Mike Trout (31-Los Angeles Angels), arguably the best hitter of this era, is in a hitting slump.
Pitchers keep attacking him the same way. The fastball (four-seam + sinker). But even though he knows what’s coming, he’s barely able to react to it.
According to Sports Illustrated, Trout was facing fastballs at the highest rate in all of baseball through 14 games. That’s 63.9 percent.
Second-place Myles Straw (63.0%), third-place Stephen Khan (60.8% – Cleveland Indians), fourth-place Austin Nola (58.9% – San Diego Padres), and fifth-place John Bertie (57.8% – Miami Marlins) have a combined total of just five home runs. It’s easy to see why pitchers use fastballs most often against them.먹튀검증
But it’s surprising to see Trout, a power hitter with 14 home runs, get this treatment.
In 33 games since May 7, Trout has a slash line of .208/.324/.375. It’s no secret how pitchers are getting him out. In those 33 games, pitchers have thrown 82% of their fastballs to Trout. In that span, Trout is batting just .174 despite being able to see the fastball coming.
Trout’s weakness is against fastballs in the upper part of the strike zone because of his upper swing to produce long balls.
This weakness is even more pronounced during slumps. When dividing the zone into three sections, top, middle, and bottom, he went 1-for-20 against pitches in the top of the zone in 33 games.
Pitchers focus on his fastball, but occasionally mix in off-speed pitches like a changeup or breaking ball to confuse him.
Pitchers have been throwing fastballs against him at an increasing rate: 58.5% in April, 63.4% in May, and 78.2% in June. Meanwhile, his monthly batting average has been plummeting: .273 (April) → .200 (May) → .125 (June).
However, there are signs of optimism.
In a game against the Texas Rangers on July 12, Trout hit a 91-mile-per-hour fastball from Dane Dunning for a hit and also drew three walks. Showing signs of breaking out of a nasty slump.
After 13 days off, he was back in action on the 14th at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. He went 0-for-3 with no hits but drew two walks. In his second at-bat in the third inning, he took a 91.4-mile-per-hour four-seam fastball near the top of the zone and walked. In the fourth, he fouled off a fastball up the middle on a full count and then walked again after being fooled by a changeup.
Although he was unable to turn his fastball into a hit on the day, he showed some command by fouling off several pitches in crucial situations.
It will be interesting to see if Trout can get out of the fastball rut he’s been in for the past five weeks.