|Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – No. 27|
August 7, 1991 |
Vineland, New Jersey
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|July 8, 2011 for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim|
(through 2013 season)
|Runs batted in||196|
|Career highlights and awards|
Michael "Mike" Nelson Trout (born August 7, 1991) nicknamed "The Millville Meteor", is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Major League Baseball (MLB). Following an initial stint with the Angels in 2011, Trout had a breakout season in 2012, unanimously winning the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year Award, winning a Silver Slugger Award, and finishing runner-up to Miguel Cabrera in the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award voting. He also led the league in several statistical categories, including runs scored, stolen bases with 49, and wins above replacement (WAR) with a 10.9 mark (according to Baseball-Reference.com). Trout continued his outstanding play in 2013, finishing with a league-leading 9.2 WAR, another Silver Slugger Award, and another second-place finish for AL MVP.
His father, Jeff Trout, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Minnesota Twins in 1983. Trout began playing baseball in Little League. Trout's main position as a little leaguer was the shortstop position. He wore #2 in honor of his childhood hero, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. He would switch to #1 in high school.
Trout attended Millville Senior High School in Millville, New Jersey. In his junior year, he threw a no-hitter against Egg Harbor Township. The Thunderbolts made it to the state playoffs and were defeated by Cherry Hill High School East. Initially a pitcher and shortstop, he was shifted to the outfield during his senior year. That year, he hit 18 home runs, a New Jersey high school record.
He committed to East Carolina University on a baseball scholarship. Though scouted by MLB teams, he was passed over in the first 24 picks of the draft as players from the northern states often are due to that fact that northern players typically do not play baseball throughout the year as they do in warmer states such as California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, or Arizona.
Draft and minors
Trout was drafted by the Angels, using their compensation pick from the New York Yankees for signing Mark Teixeira, 25th overall in the 2009 MLB Draft. He started his professional career in 2009 playing for the Arizona Angels of the rookie-level Arizona League, hitting .360/.418/.506 with one home run, 25 runs batted in and 13 stolen bases in 187 plate appearances over 39 games. He finished the season playing for the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Class A Midwest League, hitting .267/.421/.267 over 20 plate appearances in five games.
Before the 2010 season, Trout was considered the Angels' third best prospect and 85th in all of baseball by Baseball America. He started the season playing for Cedar Rapids, where he hit .362/.454/.526 with six home runs, 39 runs batted in, and 45 stolen bases in 82 games. He was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game. In July, Baseball America named Trout the second-best overall baseball prospect. After the Futures game, he was promoted to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the Class A-Advanced California League.
After ending the 2010 season with the Quakes, Trout was named 2010 J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps Minor League Player of the Year. At just 19 years and two months, he was the youngest player to win this award. He was also named a Baseball America All-Star as well as a Topps Class A All-Star.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Prior to the 2011 season, Trout was ranked number one by ESPN's Keith Law in his 2011 top 100 prospects list. MLB's Jonathan Mayo also named Trout the number-one prospect in baseball during MLB Network's airing of MLB's Top 50 Prospects.
Trout started the 2011 season with the Arkansas Travelers of the Class AA Texas League. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim called him up on July 8, 2011, to replace the injured Peter Bourjos in center field. He made his major league debut that night, going 0 for 3 with 2 flyouts and a groundout. In his next game, Trout recorded his first career major league hit, an infield single against Seattle Mariners pitcher Michael Pineda in the bottom of the third inning. He hit his first major league home run against Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mark Worrell on July 24. Trout was sent back to Double-A Arkansas on August 1, 2011 after hitting .163 with one home run and six runs batted in 12 starts for the Angels.
After spending time back in Double-A Arkansas, Trout was recalled by the Angels on August 19, 2011. He went one for four that night, hitting a home run, the first for him at Angel Stadium. On August 30, Trout became the youngest Angel to hit two home runs in one game, homering off of Mariners pitcher Anthony Vazquez in the top of the second and the top of the fourth inning. In his 40-game rookie big league stint in 2011, his batting average was .220, on-base percentage .281 and slugging percentage .390.
For the 2011 season, of the 13 votes cast for the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year Award, Trout received the 2 votes allocated to the fan poll. He was named Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .326/.414/.544 with 11 home runs, 38 RBIs, 82 runs scored and 33 stolen bases in 91 games. He was also named an outfielder on Baseball America's 2011 Minor League All Star team.
Trout began the 2012 season with the Salt Lake Bees of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. On April 28, he was again brought up from the minors to replace Bobby Abreu (who was batting .208 in 24 at-bats). At that time, Trout's batting average was .401, on-base percentage .487, and slugging percentage .723 in 20 games with Salt Lake.
