Fantasy Baseball: Mike Trout Wants to Steal 40 Bases Again

With little left to improve upon, the best player in baseball wants to get back to swiping more bags again.

When you look at Mike Trout, you clearly see a player with a lot of holes.

According to FanGraphs, the guy hasn't even been a 10-win player since 2013 (a measly 9.4 fWAR in his MVP season last year). He didn't hit 30 homers (29), failed to accumulate 150 RBI (only 100), and scored a paltry 123 runs! And this guy is supposed to be an MVP?

Of course, the first two paragraphs were pure sarcasm -- Trout is the undisputed best player in baseball. The guy should win the MVP award every single season and there are no holes in his game. So you can imagine how hard it is for The Natural (why isn't this Trout's nickname, does anyone know?) to come up with new things to achieve on a personal level.

Last week, Trout said one of his goals for 2017 was to once again steal 40 bases after stealing 30 in 2016 and falling one homer short of joining the 30-30 club (30 dingers and 30 steals) for the second time in his career. He accomplished that as a rookie after hitting 30 bombs and swiping 49 bags, but it was a part of his game that started to deteriorate over the years.

Check out how his stolen base totals have fluctuated over, along with his Base Running (BsR), which is a statistic from FanGraphs that measures all aspects of running the bases, including stolen bases, caught stealings, taking extra bases and being thrown out on the bases.

Year SBs BsR
2012 49 14.1
2013 33 7.8
2014 16 6.5
2015 11 3.3
2016 30 9.3

There's no real reason why Trout stopped stealing so many bags -- he just decided to be less aggressive on the bases. But it's not like he doesn't possess enough athleticism to swipe 40-plus bags.

The Los Angeles Angels outfielder and two-time AL MVP is already going to be the first player taken in most season-long fantasy drafts, unless you're a Boston Red Sox fan and need to have Mookie Betts. So, this news won't do a whole lot other than make those lucky enough to snag him with the top overall pick feel even better about their stolen bases category.

He's been such a hot fantasy commodity since breaking out as a rookie because we pretty much know what to expect from him each year. He's going to hit around .300. He's going to have an on-base percentage around .400 with a slugging percentage in the neighborhood of .550. He's also going to hit 30-35 home runs, score 120 runs and knock in around 100 more.

And while he already gave you 30 steals last season, what if he gave you 40?

If Trout does go deep 40 times and steal 40 bases, he will become just the 5th player to pull off that feat. Jose Canseco famously did it first in 1988, followed by Barry Bonds (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998) and Alfonso Soriano (2006).

There's no doubt Trout can be baseball's next 40-40 guy -- it's certainly a feat within his reach since he's shown the ability to swipe the number of bags and mash the number of taters needed (he went deep 41 times just two seasons ago).

All he needs is a repeat performance of his 2015 power combined with his 2012 stolen bases, and the exclusive 40-40 club will grow by one. Based on what he's done since debuting, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when this will happen.