Entering his tenth MLB year, Mike Nelson Trout is on pace to be one of the best baseball players ever. He has been an All-Star in all eight of his full seasons in the league and has won three American League Most Valuable Player awards. His accolades also include seven Silver Slugger awards, and he is the only Los Angeles Angel to make the inaugural 2019 All-MLB Team.
In his AL Rookie of the Year season, Trout became the second Angel to join the 30 home run/30 stolen base club. He stole a total of 49 bags in 2012 and led all MLB players in that category. During his rookie season, he posted 10.5 Wins Above Replacement, which is the best WAR for any position player in a rookie season in MLB history.
Trout, who went to high school in Millville, New Jersey, does not go by many nicknames, but "the Millville Meteor" stuck after a person edited his page on Wikipedia. The No. 25 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft leads all active major league ballplayers in slugging percentage and on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). Trout is the face of the MLB, and here are the Best 11 Mike Trout Rookie Cards.
2009 Elite Extra Edition Throwback Threads Mike Trout #1 #'d/250
Recent sale: $825
Although this 2009 Elite card is the lowest of the best Trout cards, make no mistake: this is still an impressive part of the top Mike Trout rookie card list. This Extra Edition Throwback Threads card is the first Trout card to ever have a jersey patch. Although the card does not include the official Angels logo on the card, this classic card holds tremendous value at $825. This card is one of the 35 with BGS 9.5 grades. Meanwhile, there is just one BGS 10 grade.
Prior to Trout's official rookie season, he played 40 games in 2011 and launched five home runs and stole four bases, but registered lowly slash lines: .220 batting average/.281 on-base percentage (OBP)/.390 slugging/.672 OPS.
Then in the following year, Trout's first regular season contest was on April 28 against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. He led off and played left field for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but Trout did not reach base in four plate appearances.
After going hitless in the second game of his rookie season, Trout doubled in the third inning of his third contest to get the first hit of his tremendous rookie campaign. Although he did not come around to score after the leadoff double, Trout led the majors in runs scored with 129 that season.
2009 Tristar Prospect Plus Michael Trout Autographs #20
Recent sale: $950
This Trout card also does not have the official rights to show him as an Angel. The "Los Angeles A.L." is not even the most interesting part of the card, as your eye veers downward to see the name "Michael." Unless Trout's mother was scolding him, no one seems to have heard him being called by his full first name in the big leagues. This BGS 8.5 Michael Trout card, which sold for $950, has the most common grade. Of the 19 cards in the BGS population, there are nine 8.5 grades.
Trout, who appears to be running hard in the image of this card, has stolen exactly 200 bases during his MLB career, which ranks 12th among active players. His 49 stolen bases during his rookie season are by far his most in any season of his career.
Surprisingly, Trout, who turned 28 years old on August 7, 2019, had a career-low 11 stolen bases in 2019. However, he led the American League in OBP, slugging, and OPS. In addition, he was the MLB leader in OPS+, which is arguably a better statistic than plain OPS because OBP+ is adjusted to park factors. He led the majors in OPS+ in each of the last four seasons.
In Trout's rookie year, he missed the OPS+ title by just three points. He led the American League in that category in 2012. The Rookie of Year led all players in runs with 129, which still stands as Trout's career-high mark.
2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout #101
Recent sale: $1,275
Our first card of the list valued at quadruple digits is Trout's Bowman Chrome Draft card. In the 2,441-card PSA population, there are 1,136 PSA 10 grades, including this one. This Mike Trout rookie card price is $1,275 for the most valuable card in the 110-card Bowman rookie set.
During Trout's rookie season, he was intentionally walked just four times while he grounded into seven double plays. It was the only season, outside of his 40-game 2011 season, that Trout grounded into more double plays than he had intentional walks.
In 2012, Trout amassed 182 hits, which ranked ninth in the American League. What was even more impressive was his career-best .326 batting average, which ranked fourth in the majors.
Although Trout had his first multi-home run game in 2011, he did not have one during his impressive rookie year. Trout's next multi-homer game would come on June 17, 2014, at Progressive Field.
