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January 22, 2013 posted by Patrick DiCaprio

Why We Rank Mike Trout Eighth Among OF

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Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

Obviously we need to explain our Mike Trout ranking.

Our Mixed League OF rankings have Trout eighth. We are probably the only site that has him that low, though admittedly it is impossible to check every site and blog out there. This is not an attempt to make a name for ourselves (we do not need to do that anyway), nor is it to start a controversy.

Our rankings are not free; they are available with daily updates to Premium Subscribers. As such, the obligation is to give subscribers the best set of rankings that we can. It is not to make sure others agree with us, or to make sure that we agree with ESPN or Yahoo. So, if we look foolish in the eyes of others that does not bother us; we have to be honest.

My honest assessment of Trout is that no one, and that means no one, has any idea what he will do this year. And that fact alone means it is crazy to rank him in the First Round. We need not address just how historic his rookie season was, but we do need to recognize that very few players in history had two years that good, much less their first two seasons, which is what the industry is asking of Trout when ranking him first overall.

Here are a few other factoids to ponder:

-The rookie BA leader, and rookies generally that bat over .300, often drop about 50 points in year two;

-His K/BB ratio is below 0.50, which research shows makes it very difficult to hit .300. And this ratio is not unexpected for him.

-He hit only 33% of his balls in the air, but more than 21% of those went for HR. This is going to regress.

His BABIP if .380 is very likely to regress. One may argue that he can sustain it, but very few players can keep a BABIP at this level over a two year period. Maybe he can, but we are betting against it and playing the odds.

-His expected BA last year was only .280, and differences of over 30 points compared to actual batting average are strong candidates for regression. And, as we always say, once that pendulum starts to swing the other way there is often no stopping it.

If we are right, and we are a minority of one, then a reasonable expectation for Trout might be 15 HR and .280 BA, with downside on that BA. If that floats your boat as the number one overall pick, do not let us stop you from drafting him in the first round. Our subscribers will have a big edge if we are right, and we think we are.

Feel free to comment on why I am nuts.

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