This weekend, Ron Washington got a first-hand look at Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels’ rookie phenom. The Angels took two out of three games from the Texas Rangers, much of which was due to the continued outstanding play of Mike Trout. In the three-game series against the Rangers, Trout went five for ten, with a home run, a triple, two RBI, three walks and four runs scored. After Sunday’s game, Trout leads the American League in stolen bases (31), runs scored (70) and batting average (.357). Not only is there talk of Mike Trout winning the Rookie of the Year Award, but Trout has also and rightfully been placed in the American League MVP discussions. Of course, with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, of the Washington Nationals, both being rookies and taking the baseball world by the throat, there have been fair comparisons between the two. Now, the absolutely torrid pace that Mike Trout is on has many comparing Trout to the all-time greats. Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington says, wait… Let’s hold on before we deem Mike Trout one of the greatest players ever. As reported by Blair Anguno of ESPNDallas.com, Washington had the following quote with regards to Trout and the comparisons:
He’s not Willie Mays. He’s a pretty good player, but I think the comparisons have to stop. Let the kid play. When he’s been here five years, six years, then you can start doing that.
While some may say that this sounds like sour grapes coming from Washington, the man makes a good point. At no time did Washington diminish Trout’s recent accomplishments. What Washington seems to be saying is that the all-time greats, such as Willie Mays, did this for multiple years over their careers. Mike Trout is a rookie that made his MLB debut in 2011. As fans, sometimes we jump the gun with some of our comparisons. It is true that as of now, Trout is having one of the best rookie seasons in MLB history, but let’s not put too much pressure on him by making such comparisons. “Let the kid play.” Let’s enjoy the tremendous season that Trout is having and see what happens in the years to come. Ron Washington has been around the game for a long time. He has a tremendous amount of respect for the all-time greats, and to make such comparisons at this point would be to ignore the long-term accomplishments of baseball’s greatest historic players. Slow down folks. Mike Trout is not Willie Mays… At least not yet.