2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Mike Trout Red Status Autographs #57
Recent sale: $3,000
The rookie card value for this Trout card is high even though it is another "Los Angeles (AL)" type of card without an Angels logo. This PSA 9 card sold for an impressive $2,999.99. Of the 10 cards in the PSA population, eight of them are PSA 9 grades while none are PSA 10. This Donruss Elite Extra Edition is an impressive card and even without an official MLB logo, the set's name speaks for itself.
Freshly off the 2009 draft, Trout played 44 minor league games that year. He launched just one home run in 2009, which was the only year in which he did not hit multiple round trippers.
Trout played 39 games with the Arizona League Angels in Tempe, Arizona. He was the team leader in stolen bases, batting average, OBP, and OPS. Current Toronto Blue Jay outfielder Randal Grichuk was the home run leader for the 38-18 AZL Angels. Although these Angels did not have the most power, they were the best offensive team in the league. Unfortunately, they fell in the Arizona League semifinals to the AZL Giants.
2011 Finest Mike Trout Refractors Autographs #84
Recent sale: $4,850
The best offer was accepted for the 2011 Finest Trout Refractors Autograph card, which was listed at $5,000. This card, which sold for $4,850, is one of 86 cards in the BGS population with a grade of 9.5. There is only one card with a BGS 10. Fellow 2011 Angels Mark Trumbo and Jordan Walden are also in this set, but understandably, this Trout card is the most valuable of the Los Angeles bunch.
Trout played 2011 with the following three ball clubs: the Arkansas Travelers, Scottsdale Scorpions, and Los Angeles Angels. Before his first dip in the majors, the top-ranked prospect led the Travelers with 13 triples, 33 stolen bases, .414 OBP, .544 slugging, and .958 OPS to go along with 11 home runs.
Then on July 8, 2011, Trout made his MLB debut, batting ninth for the Angels as they hosted the Seattle Mariners for the second of a four-game series. After not reaching base in three plate appearances in his debut, Trout recorded his first career major league hit, walk, and run the following day against Michael Pineda. In his first at bat of the game, Trout singled on an infield ground ball. Trout had just one hit in his first series, but Los Angeles swept the series against Seattle.
2011 Bowman Sterling Rookie Autographs Mike Trout Gold Refractors #19
Recent sale: $5,700
This BGS 9.5 card with grade 10 autograph has an impressive picture of the future Hall of Famer. A young-looking Trout is found on the front of the card. On the back, there is an interesting story about how his father's Double-A roommate discovered the Angels outfielder. Of the 34 cards in the BGS population, 23 are BGS grade 9.5. There is just one BGS 10.
Trout's fielding has helped him be in the top two of AL MVP voting in seven of his eight full MLB seasons. Although he does not have any Gold Glove awards, he won a Fielding Bible center fielder award, as his defensive WAR led all players in 2012. In addition, he has the second-highest overall WAR among all active major leaguers.
According to Baseball-Reference, Trout's range in the outfield is among the top 10 active players and the top 100 all-time. Trout's all-around brilliance at the plate and on the diamond makes him one of the best players every year.
2009 Bowman Sterling Prospects Mike Trout Autographs #BSPMT
Recent sale: $8,600
Here is another Bowman Trout rookie card, and this one has a flashy signature at the bottom. A very young Trout is swinging his bat in front of the classic American League logo. The back of this PSA 10 card details Trout's friendship with Randal Grichuk. Of the 284 Bowman Sterling Prospects cards in the PSA population, an impressive 204 are PSA 10 grades.
This card ranks fifth on the list at $8,600, and the best offer was accepted for it. He and Grichuk are both a part of this autograph set. Although Grichuk did not play with the Angels in the MLB, he played five years in the Angels system.
In 2009, the Angels selected Grichuk with the No. 24 overall selection in the draft with a compensatory pick from the New York Mets. Then, Trout went to the Angels at the No. 25 pick with a compensatory selection from the New York Yankees. Although they had different careers, the two played quite a few games together as they were rising up the ranks. It would be fun to see if Grichuk finds his way back to the Angels to be reunited with Trout.
2011 Topps Update Mike Trout Diamond Anniversary #US175
Recent sale: $9,399
As we get closer to the higher-priced cards, here we have the highest of the four figures: the $9,399 Topps Update card, which is a part of such a varied and intriguing set of players. There are more than 25 Hall of Famers in the set, including Vladimir Guerrero, who played six years with the Angels. This PSA 10 card is one of 285 PSA 10 grades in the 375-card PSA population.
