Mike Trout vs. Shohei Ohtani: The true ‘Amazing Race’

Any opportunity to pit the best player in baseball against the best young talent in the game is going to make for some interesting conversation… especially when they’re on the same team!

Before last season, two-time MVP Mike Trout was doing it all for the Los Angeles Angels in a way no one has seen: he hits for power with the accuracy of a contact hitter; he robs base knocks and home runs in center field like he’s the Grinch on Christmas day; he runs like a bull chasing after a red sheet. Displaying all of these traits, Trout was the talk of the sport since he entered the league in 2011. That is, until his own teammate became another icon no one had ever seen.

Shohei Ohtani rocked the baseball sphere across the globe when he made the leap from the Japanese leagues into the MLB without missing a step– even improving. The 2018 Rookie of the Year’s arm rivaled vintage Randy Johnson on the mound until a UCL injury cut that portion of his game out of the equation– no matter. What Ohtani was missing in the pitching game, he more than compensated for in the batter’s box. He scorched 22 dingers– 16 of which came after his prolonged DL stint in the middle of the season; he drove in 41 runs over those same 70 post injury games– a pace of 95 RBIs over the span of a full season; he glided along the base path like a gazelle prancing for a watering hole.

So when new Angels manager Brad Ausmus speculated he didn’t know which of his superstars was faster at the Winter Meetings, it was obvious a test needed to be done.

The video above shows both Trout and Ohtani running first to third on triples– examples where it is assumed they would have to be running their quickest in a determined setting. What was initially speculation from Ausmus turned out to be absolute madness.

Without any doctoring, the video shows the first frame both players touch first base and the frame both touch third base: it was a tie.

While some databases tracking times point toward Trout’s recorded speed as slightly better than ShoTime’s, the proof– as they say– is in the pudding.

Baseball Savant tracks players speed, among other analytics, and gives Trout the slight edge over his rookie teammate (Twitter.com/tangotiger)

So with the numbers pointing one direction and the video pointing to another there seems to be only one thing to do: there must be one true Amazing Race.