Trout recorded his first career four-hit game on June 4 and 15 days later, Trout had his second career four-hit game. In the process, he scored all four times and two of his four hits went for doubles. Trout, along with Angels right fielder Torii Hunter, was named American League co-players of the week from June 4–10. During that stretch, Trout went 13-for-25 for a .520 batting average to go along with 10 runs scored and four stolen bases. Against the Baltimore Orioles on June 27 Trout had his third career 4-hit game in the same month. In the same game, he showed off his defensive skills when he robbed Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy of a home run as he leaped up in the center field wall to make a spectacular catch, robbing Hardy of a home run in the bottom of the first inning. Angels pitcher Jered Weaver said,""One of the best plays I have seen behind me. Obviously very uplifting, and I played off of that. The offense did the rest."
Trout broke both an Angels' franchise and American League rookie record when he crossed home plate in 14 consecutive games after scoring a run in a game on July 22. Trout's 26 stolen bases tied Jerry Remy for the team's rookie record for most stolen bases by the All-Star Break. Playing in his first All-Star Game, Trout singled off of New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey in the bottom of the 6th inning and drew a base on balls against Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the 7th. In the month of June, Trout batted .372 with three home runs and 16 RBI and was named AL Player of the Month and AL Rookie of the Month. Angels manager Mike Scioscia explained Trout's impact by saying, "It's a pleasant surprise only with the fact that you see very few guys come up and do this much. Is it surprising that Mike Trout's talent is able to produce what's happening on the field? No, that's not a surprise. He's an extraordinary talent." He became the first American League player to win both AL Rookie of the Month and AL Player of the Month when he accomplished this for the month of July. Trout's 34 runs scored in July tied the Major League rookie record with Cleveland Indians first baseman Hal Trosky in 1934. He had a .392 batting average, 10 home runs, and 23 runs batted in. In addition, Trout continued to show his speed by stealing nine bases and scoring 32 runs in July. Trout also became the first rookie to drive in at least 55 runs and score 80 runs in 81 games since Joe DiMaggio in 1936."
Against the White Sox on August 4, Trout made another highlight catch, robbing second baseman Gordon Beckham of a 2nd-inning home run. White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski told reporters after the game that Trout "makes those catches in the outfield look so good.".
On August 21, Trout went 2-for-4 in a victory over the Red Sox, raising his batting average to .344. With the .344 average, Trout set the rookie record for batting average through 100 games. Trout finished the month of August with a .284 batting average, seven home runs, 19 runs batted in, 11 stolen bases, and an .866 OPS. Trout was again named AL Rookie of the Month for August, his fourth time winning the honor. In winning the award for the fourth time, Trout became the first American League rookie since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 to win Rookie of the Month four times during a single season.
Trout became the youngest player ever to hit at least 20 home runs and steal at least 40 bases in a season. Former Houston Astros center fielder César Cedeño previously was the youngest player to accomplish the feat back in 1972. He also became the youngest hitter ever to hit at least 20 home runs and steal at least 30 bases in a season. Trout scored his 100th run of the season on August 26, becoming the second Angels rookie to score at least 100 runs in a season after Devon White. Trout set a new Angels record for runs scored in a rookie season, passing White. Trout scored three runs that game, the tenth time in the 2012 season where he scored three or more runs in one game, the most since Sammy Sosa's 11 games in 2001.
On September 9, in a game against the Detroit Tigers, Trout became the first player in baseball history under the age of 22 to hit a leadoff home run in back-to-back games. On September 21, Trout became the first rookie to score 120 or more runs since Ichiro Suzuki and the fourth rookie to accomplish that feat since 1964. Trout continued to make history in his rookie season. On September 30, he became the youngest player in Major League Baseball history to join the 30–30 club when he belted a 7th-inning home run off of Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, helping the Angels win the game by a score of 5–4. Mariners manager Eric Wedge declared, "He's one of the best young hitters I've ever seen, arguably one of the best young players of all time. He is short to the ball with a lot of power and strength, the quickness he has out of the box and basepaths, the way he is able to track the ball down along with a pretty good arm and very athletic. He is an unbelievable young baseball player right now."
Trout became the first player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs, steal 45 bases and score 125 runs in one season. Trout set the Angels' club record for most runs scored in a season, surpassing Vladimir Guerrero. He also set the Angels rookie record for most hits in a season with 173, passing Wally Joyner. Trout became the first rookie ever to hit 30 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season. In addition, Trout finished second in the AL in batting average (.326), third in slugging percentage (.564), third in on-base percentage (.399), second in OPS (.963), 9th in hits (182), and first in OPS + (171). He became the first Angels player to lead the league in stolen bases since Chone Figgins did it in 2005 with 49 stolen bases. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Trout finished with a wins above replacement (WAR) value of 10.9, 2.4 better than second place finisher Robinson Cano of the Yankees. Trout was the first position player to have a WAR above 10.0 since Barry Bonds for the San Francisco Giants in 2004.
Trout led the Angels in batting average, runs scored, hits (182), triples, stolen bases, total bases (315), base on balls, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and on-base plus slugging despite playing in just 139 games. He was tied with Pujols for second place on the team in home runs behind Mark Trumbo and was fourth in runs batted in.