Even with his long tenure with the Angels, Guerrero played his final year with Los Angeles in 2009. Therefore, Trout did not cross paths until the two players faced each other in 2011, Vlad's last MLB season. There were just four games in which the Hall of Fame outfielder and the future Hall of Fame outfielder started against each other. Trout reached base in each of those four games between the Angels and Baltimore Orioles in 2011, and Trout launched his second career home run in one of the contests.
2011 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Gold Refractors #175
Recent sale: $13,500
Here we have what appears to be Trout batting in spring training for the Angels. The 2011 Bowman Chrome set was released on October 19, 2011, just three months and 11 days after Trout's first career MLB game. At the end of his 40-game 2011 season, no one knew that Trout would go on to become one of the best players in baseball history. This Bowman card, which sold for $13,500, is a PSA 9 card. The best offer was accepted for this card, which was listed at $15,999. Of the 16 cards in the PSA population, 10 have PSA 9 grades.
Trout's 2011 performance for the 86-76 Angels can actually be described as subpar: his OPS+ was below average at 89. He accumulated 27 hits and 48 total bases in 123 at bats. Yet, let us take a look back at one of his shining moments from the 2011 season: his first career two-home run game on August 30, 2011. He hit a homer to start the scoring with a solo shot in the second inning. Then, in Trout's next plate appearance, he went yard again. This time, he launched a three-run home run to drive in Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbo in the fourth inning. One inning later, Trout drew a bases-loaded walk to get his game-high fifth run batted in of the contest.
2009 Bowman Sterling Prospects Mike Trout Refractors Autographs #MT
Recent sale: $17,211
This BGS 10 card, which went for $17,211, is one of 11 cards with BGS 10 grades in the 124-card BGS population. This card is very similar to No. 5 on the list, but this is a refractor card. The Sterling Prospect cards are in alphabetical order by the players' first initial and then by their second initial. Other Angels found in this set are Anthony Ortega, Jordan Walden, Luis Jimenez, Randal Grichuk, and Will Smith. Of those players, Trout played with just Walden and Grichuk. Trout and Grichuk are the only players who have autographs in the set.
In 2019, Grichuk's Blue Jays faced Trout's Angels seven times, and Los Angeles won six of the contests. On June 19, 2019, Trout had one of his best career games: three hits in six at bats with two home runs. He took Aaron Sanchez deep in back-to-back plate appearances. Trout finished the contest with a game-high seven runs batted in, and he drove in more runs than the Blue Jays scored that day.
2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Mike Trout Gold Refractors Autographs #BDPP89
Recent sale: $90,100
Here we have the most valuable Mike Trout rookie card. This buyer got Trout's autographed Bowman Draft Chrome Prospect card for a steal because the card recently sold for a record $900,000 via Goldin Auctions, which was the highest price for a modern-day baseball card.
This buyer paid the list price of $90,100 for this BGS 9.5 card, which is one of 34 BGS 9.5 cards. The extremely youthful Trout in this picture is up at the plate during a spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona where the Angels have played spring ball since 1993.
Trout played spring training earlier in 2020, and he launched one home run and had a .903 OPS in the nine games he played. Heading into the 2020 season, the Angels are expected to battle for a spot in the postseason, and Trout will be most likely be a very important part of a Los Angeles team looking for the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Trout, who received the largest contract in all of sports history in 2019, and for good reason. Only one player in MLB history has won more MVP awards than Trout, and that man is Barry Bonds. Trout will be making an average of $35,541,667 per year through 2030.
Although Trout has all these impressive accomplishments, baseball is a team sport. Trout has not won a postseason series yet in his MLB career. If 2020's baseball season is an unprecedented short one, he may have his chance to get his first postseason victory this year. The Angels have made the postseason just once in Trout's MLB career, and the division-winning Angels fell to the Kansas City Royals, three games to zero.
Heading into 2020, Trout looks to have another stellar season after finishing an MLB-best 10.4 at bats per home run in 2019. With Trout being baseball's best player, the value of his best cards will continue to increase higher and higher every day.