After the season's first two weeks, Angels outfielder Mike Trout was struggling mightily.
Through 14 games, Trout was hitting .220/.333/.340 with just one home run and four RBIs in 60 plate appearances, 16 of which ended with a strikeout.
The internet (believe it or not) was actually worried that Trout's reign as a superstar was over. The 24-year-old had the worst first-14 game start in his career, excluding his first taste of the big leagues in 2011.
Trout, through 14 games, had generally been hitting right around .300 or higher. His .220 average, coupled with Bryce Harper's torrid start, worried many that he had truly lost his place as the best player in baseball.
Trout laughs at all of you...and small sample sizes.
In exactly 60 plate appearances since bottoming out on April 19, Trout is hitting .407/.467/.833 with an absurd 1.300 OPS, slugging six home runs and driving in 18. This sample, Trout struck out just 16 times.
Guess what, baseball world?
Trout's bad start has basically been washed away by FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement, where he finds himself comfortably among the leaders (as usual).
Trout has a 2.0 fWAR, good for third in the Majors, behind only Manny Machado and Dexter Fowler. (Harper is in 18th with 1.3 fWAR). In fact, if he played in all 162 games, Trout would be on pace for 11.6 fWAR, an easy career high.
We know that won't happen. Trout will go through more tough stretches again this season. But, once again, the lesson here is to not judge a player by small sample sizes.
Let's just let Mike Trout keep playing baseball the way he has always done. And let's let him keep laughing at us.