NEW YORK -- The only part of Mike Trout's offensive game that could warrant even the slightest bit of criticism is his strikeout rate, and it certainly isn't any better in the early part of 2014.
Entering Saturday's contest against the Yankees, Trout had struck out a team-leading 28 times in his first 22 games, including 12 times in the first seven games of this road trip. He's tied for 11th in the Majors in punchouts and sports a strikeout rate of 27.5 percent, compared with 20.3 percent the previous two years.
But the 22-year-old center fielder isn't necessarily chasing pitches, swinging at 25.1 percent outside the strike zone after swinging at 24.2 percent last season, and has still posted a very solid .301/.363/.559 slash line.
Oh, and the season is only 14 percent complete.
"It's a small sample," manager Mike Scioscia said of Trout, who hit his sixth homer in his first at-bat on Saturday. "I think for guys who work counts, usually there are strikeouts that might follow from some point to the other. I think you worry about strikeouts when they're not balanced by walks or production, and I think he's doing OK in those other departments."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.