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The Star That Still Won't Shine: The Incredible, Unprecedented But Unseen Greatness Of Mike Trout

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Video by CBS Sports

This story appears in the July 16, 2018, issue of Sports Illustrated. For more great storytelling and in-depth analysis, subscribe to the magazine—and get up to 94% off the cover price. Click here for more.

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"Give me something on Mike Trout. Anything. Just one thing. . . . Please.”

Even legends have their vulnerabilities. Achilles had his heel, Superman his Kryptonite and Mickey Mantle had Dick Radatz, the reliever known as the Monster, who whiffed the Mick 12 times in 16 at bats. Scott Servais, the Mariners’ manager, had been watching Trout play for eight years, back to when the Angels’ centerfielder was a teenager, and still he knew of no Trout antidote, no Monster to tame him.

The first time Servais saw Trout play was November 2011, when Jerry Dipoto, then the Angels’ general manager, hired Servais as his assistant and sent him to watch the Arizona Fall League. The then 20-year-old Trout, weary and weak from 156 games that year, including his major league debut, hit .245 with one home run in Arizona. “Scott, don’t worry,” Dipoto said when Servais expressed doubt about Trout’s potential. “This guy is going to be the next big thing in our sport.”

Dipoto was underselling. The game almost never has seen anything like Mike Trout. He soon will pass Mantle for the third-highest Wins Above Replacement for any position player in his first eight seasons. Only Ted Williams (72.6) and Albert Pujols (64.1) accumulated a higher WAR through eight seasons than Trout (61.1). Each of his seasons seems better than the last, especially this one, when Trout is on pace for a WAR of 12.3, which would be the highest for any position player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 (12.5).

After Dipoto resigned from the Angels in 2015 and was hired to run the Mariners, he brought on Servais as his manager. Entering a series in Seattle last month, Trout had played against Servais’s Mariners not as if he had been dipped in the River Styx but as if he had soaked luxuriously in it. Servais had watched Trout hit .317 with 13 homers and 31 RBI in the 37 games he’s managed against Los Angeles.

And so it was that Servais turned to his advance scout who prepared the scouting report for the series against the Angels for some wisdom, without bothering to veil his exasperation. “Well,” the scout replied to his request, “maybe there is this one thing. Trout slugs about .900 in almost every area of the strike zone. But there’s a little box, up and away, where he slugs only about .400.”

“That’s it!” Servais said. “That’s one thing we can go with.”

A short while later, the Mariners’ staff held their usual pre-series meeting with pitchers and catchers to review how they would pitch the Los Angeles hitters. When they got to Trout’s name, Servais took over.

“Up and away with velocity,” the manager said. “Everybody on board with that?”

The Seattle pitchers all nodded in agreement. They would attack Trout up and away. As with an arrow through the heel, with this precise plan they would pierce the legend.

Mike Trout taps his left foot when he talks—not in the manner of a metronome, keeping rhythm to some laid-back beat, but furiously, in the manner of someone who has to be somewhere. He has bases to steal, fly balls to snare and pitchers to terrorize, but for now, uncomfortably inert, he is tap-tap-tapping the floor of a corridor at Fenway Park outside the visitors’ clubhouse, seated for an interview, when he gives the most upside-down, inside-out remarkable view of how baseball works.

“The best part of hitting?” he asks. “You have control of what you’re doing. You’re in the box. It’s your box. I love hitting. You put in all the time and practice to go out there and put up good numbers, and it’s just so fun. I enjoy it so much. I don’t know ... Guys on base get me excited.”

“Hold on,” I tell him. “The pitcher is the one in control. He’s got the baseball. He’s the one who knows where it’s going, how fast it’s going, how it’s spinning ... You can only react to what he does.”

“I flip it,” he says, smiling in recognition of his own preposterousness. “Because you know your zone. I think if you give the pitcher anything it just gives them an advantage and an edge. So you have to just go in that box and own it. Think positive, and it’s yours.”

Trout owns the box like never before, which is a mouthful for someone who in his six full seasons has finished first in Most Valuable Player voting twice, second three times and fourth once. His on-base percentage (.455), OPS (1.082), walk rate (19%) and home run rate (on pace for 45) are all the best of his career. His defensive work in centerfield is better than ever. His stolen-base success rate is better than ever (93%). He has reached base 182 times and been thrown out advancing just once.

“It’s like every year he gets better and better,” says teammate Kole Calhoun. “I didn’t think there was anything he could improve on, and yet here he is putting up numbers like he never has. He’s just incredible. He’s a once in a lifetime talent who goes out and keeps doing more and more to impress you.”

The wonder of Trout is made all the more remarkable—necessary, even—because of the angst surrounding how baseball is being played. Halfway through the season, it is harder to get a hit today than in any of the 46 seasons since the adoption of the designated hitter rule. For the first time in the game’s history, there are more strikeouts than hits and the ball is not in play (via walks, strikeouts and home runs) more than one-third of all plate appearances. The game is slowed by a data-driven suppression of offense, such as finely calibrated defensive shifts and incessant use of hard-throwing relievers, who have become so adept at keeping the ball out of play that the average reliever, not just the closers, now strikes out batters at the rate Sandy Koufax once did.

Commissioner Rob Manfred in recent years has convened a competition committee, spoken repeatedly about the need for structural change and brainstormed ideas out loud (a pitch clock, a limit on shifts, etc.), only to run into resistance from the players’ association. The unintended effect of all the caterwauling is that baseball has branded itself as too slow. And now, after a decade of rock-steady support, attendance reflects the perception; it is down 6%, to its lowest per-game level in 15 years.

a baseball player wearing a red shirt © Provided by TIME Inc.

