Reigning MVP Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels wants to steal 40 bases this season.
According to Maria Guardado of MLB.com, outfielder Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels wants to steal 40 bases in 2017. Trout, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, has shown stellar performance over the past five years but still wants to improve his game.
Base running has always been a strength of Trout, but he used to be much better at stealing bases. Back in 2012, the righty swiped an impressive 49 bags in 54 attempts. This has been the high-water mark in his career so far, and he has not broken the 40-base figure since that season.
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In fact, the number of bases that the five-time All-Star has stolen in a season steadily declined from 2012 to 2015. In 2015, he only swiped 11 bags while being thrown out seven times. He managed to improve this figure last season to 30 successes against seven failures, but he still has room to grow that total.
Even if Mike Trout feels that he should enhance his stolen base totals, the Los Angeles Angles are certainly still happy with his current performance. Last year, the outfielder posted a typically excellent season en route to winning his second Most Valuable Player Award. Armed with a .315 batting average, the superstar walked an impressive 17 percent of the time to boast an incredible on-base percentage of .441.
In addition to his excellent ability to reach base, Trout slugged 29 home runs and swiped 30 bags, a narrow miss of making the 30-30 club for the second time in his career. Combining this with solid defense in center field make him with nearly ten wins more than a replacement player, in the eyes of FanGraphs.
Arguably his best season came in 2013. That year saw him wrack up 27 bombs and 33 stolen bases while also reaching base at an elite rate. His .323 batting average and .432 were ranked as two of the best in the league. Not only did he provide elite performance at the plate, but he gave the Los Angeles Angels quality defense at a challenging position. Ultimately, he finished second in the AL MVP voting behind Miguel Cabrera.
Should Trout bring his stolen base figures back in line with his early career amounts, he would manage to further solidify his already fantastic career. He has appeared in the All-Star Game in each of his five seasons, and the outfielder has been either the MVP or runner-up each time. Roughly one month ago, our own Ryan Schultz noted that Trout could be a sure-fire Hall of Famer already. Certainly, adding a few more stolen bases will do nothing but help his case.