Trout is the most talented player, but is he the G.O.A.T?

Stats point to yes, team success to no 

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Gracie Rogers

Mike Trout the G.O.A.T?

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

The greatest baseball player in MLB history may just be a kid from New Jersey, but his lack of team success may hold him back.

Mike Trout, the centerfielder for the Los Angeles Angels, has dominated baseball over his 11 seasons, but he has no postseason success to show for it. Despite signing Trout to a 12-year deal worth $426.5 million, the Angels have done little to show that they are a competent organization in fielding a competitive baseball roster. 

It is a shame that the greatest player of the 21st century and potentially the history of the MLB has only gotten one chance to play on the grandest stage, as his talent is going to waste. With every passing year and new injury scares, it is becoming more and more likely that fans will never see his talent in the fall classic. 

Since coming up in 2011, Trout has been far and away the most talented player in the league year in and year out. His trophy case is overflowing with hardware, as he has won the Rookie of the Year, three MVP awards, eight Silver Sluggers and has been named an All-Star 10 times.

His three MVPs are low for his production due to voter fatigue on a yearly basis. Trout finished as the runner-up four times and among the top five in voting for another two. 

Statistically speaking, Trout has been godlike. He already has 1,543 hits, 350 home runs, 896 runs batted in, 204 stolen bases and boasts a triple-slash of a .303 batting average, a .415 on-base percentage and a .587 slugging. Most impressively, his career On-Base Plus Slugging up to this point is 1.002.

Maintaining an OPS over 1.000 for a single season is incredibly impressive, but to do so for over a decade puts Trout in the top echelon of players. 

If he were to retire today, he would make the Hall of Fame on his first ballot. His career wins-above-replacement sits at 82.4 at just 31 years old. The average HOF CF sits at a WAR of 71.6 and a seven-year peak of 44.7; something Trout has at 65.1 

Despite all of his accolades, impressive counting stats, long-term contract and relative youth, many fans do not consider Trout to be the greatest of all time. This is due to two major faults, both relatively out of his control. 

His first major fault is his recent health struggles. Trout has only played more than 85% of a full regular season once since 2017 and has missed major chunks of seasons since then due to lingering injuries and setbacks. 

While some of this can be attributed to his rare back condition that will hinder his play going forward, no matter the circumstance, if you cannot play, you cannot accrue stats that will help you in the G.O.A.T debate.

The second major fault of Trout is his lack of playoff success. Despite being one of the greatest players in the league, his team has only made the playoffs one time and Mr. Trout stunk it up in that series. 

While more than any other sport, baseball is a team game, not solidifying himself as a clutch performer will only hurt his chances of being deemed the greatest. 

Trout and Shohei Ohtani can only do so much to carry the Angels and if something does not change quickly, the status of Trout as the potential G.O.A.T. will continue to fade down the drain slowly.