This past week, MLB Network announced that Mike Trout edged out Mookie Betts in MLB Network’s Top 100 for 2021. This, after he hit just .281 last season. It happened to be the lowest of his career since his rookie season in 2011. Of course, this would be a solid season for your average hitter. And, it was the only the second time where he finished outside of the top 2 in MVP voting, other than his rookie season. He did, however, tie for 10th in WAR across MLB. To be fair, stats for this past season should not be held up the same way as they would in an ordinary season. There have been mediocre career hitters that turned out to have impressive seasons in the shortened 2020 season.
It will be interesting to see if the Angels, with their high payroll, will at least inch closer to a possible playoff appearance this upcoming season. Trout did sign a huge long term deal before the 2019 season so obviously it is difficult to walk away from a franchise that will throw a lot of money at a player. For most players, money is more important than winning. Most of us would probably feel the same way, if in that situation. Trout has only played in one ALDS in his career. The last time the Angels have won a playoff series was 2009. They fell to the Yankees that year in the ALCS 4-2.
The Dodgers, of course, are a perennial threat to win the National League West. And, yes, every year they compete for the National League pennant with Mookie Betts leading the way. Betts finished with a .292 average last season. He also landed a huge contract, however the ballclub that he plays for stays in contention every year. This was the second time that Betts was second to Trout in the network’s Top 100.