Trout is the best individual asset baseball has—for years its undisputed best player, a physical freak who slugs like Aaron Judge and runs like Dee Gordon, and a role model who signs autographs for kids before every game and is perpetually upbeat. When Trout was a rookie, the Angels were flying to their next city when one of the coaches, Dino Ebel, was so inspired by Trout’s sunny outlook that he walked to the back of the plane, sat down next to Trout and said, “I’ve got to tell you something.

“You know that guy who you liked growing up, that guy with the Yankees, the shortstop, Derek Jeter?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s you, dude—in an Angels uniform. You’re going to be him in our uniform all your career.”

Trout smiled. Ebel continued.

“You come to the ballpark every day and you smile. You love to be out there. You go 1-for-19 and everybody thinks, What’s wrong with Mike Trout?—and you’re the same guy. You never change. That’s what you bring to the park every day.”

That was seven years ago.

“A thousand games later, it hasn’t changed a bit,” Ebel says. “It’s even getting better. I’ve never seen this guy come in, look at somebody and be down. He says hi to everybody, smiles at everybody. ‘Whaddya got, dude?’ ‘How ya doin’?’ Every single day.

“A bad mood? Even on a bad day—we lose, he’s 0-for-4—and he’s the same guy. I’ve never seen this guy not being Mike Trout.”

But baseball’s top asset has an identity crisis. On the July day that the best player in basketball, LeBron James, created a frenzy by announcing he was going to play in the Los Angeles market, the best player in baseball, who has been in the Los Angeles market for eight years, lost a road game to the worst team in baseball, the Orioles, in front of just 18,351 fans—Camden Yards was more than half empty. It was the Angels’ 14th loss in 20 games. By the Fourth of July the Angels were 43–43, already had used 49 players and were given a less than 2% chance of making the playoffs.

Rarely, and not since the Cubs made Ernie Banks an icon of patience, has a team done less with a player this great than the Angels have done with Trout. One player can’t impact baseball the way someone like James can in basketball, but the truth is that baseball teams with a historically great player tend to be very good at some point. The Angels have been an exception. Twenty-four teams have won a playoff game since Trout broke into the big leagues. His Angels are not one of them. The only time they reached the playoffs with Trout, in 2014, the Royals swept them in the first round.

More than the catch-all complaint of “better marketing,” baseball players more than other athletes need postseason exposure, especially in the World Series, to be transcendent national stars. Trout, for instance, says he cannot remember ever being invited on to a late-night talk show. More viewers watched the Music City Bowl last December between Northwestern and Kentucky than have ever seen Trout play a single regular or postseason game in person. His kind of greatness never has been this obscure. Of the eight players with the highest WAR through their first eight seasons, Trout is the only one never to have won a postseason game. In fact, the Angels have been in first place for a total of 83 games in Trout’s career.

Still, he smiles. He makes it a point to sign autographs for kids on a daily basis because he’s still a kid himself, and because he remembers trips from home in Millville, N.J., to Philadelphia to watch the Phillies and get autographs from players such as Ryan Howard and Scott Rolen. “To put a smile on a kid’s face and make his day means a lot to me,” he says. He smiles, too, because of that batter’s box. In there nothing else matters, including the losing. He loves hitting so much that sometimes the love overwhelms him, when the joy of barreling up a baseball stirs over-eagerness in him.

“Nervous? No, no, no,” he says. “I would never say nervous. I would say anxious. Anxious just to hit. I love hitting. I love competing. I’m just anxious to get up there.”

What Trout is doing is the biggest story in baseball this year, both for its sweetness and its bitterness. The best player in baseball is better than he ever has been.

And the unfortunate greatness of Mike Trout never has been more profound.

When Trout came to bat against Mariners reliever Ryan Cook in the eighth inning on June 11, the night Servais hatched his plan to stop him, he already had a home run (off a changeup) and an intentional walk. Trout had faced Cook 12 times previously, but not since 2015, after which Cook suffered a cascade of injuries. Trout remembered that Cook likes to throw fastballs and sliders.

“I’m looking heater obviously,” Trout says. “My philosophy is ‘Keep it simple.’ I think too much information for me is bad, because then I’m up there thinking. Just knowing what the guy is featuring, what’s his secondary pitch and even his third pitch—just the percentages.

“Less is more for me. That’s why I call timeout a lot. If I’m in the box and I start thinking, I’ve got to clear my mind. Reset mode.”

a group of baseball players that are standing in front of a crowd © Provided by TIME Inc.

Cook throws 95 mph, the perfect guy to implement Servais’s plan. His first pitch was exactly what the manager wanted: a fastball up and away at 95. Trout fouled it back.

Cook came back with another fastball, though this one leaked more to the middle of the plate. Trout swung and missed. The plan was working.

“When a guy throws hard,” Trout says, “and as a competitor your adrenaline is rushing, you think you need to swing harder and be that much quicker. For me, that hurts. If I try to hit the ball so hard or hit it so far that hurts me. I’m late.

“After a couple of pitches I told myself, ‘I just need to tone it down a little bit.’ Something like that, people don’t see or understand. It’s just one gear down.”

Cook threw another high fastball, slightly above the strike zone. Trout took it for a ball. Cook came back with another, and that, too, was high. Trout again did not bite.

For the fifth consecutive pitch Cook threw a fastball, this one up and away, exactly in that little area where the Mariners had mapped Trout’s fallibility.

“I have my zone,” Trout says, “and if it’s in that box and you throw it hard, it’s tough [for a pitcher]. I’m looking fastball and if I get it . . . I put a good swing on it and it went out.”

It didn’t just go out. It went out like no other ball hit this season. The ball left Trout’s bat with a launch angle of 19 degrees, well below the major league home run average of 28 degrees. It was a screamer of a line drive to centerfield that carried 459 feet. There have been 43,202 balls hit this year with a launch angle of less than 20 degrees. None carried as far as this Trout home run.

In the Seattle dugout, Servais shook his head in surrender. One word came to his mind: “Uncle.”

