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Fantasy Player Outlook: Have We Not Seen Peak Mike Trout Yet?

Is there any way for Los Angeles Angels OF Mike Trout to become an even better fantasy option? SI Fantasy analyst Shawn Childs reveals how it can be done.

The Los Angeles Angels use Mike Trout second in the batting order, which amounted to low RBI opportunities in four of the previous five seasons (341, 283, 301, and 360). While still the clear-cut top player in baseball, he should be producing in the three-hole.

To compound this RBI issue, Trout has missed 98 games in the last years. Trout concluded 2019 on the injured list due to a right foot injury which required surgery. The injury likely originated from a foul ball back in late May. He also missed time in July due to a calf injury.

Last year, Trout performed best in the first half of the season (.301 with 28 HRs, 67 RBI, and eight SBs over 302 at-bats). His power came to fruition in July (.286 with 13 HRs and 29 RBI over 84 at-bats). His AVH (2.212) was a career-best, but he saw a step back in his CTBA (.391). He also hit for a worse average vs. lefties (.266 with 10 HRs and 26 RBI over 143 at-bats).

Left-handed pitching has been his one Achilles’ heel. In the 2017 & 2018 seasons, Trout only had nine HRs and 20 RBI vs. left-handed pitching over 195 ABs. His approach (20.0 strikeout rate & 18.3 walk rate) is elite. He had career-bests in his fly-ball rate (49.2) and HR/FB rate (25.9) while also delivering plenty of line drives (26.6 percent). Trout provided the 71st hard-hit rate in the majors while finishing fourth in barrels per PA.

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There’s no question that Trout is a great, elite player, but we need to see him play a full year to reach his ceiling. His decline in steals last year (11) was likely related to his toe injury. With Anthony Rendon expected to hit behind him in the batting order, Trout has a shot to lead the league in runs with 50-plus HR, 120-plus RBI, and 20 steals if given a full 162-game slate of ABs. Plus, his BA still has league-leading upside. He is being drafted first or second overall. Last year, Trout ranked eighth in SIscore (6.98) while playing in just 83.3 percent of the season.

READ MORE2020 Los Angeles Angels Fantasy Team Preview