Over the offseason, Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout said he struggled at the plate in 2020. It was something he felt confident he’d fixed heading into the 2021 season. Well, as we near the end of April, one quick glance at Trout’s stats would say everything that needs to be said about the greatest player of this generation.
In 84 plate appearances through Wednesday night’s game against the Texas Rangers, Trout is slashing an incomprehensible .420/.524/.783 for an OPS of 1.306. His OPS+, which was 180 the last time he won MVP in 2019, is 265 this season. And while everyone has taken notice of his incredible play, Albert Pujols has seen even deeper into it.
Pujols — who has spent Trout’s entire career in Anaheim — will go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game of baseball. It’s this same player who referred to Trout’s continued dominance as scary, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“He doesn’t take anything for granted,” Pujols said before the Angels played on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas. “For a young player like that, who has had that kind of success, it’s really easy to shift the direction and say ‘I’ve got this figured out.’ Trout is different. He wants to get better every day. That’s what’s scary. He’s hungry. He wants to get better and wants to help this organization win.”
And while he said that age will eventually cause a regression in Trout’s game, he doesn’t see that happening any time soon given the good habits that he’s built up through the first decade of his career.
“I thought I was going to do it for the rest of my life, but it’s just impossible to do that, man,” said Pujols, 41. “I hope he can stay healthy. If he can stay healthy, he probably can carry that for a while. He eats really well. He trains hard. He takes care of his body. He doesn’t drink. The kid goes to bed and plays a lot of video games.”
Trout is not only the best player of his generation, but he’s on pace to become perhaps the greatest player of all time. And while a 1.306 OPS is unsustainable for an entire season, if anyone can make it happen, it’s Trout.
Pujols not only sees Trout as an all-time great player, but recognizes the intense work ethic that had helped turn Trout into what he is today.
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