Despite Trout’s two home runs, the Angels lost the game, 5–3.

Sometime last winter, Trout read that he was a lousy centerfielder. According to the metric Defensive Runs Saved, Trout, with a mark of –6, ranked 11th out of 17 qualified centerfielders in 2017. Though Trout cares little about analytics, reading this chapped him. As soon as he arrived at spring training, he asked for a meeting with Ebel, who is the outfield coach; general manager Billy Eppler; and the statistical analysts in the front office.

“Take all the centerfielders in the game,” he told them, “put them in a chart, show me their first step and my first step, and I’ll just try to get better each and every day.”

Trout and Ebel would retreat to a back field in spring training to find a way to work his way up that chart. Trout would position himself in centerfield. Another coach would flip a baseball to Ebel, who would smash it with a fungo bat toward Trout. Together they changed how Trout prepared himself before the ball was hit.

Before this year, Trout would move into a ready -position—feet apart, knees flexed, hands in front—as the pitcher began to deliver the baseball. What he had not realized was that by getting ready so early he had to hold that position for a beat and then get re-started if the ball was hit his way. Ebel and Trout decided he would wait until the pitch approached the hitting zone to get into the ready position. That way he would be moving as the ball was hit—thus eliminating that start-stop-start sequence.

“It’s a timing thing,” Trout says, “so when the ball hits the bat, I go, as opposed to sitting and getting started all over again. That’s helped me out a lot.”

He made one other change. Instead of picking his spots for when to lay out for balls and when to field them on a hop, he decided, “Catch everything. Just catch everything. I got to a couple of balls this year that I thought I couldn’t even get to. I told myself, ‘Don’t give up on the ball too quick.’ It’s just try to catch everything and that’s what’s been helping me.”

Trout ranks fifth this year with a DRS of +7. He is the most improved centerfielder in baseball.

“I see his improvement on a daily basis,” Ebel says. “In centerfield he’s doing a great job. At the plate he’s laying off pitches that he used to swing at. He’s controlling the strike zone more. And when he gets his pitch, he hammers it.”

The confrontation between pitcher and batter is a border war. Pitchers throw the majority of their pitches out of the strike zone—51%. They do so because they know they are almost twice as likely to get hitters out by enticing them to swing at pitches out of the zone (.150 batting average) than by challenging them in the zone (.283).

At bats and games are decided in the territory around the margins of the strike zone. The average big league hitter takes the bait—swinging at pitches out of the zone—27% of the time. Trout chases pitches out of the zone only 17% of the time, making him one of the seven most disciplined hitters in baseball.

“Joey Votto last year was around 14%, which is like the best ever,” says Angels hitting coach Eric Hinske. “Chase rate is a good indicator of a guy putting himself in position to drive a baseball consistently. Because your head’s not moving, you’re down, you’re ready to fire, you’re recognizing the pitch early. So the higher the chase rate the more you’re doing something wrong where your eyes and head are moving and you’re not recognizing pitches.

“I think the most impressive thing about Mike and all of his numbers is his chase rate.”

When Trout forces pitchers into the strike zone, he is the best hitter in baseball—piling up an MLB-best 185 total bases on pitches in the zone, with a .365 batting average and .768 slugging percentage.

In the manner of Williams, Trout’s plate discipline has become so renowned that if he doesn’t swing, umpires are more likely to think the pitch is a ball. Umpires have called balls on 57 pitches to Trout that actually were in the zone—the most favorable blown calls for any hitter in baseball. By comparison, Bryce Harper, who is more of a free swinger, has benefited from only 23 such calls.

“Mike was great from Day One,” says Boston pitcher Rick Porcello, “but now I feel like he gives a pitcher so many fewer options. You can’t get him to chase. The places where you might get him in the strike zone are a lot fewer than they used to be. It used to be that you could go up with a fastball, but he’s really improved there. And if you keep showing him the same pitch, he’s going to get you.

“So here’s the problem: you can’t get him to chase, and the last thing you want to do is throw him soft down in the zone. He kills those pitches, even good ones. That doesn’t leave you much.”

This season Trout is slugging a ridiculous .968 against changeups, .667 against splitters and .526 against curveballs—all pitches designed to get a hitter off balance and slip under the barrel at the bottom of the zone or below. The tell-tale sign of an off-balance swing is when the hitter drifts forward and the top hand comes off the bat. Asked how many times Trout has been fooled in that manner, Hinske says, “I can’t remember one time, to tell you right now. You don’t see it from him.”

Said Red Sox manager Álex Cora, “He recognizes pitches out of the hand faster than anybody. He’s like [Barry] Bonds that way.”

The day after the Mariners’ plan against Trout blew up, Cook found himself facing Trout again. And again, Trout already had homered off that day’s starting pitcher.

What now? Cook started Trout with a slider for a called strike. (Trout rarely swings at the first pitch, a residue from his self-imposed rule in the minor leagues, when he took a strike every at bat, just to see more pitches and develop his superb plate discipline.) After Cook missed with a two-seam fastball, he stunned Trout by throwing a changeup. Trout took it for a ball.

Cook had thrown 62 pitches in his career to Trout and none of them had ever been a changeup. He had not thrown a changeup to a righthanded batter all year. “I knew he had one,” Trout says, “but I didn’t think he would throw it.”

Cook threw it again, and this time Trout swung and missed. It was only the seventh time all year Trout missed a changeup.

“Once I saw it again, I told myself, ‘Calm down,’ ” Trout says. “If I’m on time with the heater, I’ll recognize the secondary pitches. Everything about my swing is about my front foot. If my front foot is down on time my swing is on time and everything else is intact and stays fluid. When I go through little skids it’s because I’m either trying to do too much and my leg kick is too high and my foot’s not coming down on time, or my stride is too long.”

Aiming for strike three, Cook threw his first four-seam fastball, down and in. Trout fouled it.

