As Derek Jeter is entering into his final season as a professional baseball player, MLB is in need of a new face to carry the sport into the next generation. Unfortunately, with stars changing teams in free agency and lower payroll teams not being able to keep their young talent, Trout is the only hope left of a young star staying with the team he started with. There are other stars in the league–Puig, Kershaw, Tanaka, Harvey, and Goldschmidt–but only Puig has that must-watch persona and skills that Trout carries. Pitchers are not everyday players, so I find it very tough for them to be the face since they only impact 33 of 162 games a team plays during the year. For the average fan, the two main guys are Trout and Puig; that’s it. People that are not diehard fans still turn on the television to watch these two guys just to see if they make a ridiculous catch, make an unbelievable throw, hit a homerun to any part of the field, turn singles into doubles or triples. Even broadcasters want to cut to their at bats just to see what they will do.
So why Trout and not Puig? Trout has that “Jeter” appeal. You never read about Jeter in the tabloids for getting into trouble or being a clown. Puig has already been arrested for speeding in his high end cars, and he is only entering his second season. Puig plays hard just like Trout, but plays out of control. He makes decisions that kids playing little league know not to make. He dares to make the highlight film plays every single time he steps on the field and it seems he doesn’t think about the overall team goal. Coaches speak about having to work with him on his decisions and have to sit him to try and control him or teach him a lesson. A lot of players dislike him because they feel he shows off and shows up the other team. Things that you don’t do under the “unwritten rules” of baseball. Most people that watch baseball still believe in the unwritten rules and almost all of professional baseball players, whether retired or still playing, deeply believe in these rules. When have you ever read about Jeter or Trout with these same criticisms of on and off the field issues? Never. This is why Mike Trout is the only hope for MLB. He has all the skills to be a star for years upon years. He plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. Keep your head down, hustle and be humble. Off the field, the public has heard nothing so far. Jeter is the captain of the Yankees and would be the captain of MLB if they had such a title. Fans of all teams watch him, and mostly respect him. Trout has the must see appeal, but mostly, has the respect appeal. That is why MLB must rely and put their league on his back and let him carry it for the next generation of fans.