Simon: What makes Mike Trout the perfect baseball player

From SABR member Mark Simon at on August 23, 2017:

There’s a lot to watch in any given game.

What if we focused on one player, at one position, over a full nine innings? For this, we turned our eyes to the best player in baseball, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout.

On May 19, we headed to Citi Field with the primary purpose of tracking Trout. If you want to watch the perfect player — the LeBron James of his sport — he’s the one to pick. Nine days after we watched Trout, he tore a ligament in his thumb and missed nearly two months. When he returned, he didn’t skip a beat. Part of the beauty of watching Trout is confirming what so many observers tell us about him: he’s the same player every single day.

“He is just the most consistent hitter, defender, player that plays baseball right now,” says Sunday Night Baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza. “He can do it all, all the time. I would tell someone watching him, ‘Try to find a mistake.'”

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Originally published: August 23, 2017. Last Updated: August 23, 2017.