This was when Cook figured he could sneak another of those rare changeups past Trout. He threw it low, in the bottom of the zone—a good pitch otherwise, but right where Trout does the most damage. This time Trout was not surprised. He recognized it and, on perfect balance, met it squarely. As soon as the ball was hit, Cook dropped his head, bent at the waist, balled his fists and screamed at the ground in frustration. The baseball sailed 412 feet for another home run. As Trout circled the bases, Cook walked around the mound, bewildered. “The dude was just standing out there like, ‘What do I throw this guy?’ ” Hinske says.

Despite Trout’s two homers, the Angels lost, 6–3. Again. They became the first American League team to lose back-to-back multi-homer games by one of its players since the 1963 Red Sox and Gary Geiger.

Trout has not taken batting practice on the field all year. Before a game last month in Boston, he stretched with his teammates, signed autographs for kids, then ducked back into the indoor training facilities to stick to his routine. First he soaked in a hot tub to loosen his muscles, then he repaired to the indoor batting cage for his daily prep work. He hits about 10 balls off a tee, about 10 balls flipped to him by a coach, about 20 balls thrown to him by a batting practice pitcher, and then maybe 50 or so curveballs off a pitching machine. The prep work can range from 15 to 30 minutes.

“I did it occasionally at the end of last year, just to get off my feet a little bit,” he says. “I can take as many swings as I want. It’s not rushed. BP [on the field] is for you to get loose for the game and you’ve got five to seven swings [per round] and it’s kind of hard. . . . There are some things you can work on but you’ve got four or five other guys who need to hit, too. It’s like you don’t want to take their time away.

“This has given me an opportunity to fine-tune my swing in the cage. I do a little routine just to keep everything there and I can take as many swings as I want. Just getting off my feet has been huge for me—saving my legs a lot.”

That night in Boston, the Angels lost again, 9–6. Their starting pitcher, John Lamb, blew out his elbow. The next night, in a 9–1 loss, a relief pitcher, Jake Jewell, pitching in his third major league game, broke his leg in a gruesome injury while covering home plate. Lamb and Jewell became the sixth and seventh Los Angeles pitchers to suffer season-ending injuries, a list that does not include Shohei Ohtani, the two-way rookie sensation who tore a ligament in his pitching elbow, an injury that has confined him to DH and may require surgery that would put him out for the 2019 season as a pitcher. Ohtani and Trout hit in the same lineup only 38 times in the team’s first 91 games.

Trout is under contract to the Angels for two more seasons, with $66.6 million left on the six-year, $144.5 million extension he signed in 2014. He turns 27 next month, which puts him smack in the beginning of the traditional prime of a ballplayer’s career. Four of the five greatest WAR seasons of all time fell between the ages of 26 and 28 (Ruth twice, Carl Yastrzemski and Rogers Hornsby; Ruth, at age 32, is the only top five outlier). The best player in baseball at his physical and skillful best is a sight to behold.

Williams, the greatest player through his first eight seasons, and Trout were both born in August, 73 years apart. The gap in their arrivals approximates the gap between appearances by Halley’s Comet, the most famous of the thousands of comets that streak through our solar system. It is named after the English astronomer who never saw it, but figured out that reports of comet sightings in the 16th and 17th centuries actually referred to the same comet that came around once every 75 years or so.

Halley’s Comet last flew past Earth in 1986. Unlike its previous trip, in 1910, a spectacular pass that was particularly close and bright, this time Halley’s Comet passed at a distance three times farther. It was hardly visible with the naked eye, a reminder when once in a lifetime can be wistful.

Burning bright but barely seen.

Related slideshow: 2018 MLB season (Provided by photo services) 

