Free Trout and Ohtani

Trout and Ohtani
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For the last decade when it comes to this time of the year, it is always depressing thinking about another postseason without one of the games best players in Mike Trout. The last 5 seasons have felt a little more depressing when thinking about Shohei Ohtani also missing the playoffs. Fans are yelling “Free Trout and Ohtani”

These are two of baseballs brightest stars, and even after extending the playoffs for what feels like every season; these two players, #17 and #27 are not a part of it. What other all time greats missed the playoffs with this consistency? Will Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani ever make the playoffs as part of the Angels of Anaheim?

Their Greatness

It is hard to be compared to two of the greatest players of all time, and exceed expectations. However that is exactly what these two players have done. Being compared to Micky Mantle and Babe Ruth.

Mike Trout:

Mike Trout over his ten years in an Angel uniform has amassed a .303 batting average and hit 340 home runs. Those are the simple facts for the average fan. If you dive deeper into the metrics he gets even more impressive.

His career BAPiP (batting average on balls in play) is .347 and he has attained close to 3,000 bases with 2,923 total. Even through his injuries he puts up stats that for players who played a full season could not put up.

This season alone for example, Trout missed over a month of baseball from July 12th to August 19th. Still hit the magic number 30 in home runs on 90 hits this season. In 2019 Trout missed the elusive 50 home run mark by 5 after missing the final 19 games due to an injury.

Shohei Ohtani

Babe Ruth was one of the best hitters, ever. Also had a few years early in his career where he was a pitcher, and a good one. Story has it, he had to choose between hitting and pitching, he choose hitting and the rest is history.

100 years later, Shohei Ohtani shows up and for 5 seasons in a row is top 5 in both hitting and pitching statistics. People are saying not only is he doing what the Babe couldn’t, he is doing it consistently great.

In 5 seasons Ohtani has hit for over 1,000 total bases (1,011) and cranked 125 souvenirs in the form of home runs. On track to leave a legacy of one of the best hitters this game has ever seen. Last season alone batting .270 with 46 homers and 100 RBI’s.

Let me do something I have never been able to do before in my lifetime, look at the same player I just mentioned, yet his pitching stats as well. One of the best hitters in the league also is one of the most dominate pitchers in our league. Over 319 innings pitched in the MLB and never has he given up more than 50 runs in a season, pitching to a career 3.13 ERA. (Which is ballooned by his 2020 year where he only pitched 1 game and amassed a 37.80 ERA)

Other Greats to not see Post Season Success

There are dozens of players considered greats that do not have the post season success you would expect from the weight their names hold. Now prior to the 1969 season they were a lot of names on this list due to only 2 teams making it to the post season.

I will name a few that played since the original expansion occurred. Fergie Jenkins is one of the best pitchers in the history of this sport, played 18 seasons with the Chicago Cubs without a playoff game. A more recent name to be on this list is Felix Hernandez, who won a Cy Young award in 2010, yet never made the playoffs.

In this era of baseball between trades and free agency it is rare for a player to do what Ernie Banks and Ron Santo did. Which was waste their career with one team, never having a chance to dance into the playoffs. Usually players now grow old of waiting on the front office and demand a trade or simply sign with another team of their liking in free agency, building powerhouses.

Which leads me to ask why, why in this day and age would Mike Trout sign a deal to stay with a franchise for over a decade? Will Shohei Ohtani re-sign with the Angels or leave Trout to struggle on his own?

Free Trout and Ohtani

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

I do not fault the Los Angeles Angels as much as I should. I mean on paper they have tried in their own way, and tried hard, to build a team around these two superstars.

They have signed numerous big name players to huge contracts. Those players have done absolutely nothing to help this team win. From position players paid to put the bat on the ball and give some help offensively to pitchers paid to get outs. No matter the name or the contract, if their name is not Trout or Ohtani, they have under-performed, and under-performed dramatically.

As a baseball fan, hopefully this is the last season we missed these two players in a playoff series. I can not wait to see Ohtani pitching in a crucial game 5, then turn around and produce big hits in game 6 and 7 while Mike Trout carries the team all series on offense as well as running down fly balls in center field.

Unfortunately, that will probably not happen together as part of the Angels. Please, please, please, “Free Trout and Ohtani”, and please do it fast!

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Rowan Donaghey is a Sports and Betting Insider for Fantom Sports Industries. Follow him on twitter for daily content via

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