On November 12, 2012 Trout won the BBWAA Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, getting 28 of 28 first place votes, becoming the first Angels player to win the award since Tim Salmon did it in 1993 and the youngest rookie to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Trout became just the 18th Rookie of the Year winner to win the award unanimously. On November 13, Trout won the Heart and Hustle Award, given to the player who "demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game." Trout was one of three outfielders in the American League to win the Silver Slugger for being the best offensive players at their position; the others were then-Ranger Josh Hamilton and Josh Willingham of the Minnesota Twins. He also won a Fielding Bible Award as the best fielding center fielder in MLB.
Trout's high WAR value led many to support his candidacy for American League Most Valuable Player. Trout's main competition for the award was Miguel Cabrera, who became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to win the triple crown by leading the AL in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. The race between Trout and Cabrera created controversy amongst baseball fans and writers, and was described by many as a clash between new-age sabermetrics and supporters of more "traditional" statistics. In supporting Trout's case, Jayson Stark wrote, "We just understand that Trout's insane 10.5 WAR are one more clear indication that he's a better baseball player than even one of the greatest hitters of our lifetimes. ... If you want to toss in his slash line, his 62 extra-base hits, his 92.3 percent stolen-base success rate or any other item on his stat sheet, you'll find that no player in the history of baseball has combined this much excellence in so many areas in the same season." Meanwhile, Scott Miller of CBS Sports wrote, "Nobody combined overall statistics, badass lineup presence and value to his team more than Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera."
On November 15, Cabrera won the MVP decisively, winning twenty-two of twenty-eight first place votes to Trout's six.
Trout began the 2013 season as a left fielder, in order to accommodate for Peter Bourjos in center field. Trout started the 2013 season slowly, hitting .261 with 2 home runs and 16 RBIs in April. During a game on April 20 against the Detroit Tigers, Trout hit his first career grand slam off of pitcher Rick Porcello, capping a 10-run inning for the Angels, their most productive inning in almost 18 years.
On April 30, Bourjos injured his hamstring, and Trout was moved back to center field. In May, Trout regained his rookie-year form, batting .327 with 8 home runs, 21 RBIs, and 27 runs scored. Trout stated that he had struggled early in the season because he was chasing pitches out of the strike zone and pressing too much on himself. On May 21, 2013 Trout became the youngest player to hit for the cycle in American League history and sixth youngest in Major League history, doing so at home against the Seattle Mariners. On May 30, Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced that Trout would return to left field after Bourjos returned from the disabled list. This decision caused some controversy, as some believed that Trout's successful May was a direct result of his move back to center field. Scioscia, however, believed that Trout's numbers as a center fielder had to do with his batting-order position and hype subsiding.
On June 8, with shortstop Erick Aybar struggling at the leadoff spot, Trout began batting leadoff, marking his first time hitting in the leadoff spot since April 14. In his first game batting leadoff since mid-April, Trout went 3 for 5, with two doubles, a run batted in, scored two runs, had a base on balls, and stole a base, helping the Angels win the game over the Boston Red Sox in the first game of a double-header.
Trout indeed moved back to left field after Bourjos returned to the Angels' lineup on June 10. In his 249th career game, he scored his 200th career run, becoming the fastest player to accomplish this since Ted Williams (225 games) and Barney McCosky (236 games) did it in 1940.
Trout represented the Angels in the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He was the leading vote-getter among all AL outfielders and the first Angels position player to start in the All-Star Game since Vladimir Guerrero in 2007. In the month of July, Trout led all of baseball with an on-base percentage of .475 and OPS of 1.108. In addition, he was the only player in the American League to reach base in every game of the month and became the first Angels player to have two consecutive streaks of reaching base in at least 33 games. Trout continued his strong play in August, batting .337 with 6 home runs and an on-base percentage of .500. As in 2012, Trout's play declined somewhat in September, as he batted .281 with 4 home runs and 4 stolen bases.
According to Baseball-Reference, Trout finished the 2013 season with 9.2 WAR, again the highest in baseball. Notably, Trout's walk rate increased from 10.5% in 2012 to 15.4% in 2013. Trout's 110 bases on balls led the American League. Echoing the 2012 season, Miguel Cabrera won the 2013 AL MVP with twenty-three first-place votes, while Trout finished second with five.
Rumors of a contract extension surfaced in February 2014, as news outlets reported that the Angels were considering offering Trout a six-year $150 million contract. Instead, he signed a one-year, $1 million contract. That figure is the highest ever for a player not yet eligible for salary arbitration.
Off the field
Trout's nicknames include "Millville Meteor," "Prince Fish", "God's Gift" and "King Fish 2.0", in reference to retired Angel Tim Salmon. In September 2012, Trout became a partner and investor in BodyArmor SuperDrink, a sports drink.
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