. Dick Radatz who had 181 whiffs in 157 relief innings for the Red Sox in 1964 holds the record.
  7. So far Mike TroutAlex RiosB.J. Uptonand Ryan Braun are the only members of the 20 homer/20 steal club this season, the most in any season were the 19 in 1999. There were 12 last season.
  8. Max Scherzer is the first starter (with a least 162 IP) to average over 11 strikeouts per nine innings pitched since Kerry Wood in 2003 when he averaged 11.35. Scherzer is at 11.21.
  9. Dickie Dietz is the only Giants catcher since the team moved to SF to have over 100 RBI (he had 107 in 1970); Buster Posey had 89.

Trout Killing Pitchers Softly

When the Angels initially called up Mike Trout last July, the then-19-year-old scuffled against major league heat. Trout batted just .149 against fastballs and slugged .298 in 2011. Those fastball woes seemingly promoted pitchers to challenge Trout with lots of fastballs this season when L.A. called him up from the minors in late April. No batter saw more fastballs than Trout (64 percent) during the month of May.

Trout has proved much more adept against the heat the second time around, batting .317 and slugging .489 against fastballs in 2012. That has led pitchers to change their approach, feeding Trout fastballs just 48 percent of the time in June and so far in July. Unfortunately for them, he's proving to be even more deadly against breaking and off-speed pitches. Check out Trout's slugging percentage against "soft" stuff -- curves, sliders and changeups -- compared to the league average:

Trout's slugging percentage by pitch location vs. curveballs, sliders and changeups

 Average slugging percentage by pitch location vs. curveballs, sliders and changeups in 2012

Trout has been the game's greatest slugger against breaking and off-speed pitches this season:

BatterSlugging Pct. vs. Soft Stuff
Mike Trout .698
Matt Holliday .653
Robinson Cano .651
Josh Hamilton .623
Mark Trumbo .603
Ryan Braun .594
Josh Reddick .591
Joey Votto .569
A. J. Pierzynski .560
Giancarlo Stanton .547
MLB Avg. .376


Trout struggled with big league fastballs at first, and pitchers pounced. He adjusted to handle the heat, and opponents responded by giving him more curves, sliders and changeups. Now that Trout's killing the soft stuff, what's a pitcher to do? Develop a knuckler? Come down with food poisoning during that scheduled started against L.A.? Get traded to the Angels? Stay tuned.