Mike Trout: Fantasy Owners Must Anticipate Sophomore Slump from Angels Star

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 28, 2013

TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 27:  Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels runs on a first inning single hit against the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on February 27, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Mike Trout lit up the majors in 2012, making a run at the American League MVP award, while hitting 30 home runs, recording 83 RBI and batting .326 for the Los Angeles Angels.

But fantasy owners would be foolish to expect Trout to deliver the same sort of superhuman numbers for a second straight year in 2013. That's not to say that the 21-year-old center fielder has lost any of the skills that turned him into a star a year ago. Rather, it will be the pressure to live up to his never-before-seen rookie season that will ultimately bring about a letdown.

The term "sophomore slump" certainly applies to Trout's situation. While some rookies surpass expectations in their first year, raising the bar for year No. 2, Trout obliterated expectations.

To hold Trout to the standard he set in 2012 would be unfair, to say the least. 

While he proved he's capable of putting together a phenomenal season, he's only done so once.

Just look at how much progress Trout made from 2011 to 2012. He batted .220 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 40 games in 2011. A year later, Trout batted .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBI in 139 games. He even stole 49 bases a year after stealing just four.

Trout's increased playing time certainly contributed to his improved production, but a letdown after such a year is seemingly inevitable.

Everything Trout does in 2013 will be compared to last season, and because of that, measuring up will be nearly impossible. Naturally, expectations will increase as he has more experience under his belt and a ton more confidence to work with.

But how do you improve or even maintain that level of production over the course of another 162-game season?

I'm not sure that you do.

For fantasy owners who have realistic expectations for Trout in 2013 and anticipate that he will post numbers that are decent but not as incredible as those he put up in 2012, he'll be a great pickup. But those who believe Trout will set the league on fire for a second straight year are destined for disappointment.


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