Angels’ Mike Trout: ‘A Lot of People Are Writing Me Off’ Entering 2024 MLB Season

Mike Trout has become saddled with the “injury-prone” tag in recent seasons, appearing in just 36 games in 2021, 119 games in 2022 and 82 games last season.

But the three-time AL MVP feels he still has plenty of great baseball left in the tank.

“I think a lot of people are writing me off,” he told The Athletic’s Sam Blum. “I just use it as motivation.”

Trout, 32, has remained productive when he actually plays. He still blasted 40 homers and had a .999 OPS in 2022, and likely would have won the MVP award if he played in more games. He had a 1.090 OPS in 2021, and in half a season last year still hit .263 with 18 homers, 44 RBI, 54 runs and a .858 OPS.

He was an All-Star in all three seasons, an honor bestowed upon him 11 times. But can he stay healthy?

In 2021, it was a torn calf muscle. In 2022, back issues hampered him. Last season, he fractured the hamate bone in his left hand.

“I just want to be out there,” Trout told reporters in September. “Injuries suck. All the hard work and stuff and just freak stuff happens. I try to stay positive.”

General manager Perry Minasian believes Trout will prove his doubters wrong in 2024.

“Mike cares. Mike wants to win as bad as anybody. I think he’s put himself in a really good spot,” he told Blum. “The work he’s done before he got to camp. The work he did in camp. The amount of games he’s played. The amount of at-bats he’s gotten, how strong he is. I think he’s due for a big year.”

He won’t exactly have a loaded supporting cast, however, after Shohei Ohtani bolted for the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency and the Angels cut payroll rather than spend this winter. Minasian said the team was “aggressive” in the trade market but ultimately didn’t pull the trigger due to high asking prices.

“There were players we liked in the trade market that we felt like could really help the club,” he said. “But what we were losing, we couldn’t stomach. Some of the players that were on this roster, we really, really like. Some of the players that are in our minor leagues, regardless of what publications say, we feel like have a chance to be pretty impactful young players going forward. So we made the decision we made.”

If the Angels flounder in 2024, will the team entertain trade offers for Trout, allowing him the chance to pursue the title that has eluded him? Trout has only made the postseason once with the organization—at some point, will he grow weary of that lack of success?

Time will tell. But actually staying on the diamond is the first goal for Trout.

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