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Preview #73: 6/19 @ Angels

Shame we’re not getting the Trout vs. Pollock aquatic match-up we all wanted...

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Jon Jay - RF Ian Kinsler - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Mike Trout - DH
Jake Lamb - 3B Justin Upton - LF
David Peralta - LF Albert Pujols - 1B
Daniel Descalso - DH Andrelton Simmons - SS
Ketel Marte - 2B Kole Calhoun - RF
John Ryan Murphy - C Martin Maldonado - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Chris Young - CF
Jarrod Dyson - CF David Fletcher - 3B
Matt Koch - RHP Felix Pena - RHP

Mike Trout is the greatest player of this generation, and possibly any generation. He’s only 26 and has already put up more than sixty bWAR. That ranks him sixth among all active players: the youngest of the five above him is Miguel Cabrera, who is eight years and three months older than Trout. For all players in baseball history through their age 26 seasons, Trout’s value trails only Mickey Mantle (61.5) and Ty Cobb (63.4), and with ninety odd games left, he may well overtake both of them by the time he completes this year. For so far, Trout has put up 6.4 bWAR in only 73 Angels games. If he keeps that up for the rest of the season, we’re looking at a staggering 14.2 bWAR.

That would be better than any year Barry Bonds had. Better than any year Babe Ruth had. It would be the highest bWAR figure for any position player in recorded baseball history. [Pitchers have done better, most recently Walter Johnson in 1913, culminating in the 1883 season of Tim Keefe, which was worth 20.2 bWAR. Mind you, he did pitch 619 innings that season. 68 starts, 68 complete games...] Know how special we feel watching Paul Goldschmidt in action? Angels’ fans have had that feeling on steroids, for the past seven seasons. But here’s the kicker: in all that time, with arguably the GOAT on their roster, know how many playoff games the Angels have won?

Zero.

Yep, not even playoff series wins. Trout has never had even a single post-season game on the winning side. The only time the Angels made it during his tenure was in 2014, when they were swept by the Royals, and Trout went 1-for-12 over the three games. And this year isn’t looking much better, as they sit in third place in the NL West, currently 812 games back of the Mariners, who occupy the second wild-card. The clock is ticking for Anaheim. There are two more seasons left, before Trout will hit free agency; he might not remain an Angel, and his best years will probably be behind him. It would be one of the greatest shames of all time, if one of the greatest players of all time, never got to play on its greatest stage.