Hello, and welcome to another edition of the Bases Loaded blog!
The MLB season is heading into the home stretch of the regular season as September quickly approaches and there are tons of things to talk about!
Here are a few…
Youth On Display
The 2019 MLB season has been chock full of young talent.
The Home Run Derby was the first national spotlight of this talent with young guns like Ronald Acuna Jr, Pete Alonso, Joc Pederson, Vlad Guerrero Jr and others showing off their power for a packed house in Cleveland. It, to me, was easily the best Home Run Derby competition of my lifetime and it was because of the young stars.
I know what you’re thinking…”but Ditti, it was batting practice with juiced balls for TV.” And you’re absolutely right. So I’ll get to the actual season.
Christian Yelich is 27-years-old and the defending National League MVP. Acuna is 21-years-old. He is 5th in the National League in home runs (36) and leads the National League with 31 stolen bases (tied-2nd in MLB). The top 5 players in home runs in the National League are all in their 20s, with the oldest being Cincinnati’s Eugenio Suarez at 28.
The American League is loaded with young stars in the making as well, with Rafael Devers (22) in Boston leading the American League in RBI and is 3rd in batting average and of course we all know about the loaded Yankees full of 20-something bombers.
Pete Alonso is breaking rookie records, the Blue Jays are growing a team full of budding stars with familiar last names and teams like the Atlanta Braves are thriving with a very young roster.
The league is in good hands, there’s no doubt about that.
It’s Time to Trade Trout
Mike Trout is, unquestionably, the best player in Major League Baseball.
He is a 2-time American League MVP and has finished second in AL MVP voting in 4 of the other 5 years he has been in the show, fourth in the other.
The problem is, Trout has played in just three playoff games and they happened 5-years ago, in 2014, when the Angels were swept by the Wild Card Kansas City Royals, who went on to win the American League Pennant.
Mike Trout deserves better.
Trout has a career 72.3 WAR, .305 batting average and 283 home runs in just over 8-seasons, he’s only 28-years-old and he’s never won a playoff game because he’s been on mediocre baseball teams for the majority of his time in MLB. And most of those teams were only mediocre because of him.
Sure, the Angels have had some hopes here and there. In 2014, they won the AL West, in 2015 they won 85-games and flirted with a Wild Card berth and in Trout’s rookie season the club won 89-games finishing third in a stacked AL West. Other than that, they’ve been a sub-.500 team throughout Trout’s career.
I get the loyalty to the team that Trout showed with his massive $360 million contract extension, but the Angels are not only failing Trout by holding on to him…they’re also failing their fans.
The Angels were among the best in the American League for the first part of the 2000s, winning a World Series in 2002. Now, they’re living in the cellar of the AL West with the best player on the planet.
The Angels need to trade Trout to start their rebuild and return winning baseball to Anaheim and to give Trout a chance to win now.
Trout deserves to play for a winner and we deserve to see Trout play for a winner. Just imagine the haul the Halos will get in return for what could be the greatest baseball player of all time.
Just do it Angels! For yourselves, for Trout and for all of us!
Braves Power Outage
Okay, it’s a snapshot reaction, but we’ve seen a bit of a drop off from the Atlanta Braves offense recently. Dare we say, a late summer swoon.
Just as the pitching has seemed to click, and following a Braves 8-game winning streak, Atlanta has lost 2-straight very winnable games against the Rockies and Blue Jays. They only scored 2-runs combined in those two games
Now, the Braves have to avoid sinking into a losing streak against the Blue Jays tonight before returning home for what should be an easy stretch against the White Sox and then the Blue Jays again.
These are the games that Atlanta has to dominate at this point in the season. If they are a legitimate contender and want to hold off the Nationals in September, then beating up on these clubs is very important.
The Braves have 7-games left against both the 2nd place Nationals and 3rd place Phillies in September. Now is not a good time for a swoon.
I so badly want to feel some sort of hope for my Red Sox and their chances to overcome their 6-game deficit in the AL Wild Card, but I can’t. I said in the last Bases Loaded blog that the Red Sox quit on 2019 at the deadline, so now with college football returning this weekend and the NFL next weekend, I guess my fandom is on to football season.
It’s again time to “wait ’til next year” for Red Sox Nation. Now excuse me while I go watch the 2018 World Series on repeat until Spring.
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