How to Catch a Boot: Trolling for Trout

Duuuuh, why does MDS keep talking 'bout me?
Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Mike Trout's 2012 season is much like a fishing story. It just seems to get more extravagant with each telling of the tale. I've heard the fables, "Oh man, I caught this 12-pound walleye in my bath tub!" When in reality, the guy probably dropped a 12-pound turd in his toilet after eating Taco Bell. The plastics and tainted horse meat will do that to a guy. You'll have to forgive him and anyone who ranks Mike Trout as their No. 1 player off the board. After the jump, the reason Trout got Das Boot from the No. 1 OF spot.

Warning: I am not a trendy. I do not sport a boner anytime a prospect is called up to play. I do not worship so-called idols. I do not sip cafe lattes, I did not vote for Comrade Obongo and I do not buy into hype. I am a man. This was posted for those who can see past false realities.

Show Me the Power!

Trout hit 24 HR in MiLB between 2009-2012 (311 games), with 11 HR being the most at any one stop (93 games at AA in '11). And you expect this guy to hit 30 HR in 2013? Really? The 30 HR he did hit in 2012 came with a 21.6% HR/FB%. I am definitely not paying for that! Mike Trout does not possess the power of Ryan Howard, Jose Bautista or Josh Hamilton. This is fact.

Show Me the Mauer!

Remember when Joe Mauer hit 28 HRs in 523 at-bats? He posted a 20.4 HR/FB that year. The next season: 6.7 HR/FB. And I'm sure people were drafting Mauer in the first round when they got nine HRs out of him. Can you imagine someone bragging about drafting nine HRs in the first round? I watched it go down. I also watched people get burned by Jacoby Ellsbury after his 32 HR season. How about all those fans of the overrated Eric Hosmer? He hit 18 HR in 128 games and then followed it up with 14 over 152 games. Hype is a bitch. Potential does not fill up stat sheets. I once heard an "expert" say it's better to be early than late. LIES!!! If you're early, you paid for disappointment. If you're late, you paid for stats.

Is Mike Trout a Pussy Like Eric Hosmer?

He could be. It is possible. Unfortunately I do not have access to HR/FB% numbers from the minor leagues. We have to guesstimate using faulty ISO numbers. Isolated Power is not an actual measurement of power. These numbers can be skewed via K% and BABIP, along with Doubles, Triples and Home Runs. Example: Trout posted a strong .221 ISO despite hitting only one HR in 20 games (.476 BABIP).

I'm just posting a sliding scale based on my projected number of Mike Trout Fly Balls (177):

Jacoby Ellsbury-esque: 6.8 HR/FB, 12 HRs

Shane Victorino-esque: 8.5 HR/FB, 15 HRs

Delmon Young-esque: 10.7 HR/FB, 19 HRs

Colby Rasmus-esque: 12.4 HR/FB, 22 HRs

Jayson Werth-esque: 14.1 HR/FB, 25 HRs

Jason Heyward-esque: 16.4 HR/FB, 29 HRs

Giving him credit for as much power or more than Jason Heyward is just crazy talk. I would not be surprised if he showed Colby Rasmus-esque power (22 HRs) in 2013. If you're betting on Trout hitting 30 HR, you're also betting on Mel Gibson to get a starring role in Steven Spielberg's newest film. You're betting on Kim Kardashian to not whore out her newborn baby. And you're betting on Glenn Beck to tell you the truth.

Because Trout weighed in at a whopping 240 pounds, I eschewed his minor league pussification and dropped a 15.3% HR/FB% on him. This is me giving him credit. I could have easily dropped that down to 22 HR if I wanted. Pablo Sandoval weighs 400 lbs, but I only gave him credit for a 11.7% HR/FB%. I'm probably being too generous with my Trout forecast.

It's not just the HR/FB% either. His .383 BABIP was outrageous. Don't pay for that either. There are only a handful of players who can post a .350-or-better BABIP on a regular basis. I'm sure Trout will get over .335, and even join the league's best at .350 or higher, but we are talking about points knocked off his AVG, less attempts to steal bases and less chances to score runs. Do not get caught extrapolating.

Will Mike Trout bust? No. But I would rather draft Ryan Braun, who is coming off a .320-40-30 season (hitting in the middle of the order and able to rack up RBIs). The track record is there, the 'roids are working, and the stats are nearly unbeatable. Power is a premium these days, I'll pay for the 40-HR potential. Why not take the $30 discount and roll with Jacoby Ellsbury? Take the 75-percent off sale and draft Desmond Jennings. Shit, there is a chance that Carl Crawford outdoes Trout. Hell, I'd rather have Justin Ruggiano! OK, I've taken this too far. I better escape before I get knifed for this.

Official MDS Mike Trout Forecast

.298 AVG, 27 HRs, 45 SBs, 115 Rs, 85 RBIs (725 PAs)

9.8 BB% (.367 OBP), 21.4 K%, 15.3 HR/FB, .345 BABIP