Why Mike Trout Won’t Repeat his Rookie Season Success

mike-trout-home-run-rob-520It was in 1996 when everything was just perfect for Derek Jeter. The future captain of the New York  Yankees batted .314, had 25 doubles and hit ten home runs, which is not bad for a young light weight shortstop. His team the Yankees won the World Series. Not a bad year at all, a World Series ring his first season ever playing and a Rookie of the year crown, an achievement only a handful of players have ever been able to accomplish.

Derek’s second year was fascinating, the drop in average dipped to .291 as he had an increase in 82 at bats. A .291 batting average is not a horrible year but it definitely wasn’t as great as his first year. With those 82 at bats, Derek only played 2 more games compared to his rookie year, meaning, Derek moved up in the line-up. Now, Derek Jeter has moved on to have a fabulous career.

When Ichiro Suzuki entered the league in 2001, he batted .350. His after Rookie season, he batted .321, meaning another rookie of the year with a  drop in batting average his sophomore full season. This trend is very common with rookie of the years. It happened with Ryan Braun in 2008, when he batted .285, right after his .324 rookie season.

If the rookie batted below.300, his numbers usually would go up his second year in the majors, like Evan Longoria in 2009. Dustin Pedroia is the only player in the last ten years to bat above .300 his rookie season, and then come back his second year and have a better batting average.

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Alex Rodriguez was never Rookie of the year, but his first full season in the big leagues was in 1996. That year he hit .358 with 36 home runs. One of the best years of his career. The following year his average dipped 58 points.

Mike Trout, didn’t just have a rookie of the year season, he had an MVP year. Very similar to Ichiro’s rookie season in 2001. There’s a few factors that go into the sophomore year of a super stars career that we have to take into consideration. There’s a good chance the odds are against Mike Trout.  Here’s a breakdown of them:

The Factors

  1. Pitchers now have more information on the player. Unlike in the minor leagues, the technology in the big leagues is the best of the best. Pitchers now know your batting average in every part of the strike zone. Meaning they know your weaknesses more than you know them. They have scouts that work with them that show the numbers. If you look closely at Mike Trout’s month by month stats in 2012 you’ll notice his average drops to .256 the last month of the season. More information was used against him.
  2. The player becomes a target. The Los Angeles Angels are a target as well. In 2001 the Seattle Mariners won 116 games, the second greatest record in MLB history. After that wonder year, the Mariners dropped to 93 wins, and so did Ichiros .350 batting average. They became a target. With the addition of Josh Hamilton, the Hamilton, Pujols, and Trout combo will make it to the top of ESPN on more nights than you think. Don’t expect any of the Halo trio to get any good pitches. Pitchers are very aware.
  3. The first year is long.  The first time these guys have played over 140 games. Players take breaks after the season. Spring training is only four and a half months away. Players go hang out with friends and family, go on vacations, enjoy the holidays. Mike went home to New Jersey, gained weight. It’s just more difficult for rookies to figure out how much they should practice, to prevent burn out.

In Conclusion

Mike Trout probably won’t have a bad year. He has already put up an impressive spring training. Even though it doesn’t mean much, it carrys over. My prediction is Mike batting .304 when all is said and done in June. I might be wrong and I hope I am because I’m a big Angels fan!

Author Bio

Cody Lewis is a writer and employee for GolfMesquiteNevada.com. He’s originally from Anaheim, California. He loves golf, he can golf all day. He loves sports, is a huge Angels fan. He graduated from UNLV with a bachelor’s degree in business management and currently has dreams of starting his own sports website.


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