The parallels between Mike Trout and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. were clear at the beginning of the Los Angeles Angels‘ star’s career.
It was easy to see. Like Griffey, Trout was a phenom at a young age, making an instant impact in his first full major league season. He quickly established himself as one of the best players in the game, winning the AL Rookie of the Year, being named an All Star and Silver Slugger, and finishing second in the MVP award in 2012; only Miguel Cabrera winning a Triple Crown kept him from the honour. He was a three time MVP and a four time runner up in his first nine seasons, never finishing worse than fifth in the balloting.
Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout mirrors Ken Griffey Jr in unfortunate ways as well
Such was the case with Griffey at the beginning of his career. He was a perennial All Star and MVP candidate, one of the brightest stars in the game. There was no question that he would be a Hall of Famer – the only question was how far in the inner circle he would be. Then the injuries came, derailing the second half of his career.
That is where Trout is now. He is still a dangerous player when healthy, a star in the middle of the Angels’ lineup. However, he has appeared in just 54.4% of Angels games since the start of the 2021 season. His ongoing injury issues are already leading to those ‘what if’ questions and having fans imagine what could have been if he stayed healthy.
It is possible that Trout will rediscover his health in the next few years. Griffey did have two seasons when he appeared in over 140 games at 37 and 38 years old. Maybe Trout can, with a proper resting schedule and more time as the designated hitter, get back to appearing in 130 or more games a season. Of course, the DH spot becomes easier if Shohei Ohtani departs in free agency…
Mike Trout is still a superstar in the game. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Angels outfielder is mirroring Ken Griffey Jr.’s career too closely.