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  • Slide 19 of 78: LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers points to teammate Logan Forsythe #11 (not in photo) after they both scored in the seventh inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Dodger Stadium on July 13, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
  • Slide 20 of 78: SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 13: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs hits an RBI double during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on July 13, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
  • Slide 21 of 78: CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 13:  Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning at Progressive Field on July 13, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
  • Slide 22 of 78: BOSTON, MA - JULY 12: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a grand slam home run during the fourth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 12, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
  • Slide 23 of 78: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling watches a throw to a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
  • Slide 24 of 78: New York Yankees' Didi Gregorius scores as Cleveland Indians' Yan Gomes waits for the ball during the eighth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • Slide 25 of 78: DENVER, CO - JULY 12: Gerardo Parra #8 of the Colorado Rockies slides safely across home plate with a go-ahead run in the sixth inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on July 12, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
  • Slide 26 of 78: Jul 12, 2018; New York City, NY, USA;  Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against the New York Mets in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports - 10937990
  • Slide 27 of 78: Oakland Athletics center fielder Mark Canha catches a fly ball by Houston Astros' Alex Bregman during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Slide 28 of 78: HOUSTON, TX - JULY 11:  George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros slams into the wall as he attempts to catch a line drive from Khris Davis #2 of the Oakland Athletics in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 11, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Davis ended up with a triple.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
  • Slide 29 of 78: Jul 11, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA;  New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (33) hits a grand slam off Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Dylan Bundy (not pictured) during the third inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports - 10931996
  • Slide 30 of 78: Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale watches a throw during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Slide 31 of 78: SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 11:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants loses his bat as he strikes out in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at AT&T Park on July 11, 2018 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
  • Slide 32 of 78: MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 11: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins fields the ball hit by Adalberto Mondesi #27 of the Kansas City Royals at second base during the second inning of the game on July 11, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mondesi was out at first base on the play. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
  • Slide 33 of 78: Oakland Athletics' Stephen Piscotty, right, is tagged out by Houston Astros catcher Tim Federowicz at home plate during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Slide 34 of 78: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodon throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of an interleague baseball game in Chicago, Wednesday, July 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
  • Slide 35 of 78: Jul 11, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) RBI singles in the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports - 10932351
  • Slide 36 of 78: Cleveland Indians' Jose Ramirez watches his ball after hitting a three-run home run off Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Tanner Rainey in the third inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Cleveland. Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley scored. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
  • Slide 37 of 78: HOUSTON, TX - JULY 10:  Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros and Tony Kemp #18 celebrate after wining in the eleventh inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park on July 10, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
  • Slide 38 of 78: San Diego Padres starting pitcher Eric Lauer works against a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
  • Slide 39 of 78: Jul 10, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Dexter Fowler (25) hits a grand slam off Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Hector Santiago (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports - 10930761
  • Slide 40 of 78: BOSTON, MA - JULY 10: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox hits an RBI double during the third inning of a game against the Texas Rangers on July 10, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
  • Slide 41 of 78: Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado gestures as he approaches home plate on his two-run home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • Slide 42 of 78: MIAMI, FL - JULY 10:  Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers runs to second base after hitting a double in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on July 10, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
  • Slide 43 of 78: PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 10:  Jeremy Hellickson #58 of the Washington Nationals pitches during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 10, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
  • Slide 44 of 78: MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 10: Kansas City Royals Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi (27) celebrates his 3-run home run in the top of the 2nd during a MLB game between the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals on July 10, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN.The Royals defeated the Twins 9-4.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
  • Slide 45 of 78: ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 10:  Garrett Richards #43 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners  at Angel Stadium on July 10, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
  • Slide 46 of 78: SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 09:  Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants runs up the first base line after hitting the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 11th inning against the Chicago Cubs at AT&T Park on July 9, 2018 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
  • Slide 47 of 78: CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 09: Cincinnati Reds outfielder Scott Schebler (43) belts a 2-run home run during the ninth inning of the Major League Baseball Interleague game between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians on July 9, 2018, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. Cincinnati defeated Cleveland 7-5. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
  • Slide 48 of 78: SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 9: Andrew Toles #60 of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides into third base ahead of the tag of Christian Villanueva #22 of the San Diego Padres during the eighth inning of a baseball game at PETCO Park on July 9, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
  • Slide 49 of 78: BOSTON, MA - JULY 9: J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox hits a three-run home run during the eighth inning of a game against the Texas Rangers on July 9, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
  • Slide 50 of 78: PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 09:  Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting a two run home run in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at PNC Park on July 9, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
  • Slide 51 of 78: BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 09:  Yefry Ramirez #32 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches in the first inning during game two of a doubleheader baseball game against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
  • Slide 52 of 78: SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 08: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants flips his bat after hitting a three run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fifth inning at AT&T Park on July 8, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 13-8. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
  • Slide 53 of 78: ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 08:  Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim connects on a solo home run in the seventh inning of the game for the go ahead run off relief pitcher JT Chargois #47 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium on July 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
  • Slide 54 of 78: CHICAGO, IL - JULY 08: David Bote #13 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates his game-winning walk in the tenth inning on July 8, 2018 at Wrigley Field  in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs won 6-5 in ten innings. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • Slide 55 of 78: TORONTO, ON - JULY 08: New York Yankees Infielder Tyler Wade (12) slides home safe to get the go ahead run as teammate Outfielder Aaron Judge (99) welcomes him during the MLB game between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays on July 08, 2018 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
  • Slide 56 of 78: Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts slides home to score on a sacrifice fly by Steve Pearce during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Sunday, July 8, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Slide 57 of 78: CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 8: Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two run home run during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
  • Slide 58 of 78: WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 08:  Miami Marlins first baseman Justin Bour (41) hits an infield single in the first inning during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals on July 8, 2018, at Nationals Park, in Washington D.C.  (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
  • Slide 59 of 78: TORONTO, ON - JULY 7: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrates their victory with Clint Frazier #77 and Brett Gardner #11 during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on July 7, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
  • Slide 60 of 78: ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 07:  Ross Stripling #68 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on July 7, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
  • Slide 61 of 78: SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 07:  Carlos Martinez #18 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a double that scored a run in the third inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on July 7, 2018 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
  • Slide 62 of 78: The Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez, middle, celebrates after his solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh inning at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, July 7, 2018. The Cubs won, 8-7. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
  • Slide 63 of 78: CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 7: Matt Olson #28 celebrates with Stephen Piscotty #25 of the Oakland Athletics after both scored on a home run by Piscotty during the eleventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 7, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
  • Slide 64 of 78: WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 07: Mark Reynolds #14 of the Washington Nationals hits a three run home run against the Miami Marlins during the sixth inning at Nationals Park on July 07, 2018 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
  • Slide 65 of 78: The Boston Red Sox's Mitch Moreland, left, scores as Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez loses the ball on a three-run double by Boston's Xander Bogaerts in the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday, July 7, 2018. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
  • Slide 66 of 78: NEW YORK, NY - JULY 06:  Jose Bautista #11 of the New York Mets is hit with a gatorade bath by Asdrubal Cabrera #13 and Wilmer Flores #4 after hitting a walkoff Grand Slam against the Tampa Bay Rays during their game at Citi Field on July 6, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
  • Slide 67 of 78: WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 06: Mark Reynolds #14 hits the game winning home run against the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning at Nationals Park on July 06, 2018 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
  • Slide 68 of 78: KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 06: Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) gets a big hug from a teammate after a lead off home run in the first inning of an MLB game between the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals on July 6, 2018 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO.  (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
  • Slide 69 of 78: CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 6: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians scores on a stolen base as catcher Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Oakland Athletics tries to make the tag during the seventh inning at Progressive Field on July 6, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
  • Slide 70 of 78: ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 06: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17)pops up during an at bat in the fifth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers played on July 6, 2018 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
  • Slide 71 of 78: PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 06:  Odubel Herrera #37 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with Carlos Santana #41 after hitting a three run home run in the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 6, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
  • Slide 72 of 78: TORONTO, ON - JULY 6: Kevin Pillar #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes a leaping catch against the wall in the second inning during MLB game action against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on July 6, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
  • Slide 73 of 78: HOUSTON, TX - JULY 06:  Evan Gattis #11 of the Houston Astros hits a three-run home run in the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park on July 6, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
  • Slide 74 of 78: SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 06: Jedd Gyorko #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals is tagged out at home plate by Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on July 6, 2018 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
  • Slide 75 of 78: Washington Nationals' Trea Turner, center, is congratulated in the dugout after his grand slam during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins on Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Washington. The Nationals won 14-12. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
  • Slide 76 of 78: MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 5: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins hits an RBI single as Chance Sisco #15 of the Baltimore Orioles catches during the eighth inning of the game on July 5, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Orioles 5-2. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
  • Slide 77 of 78: DETROIT, MI - JULY 05: Joey Gallo #13 of the Texas Rangers celebrates his two run second inning home run with teammates while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 5, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
  • Slide 78 of 78: HOUSTON, TX - JULY 05:  Yuli Gurriel #10 of the Houston Astros singles in the winning run in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park on July 5, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
>Full screen 1/78 SLIDES © Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

