ESPN’s David Schoenfield investigates Mike Trout’s increased strikeout rate:
Something is going on here besides just a random fluctuation in the numbers, whether it’s tied to Trout’s spring training assertion that he was going to be more aggressive or pitchers finally finding a hole in his swing or a bad case of allergies clouding his vision.
Which begs the question… what is Mike Trout allergic to?
1. Monkeys. One theory, posited by no one, is that Trout is allergic to monkeys, like the Rally Monkey. However, Trout’s strikeout rate is higher on the road than at home, so that theory makes no sense. Also, the rally monkey is a stuffed animal, not a real animal. (Or is he?) Also, I’m not sure the Rally Monkey is even used by the Angels anymore. Also, I’m not sure they’re still called the Angels or if the rest of the team name has swallowed that part up and they’re just the Los Anaheims of Angeles Los Anaheim Anaheims Los Losses.
2. The ball. Except he’s not striking out 72.4% of the time, and 72.4% is more than 27.6%, I think (number alert: can someone from real FanGraphs please check my math?). So even this increased strikeout rate is still less than what it would be if he truly needed to avoid the ball entirely or risk death by sneezing.
3. Ragweed. I’m not saying I’m anything like Mike Trout, or that he’s anything like me, or that we’re secretly brothers, or that I’m also going to earn however many gajillion dollars he’s set to earn in his career, or that I should be playing for the Angels, or that he could write a NotGraphs post, but I’ll just say that I’m allergic to ragweed, and so if Mike Trout is allergic to ragweed too, then it’s sort of like we’re brothers in an allergic way, and that would make me feel super special. Also, can someone recommend an effective antihistamine?