Prediction: Angels’ MVP Not Named Mike Trout

Updated: February 21, 2017

The Halos currently have a couple marquee names on their roster that have multiple MVP awards. Albert Pujols vacuumed up three of them when he was in the National League. Of course, centerfielder Mike Trout procured his second after putting up a terrific .315/.441/.550 slash line in 2016. While the New Jersey native in particular can be expected to be the top performer on the Angels in 2017, who is a dark horse candidate for the team title?

The case can be made that one of Trout’s outfield partners, Kole Calhoun, may be the co-MVP on the club. The last couple years have greatly boosted the right fielder’s resume, making him an ideal nominee for this hypothetical distinction.

For instance, in 2015, Calhoun made his mark on MLB in terms of getting his first Gold Glove. That same year, he proved his arm strength by virtue of getting 11 assists as well. From an offensive perspective, he set career bests in the HR/RBI categories with 26 and 83, respectively.

Last year, he demonstrated relative consistency by hitting 18 long balls and driving in 75 all in all. Kole also managed to raise his batting average up a tad to .271 in comparison to the prior year’s .256 mark. What is also notable is that his strikeout out rate diminished. After obtaining 164 in 2015, the tally was trimmed down to a much more satisfactory 118 last season. Signs along these parameters are eye-opening to say the least. Defensively, he was a stud as usual by racking up 9 assists in the OF.

What is amazing to notice about Calhoun’s career numbers thus far, too, is that each and every year he has accrued more and more walks in the grand scheme of it all. This indicates that the Red Baron is maturing as a player. Another trace of proof pertaining to the maturity argument stems from the fact that he has been extremely durable the last couple years. In 2015, he played in 159 contests, while last year he participated in 157 out of the possible 162. This shows that his desire to compete is sky high.

All of these points suggest that Kole may not only be one of the best players on the Angels in 2017. Rather, it evinces that the ball player may end up being recognized as one of the better athletes in the game, period. Given his overall consistency and his perceivable improvement in recent memory, it is safe to say Kole is an excellent candidate for the co-MVP ranking on the Angels.

His overall game is very Erstad-like, therefore adding to his likability. He may not be a glossy superstar like Trout that possesses every known skill in the book, but he leaves it all out on the field. Examples of this come to fruition whenever he dives hard into the grass to try to snag a sinking liner. What is amazing is that a high percentage of the time, he succeeds when such opportunities arise. Actions like this display grit. An individual with such a trait can become contagious for some of the younger guys.

Presuming that Kole remains on par with his past, he is bound to become that next guy in line behind Trout that everyone is buzzing about. He should be a mighty dangerous player in 2017.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login