High five

St. Louis' Matt Carpenter (13) celebrates after hitting a home run against visiting Cincinnati on July 15. The Cardinals won 6-4. 
2/78 SLIDES © Jason Miller/Getty Images

Safe!

Cleveland's Jose Ramirez eludes the tag of New York Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka on July 15. The host Indians won 5-2. 
3/78 SLIDES © Al Bello/Getty Images

Clutch hit

Washington's Daniel Murphy hits a two-run single during the Nationals' 6-1 victory over the host New York Mets on July 15.
4/78 SLIDES © Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Heading home

The Los Angeles Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez rounds third base after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels on July 15. The host Dodgers won 5-3. 
5/78 SLIDES © Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Ouch!

The Chicago Cubs' Willson Contreras is hit with a pitch against San Diego on July 15. The visiting Cubs won 7-4. 
6/78 SLIDES © Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Giving thanks

Boston's Xander Bogaerts reacts after his home run against Toronto on July 15. The host Red Sox won 5-2. 
7/78 SLIDES © Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Battle of the Bay

Oakland's Stephen Piscotty hits an RBI single against San Francisco on July 15. The visiting Athletics won 6-2. 
8/78 SLIDES © Getty ImagesBillie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Grand slam shower

Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox reacts as he is doused with Gatorade by Mookie Betts after hitting a walk-off grand slam home run against the Blue Jays, on July 14 in Boston. the Red Sox won 6-2. 
9/78 SLIDES © Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Conforto homers

Michael Conforto of the Mets follows through on a fifth-inning three-run home run against the Nationals, on July 14 in New York. The Mets won 7-4. 
10/78 SLIDES © Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Game winner

Kole Calhoun of the Angels of Anaheim celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a game-winning solo home-run against the Dodgers, on July 14 in Los Angeles. The Angels defeated the Dodgers 5-4. 
11/78 SLIDES © Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Baez leads Cubs

Javier Baez of the Cubs hits a three-run home run against the Padres, on July 14 in San Diego, Calif. The Cubs won 11-6. 
12/78 SLIDES © Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Collecting RBIs

Eugenio Suarez of the Reds hits a two-RBI single against the Cardinals on July 14 in St. Louis, Mo. The Reds won 8-2. 
13/78 SLIDES © Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo

Declaring victory

The Athletics' Mark Canha celebrates as he rounds the bases on a two-run home run against the Giants, on July 14 in San Francisco. The Athletics won 4-3. 
14/78 SLIDES © Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Breaking bats

Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks shatters his bat as he grounds into an inning-ending double play against the Indians, on July 14 in Cleveland. The Yankees defeated the Indians 5-4. 
15/78 SLIDES © Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Swingin' it

Adam Duvall of the Reds, hits an RBI double against the Cardinals on July 13 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Reds won 9-1. 
16/78 SLIDES © Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Smoak homers twice

Justin Smoak high fives Aledmys Diaz (1) of the Blue Jays, after hitting a two-run home run against the Red Sox, on July 13 in Boston, MA. The Blue Jays won 13-7. 
17/78 SLIDES © Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Scoring a run

Jose Bautista (11) of the Mets, hits an RBI single in the first inning against the Nationals, on July 13 in New York City. The Mets won 4-2. 
18/78 SLIDES © Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

A Giant throw

Madison Bumgarner of the Giants, pitches against the Athletics on July 13 in San Francisco, Calif. The Giants won 7-1. 
19/78 SLIDES © Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Score!

Joc Pederson of the Dodgers, points to teammate Logan Forsythe (not pictured) after they both scored against the Angels of Anaheim, on July 13 in Los Angeles, Calif. The Dodgers won 3-2. 
20/78 SLIDES © Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Overjoyed

Kris Bryant of the Cubs, hits an RBI double against the Padres on July 13 in San Diego, Calif. The Cubs won 5-4. 
21/78 SLIDES © David Maxwell/Getty Images

Rookie leads Indians

Shane Bieber of the Indians, pitches against the Yankees on July 13 in Cleveland, OH. The Indians won 6-5. 
22/78 SLIDES © Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Grand celebration

Mookie Betts of the Red Sox reacts after hitting a grand slam home run during a game against the Blue Jays on July 12 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 6-4.

23/78 SLIDES © Gregory Bull/AP Photo

On target

The Dodgers’ Ross Stripling watches a throw against Padres during a baseball game on July 12 in San Diego. The Dodgers won 3-2.

24/78 SLIDES © Tony Dejak/AP Photo

Too late to tag out

The Yankees' Didi Gregorius scores as the Indians' Yan Gomes waits for the ball during a game on July 12 in Cleveland. The Yankees won 7-4.

