I think Trout is hurt by the unbalanced schedule. I live in Michigan, and on the Tigers schedule, out of 7 games aginst LAA this year, I see that there are really only 3 times this year in which I have a realistic chance of seeing more than a glimpse of Trout. Two 7pm games in Detroit and one 3:30pm game in Anaheim. The rest are either West Coast night games or East Coast day games.
Trout doesn’t have natural charisma, like say a Yasiel Puig who became a sensation very quickly . Perhaps Trout needs to impress people with his play, which is hard to do in small samples. Last year, in three “accessible” games in Detroit (7pm, 7pm and Sunday at 1pm), Trout went a combined 1-for-9 with 5Ks and 3 walks. His lone hit was a single. There was also a 7pm game in Anaheim, and he went 0-for-3 with a walk. The other games started at 9pm and 10pm.
That’s all there was to see of Trout if you were a Tigers fan. And you surely couldn’t have blown away by that. Meanwhile, we get 76 games against Cleveland, Chicago, Minnesota and Kansas City. All fine teams, but 19 times each is too much.
I’d suggest going back to the balanced schedule — 11/12 games against each AL team. At least we’d get some familiarity with these players. As much as I’d dislike seeing Trout beating up Tigers pitching, I think overall it would be good for the sport in general.