Trout's numbers slip as longest season winds down

Trout's numbers slip as longest season winds down

Trout's numbers slip as longest season winds down
ARLINGTON -- This is by far the longest baseball season Mike Trout has ever played. And though he's 21, full of energy and overflowing in talent, it appears Trout -- like most rookies not used to playing into September -- may be feeling it a little.

Trout had a solid game Friday, hitting his 29th homer to score his team-record 125th run, then notching a triple to set an Angels rookie record with his 173rd hit. But the Angels center fielder has played every inning of every game since July 29, and has been out of the starting lineup just twice since May 7.

That may be a big reason for his statistical regression.

Since the start of August, Trout sports a .271/.367/.471 slash line, his batting average dropping from an American League-leading .348 to the current .321 mark.

"Some days, legs are heavy, but other than that, I feel fine physically," said Trout, who went 10-for-55 last September. "I just go out there, day in and day out, and just do my job, not try to do too much. Get on base and try to score some runs."

With the AL Most Valuable Player Award, Trout has a lot in his favor, with regards to his raw numbers -- he's one homer and three steals away from being the third player in history to match 30 home runs and 50 stolen bases in one season -- and his sabermetric value.

But a big thing pointing in favor of Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, in addition to his quest for the Triple Crown, is the fact he's played his best baseball down the stretch, posting a .338/.408/.662 slash line since the start of August.

In the batter's box, Trout believes he needs to stay on pitches longer, swing at strikes and not pull his head out.

Physically, though, he says he's fine.

"It's definitely been a long year, but these games, when they mean the most, the adrenaline rush kicks in," he said. "Especially here, it's sold out every night, and [the Rangers are] doing everything they can to knock us out and we're doing everything we can to knock them out. So I just go out there and play with high energy and try to win some ballgames."