25/78 SLIDES © Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Safe slide

Gerardo Parra of the Rockies slides safely across home plate with a go-ahead run against the Diamondbacks on July 12 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies won 5-1.

26/78 SLIDES © Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

On the ball

The Nationals’ Max Scherzer pitches against the Mets on July 12 in New York City, New York. The Mets won 5-4.

27/78 SLIDES © David J. Phillip/AP Photo

Catch of the day

The Athletics' center fielder Mark Canha catches a fly ball by the Astros' Alex Bregman during a game on July 12 in Houston. The Athletics won 6-4.

28/78 SLIDES © Bob Levey/Getty Images

Catch Not Found

George Springer of the Astros slams into the wall as he attempts to catch a line drive against the Athletics on July 11 in Houston, Texas. The Athletics won 8-3.

29/78 SLIDES © Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Disappeared into thin air

The Yankees’ Greg Bird hits a grand slam off the Orioles’ Dylan Bundy during a game on July 11 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Yankees won 9-0.

30/78 SLIDES © Steven Senne/AP Photo

Right on target

The Red Sox’s Chris Sale watches a throw during a game against the Rangers on July 11 in Boston. The Red Sox won 4-2.

31/78 SLIDES © Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Extra effort

Buster Posey of the Giants loses his bat as he strikes out against the Cubs on July 11 in San Francisco, California. The Giants won 5-4.

32/78 SLIDES © Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

On the move

Brian Dozier of the Twins fields the ball against the Royals during a game on July 11 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins won 8-5.

33/78 SLIDES © David J. Phillip/AP Photo

Too late

The Athletics' Stephen Piscotty, right, is tagged out by Astros’ Tim Federowicz during a game on July 11 in Houston. The Athletics won 8-3. 

34/78 SLIDES © Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo

The winning pitcher

The White Sox’s Carlos Rodon throws against the Cardinals during a game on July 11 in Chicago. The White Sox won 4-0.

35/78 SLIDES © Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Driving the game

The Rockies’ Nolan Arenado RBI singles against the Diamondbacks on July 11 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies won 19-2.

36/78 SLIDES © Tony Dejak/AP Photo

Star of the evening

The Indians' Jose Ramirez watches his ball after hitting a three-run home run off Reds’ Tanner Rainey on July 11 in Cleveland. The Indians won 19-4.

37/78 SLIDES © Bob Levey/Getty Images

Bregman-Kemp Celebration

Alex Bregman and Tony Kemp of the Astros celebrate after winning against the Athletics on July 10 in Houston, Texas. The Astros won 6-5.

38/78 SLIDES © Gregory Bull/AP Photo

Pitcher Perfect!

The Padres’ Eric Lauer works against a Dodgers’ batter during the game on July 10 in San Diego. The Padres won 4-1.

39/78 SLIDES © Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Winding up for the big one

The Cardinals’ Dexter Fowler hits a grand slam against White Sox during a game on July 10 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals won 14-2.

40/78 SLIDES © Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Watchful

Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox hits an RBI double during a game against Rangers on July 10 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 8-4.

41/78 SLIDES © Patrick Semansky/AP Photo

Silence is golden

The Orioles' Manny Machado gestures during his two-run home run against the Yankees on July 10 in Baltimore. The Orioles won 6-5.

42/78 SLIDES © Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Road Runner

Christian Yelich of the Brewers runs to second base after hitting a double against the Marlins on July 10 in Miami, Florida. The Brewers won 8-4.

43/78 SLIDES © Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Ready to roll

Jeremy Hellickson of the Nationals pitches against the Pirates on July 10 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Nationals won 5-1.

44/78 SLIDES © Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Appreciation

The Royals’ Adalberto Mondesi celebrates his three-run home run against the Twins on July 10 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Royals won 9-4.

45/78 SLIDES © Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Centre of attraction

Garrett Richards of the Angels pitches against the Mariners on July 10 in Anaheim, California. The angels won 9-3.

46/78 SLIDES © Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Game winning run

Pablo Sandoval of the Giants runs up the first base line after hitting the game-winning hit against the Cubs on July 9 in San Francisco, Calif. The Giants won 2-1. 
47/78 SLIDES © Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Watching it fly

The Reds outfielder, Scott Schebler, belts a two-run homer against the Indians on July 9 in Cleveland, OH. The Reds defeated the Indians 7-5. 
48/78 SLIDES © Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Well in time

Andrew Toles (60) of the Dodgers, slides into third base ahead of the tag of Christian Villanueva of the Padres, on July 9 in San Diego, Calif. The Dodgers won 8-2. 
49/78 SLIDES © Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Martinez homers

Martinez of the Red Sox, hits a three-run homer against the Rangers on July 9 in Boston, MA. The Red Sox won 5-0. 
50/78 SLIDES © Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Grateful

Gregory Polanco of the Pirates, reacts after hitting a two-run homer against the Nationals on July 9 in Pittsburgh, Penn. The Pirates won 6-3. 
51/78 SLIDES © Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

At it again

Yefry Ramirez of the Orioles pitches against the Yankees on July 9 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Orioles won 5-4. 

52/78 SLIDES © Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Celebratory flip

Pablo Sandoval of the Giants, flips his bat after hitting a three run home run against the Cardinals on July 8 in San Francisco, Calif. The Giants defeated the Cardinals 13-8. 
53/78 SLIDES © Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Ohtani homers

Shohei Ohtani of the Angels of Anaheim, connects on a solo home run for the go ahead run off relief pitcher, JT Chargois of the Dodgers, on July 8 in Anaheim, Calif. The Angels won 4-3. 
54/78 SLIDES © David Banks/Getty Images

Walk of pride

David Bote of the Cubs, celebrates his game-winning walk in the tenth inning against the Reds on July 8 in Chicago, IL. The Cubs won 6-5. 
55/78 SLIDES © Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Welcome home

Yankees Infielder, Tyler Wade, slides home safe to get the go ahead run as teammate outfielder, Aaron Judge (99), welcomes him during the game against the Blue Jays on July 8 in Toronto, ON. The Yankees won 2-1. 
56/78 SLIDES © Charlie Riedel/AP Photo

That one final slide

The Red Sox's, Mookie Betts, slides home to score on a sacrifice fly by Steve Pearce, during the game against the Royals on July 8 in Kansas City, Mo. The Red Sox won 7-4. 
57/78 SLIDES © Jason Miller/Getty Images

Hi-Five

Stephen Piscotty of the Athletics, celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two run home run against the Indians on July 8 in Cleveland, OH. The Athletics won 6-0. 
58/78 SLIDES © Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Smashin' it

Marlins first baseman, Justin Bour, hits an infield single against the Nationals on July 8 in Washington D.C. The Marlins won 10-2. 
59/78 SLIDES © Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Celebrating victory

Aaron Judge of the Yankees, celebrates their victory with Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner during the game against the Blue Jays on July 7 in Toronto, Canada. The Yankees won 8-5. 
60/78 SLIDES © Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Stripling shines

Ross Stripling of the Dodgers, pitches during the game against the Angels of Anaheim on July 7 in Anaheim, Calif. The Dodgers won 3-1. 
61/78 SLIDES © Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

'Tsunami' shot

Carlos Martinez of the Cardinals hits a double that scored a run against the Giants on July 7 in San Francisco, Calif. The Cardinals won 3-2. 
62/78 SLIDES © Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Getty Images

Javier leads Cubs

The Cubs', Javier Baez, celebrates after his solo home run against the Reds on July 7 in Chicago, IL. The Cubs won 8-7. 
63/78 SLIDES © Jason Miller/Getty Images

Double score

Matt Olson (28), celebrates with Stephen Piscotty of the Athletics, after both scored on a home run by Piscotty against the Indians on July 7 in Cleveland, OH. The Athletics won 6-3. 
64/78 SLIDES © Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Reynolds collects RBIs

Mark Reynolds of the Nationals hits a three run home run against the Marlins on July 7 in Washington, DC. Reynolds went 5-5 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in a single game, leading the Nationals to an 18-4 win.
65/78 SLIDES © John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS/Getty Images

Score!

The Red Sox's, Mitch Moreland, left, scores as Royals catcher, Salvador Perez, loses the ball on a three-run double by Red Sox's, Xander Bogaerts, on July 7 in Kansas City, Mo. the Red Sox won 15-4. 
66/78 SLIDES © Al Bello/Getty Images

Bautista lifts Mets

Jose Bautista (11) of the Mets, is hit with a gatorade bath by Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores, after hitting a walk-off grand slam against the Rays on July 6 in New York City. The Mets won 5-1. 
67/78 SLIDES © Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Smashing game-winning HR

Mark Reynolds hits the game winning home run against the Marlins on July 6 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won 3-2. 
68/78 SLIDES © Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Overjoyed

Red Sox right fielder, Mookie Betts, gets a big hug from a teammate, after a lead off home run against the Royals on July 6 in Kansas City, MO. The Red Sox won 10-5. 
69/78 SLIDES © Jason Miller/Getty Images

Nicely stolen

Francisco Lindor of the Indians, scores on a stolen base as catcher Jonathan Lucroy of the Athletics, tries to make the tag on July 6 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians won 10-4. 
70/78 SLIDES © John Cordes/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Ohtani at his best

Angels of Anaheim designated hitter, Shohei Ohtani, pops up during an at bat against the Dodgers on July 6 in Anaheim, CA. The Angels won 3-2. 
71/78 SLIDES © Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Yo!

Odubel Herrera (37) of the Phillies, celebrates with Carlos Santana, after hitting a three run home run against the Pirates on July 6 in Pittsburgh, Penn. The Phillies won 17-5. 
72/78 SLIDES © Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Leaping catch

Kevin Pillar of the Blue Jays makes a leaping catch against the wall during the game against the Yankees on July 6 in Toronto, Canada. The Blue Jays won 6-2. 
73/78 SLIDES © Bob Levey/Getty Images

Gattis leads Astros

Evan Gattis of the Astros, hits a three-run home run against the White Sox on July 6 in Houston, TX. The Astros won 11-4. 
74/78 SLIDES © Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Tagged by Giant

Jedd Gyorko of the Cardinals, is tagged out at home plate by Buster Posey of the Giants, on July 6 in San Francisco, Calif. The Giants won 3-2. 
75/78 SLIDES © Nick Wass/AP Images

Turner turns it around

The Nationals', Trea Turner, center, is congratulated in the dugout after his grand slam against the Marlins on July 5 in Washington. The Nationals won 14-12. 
76/78 SLIDES © Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Smashing it

Max Kepler of the Twins, hits an RBI single, as Chance Sisco (15) of the Orioles catches on July 5 in Minneapolis, Minn. The Twins defeated the Orioles 5-2.
77/78 SLIDES © Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Gallo crushes HR

Joey Gallo of the Rangers, celebrates his two-run second inning home run with teammates while playing the Tigers on July 5 in Detroit, Michigan. The Rangers won 7-5.
78/78 SLIDES © Bob Levey/Getty Images

Yuli leads Astros home

Yuli Gurriel of the Astros, singles in the winning run against the White Sox on July 5 in Houston, TX. The Astros won 4-3. 
78/78 SLIDES


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Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/the-star-that-still-wont-shine-the-incredible-unprecedented-but-unseen-greatness-of-mike-trout/ar-AAzZsTb

The Star That Still Won't Shine: The Incredible, Unprecedented but Unseen Greatness of Mike Trout
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