Tuesday, August 7, 2012

He Can Run, He Can Hit, and now He Can Drink

Happy 21st birthday to Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.  Not too many players have made an impact on the game as quickly as Trout has before even being able to pull up a stool at the bar.  With the hype of Brett Lawrie last year following the Shaun Marcum trade and the metoric rise of Bryce Harper this year, Trout managed to fly under the radar amongst his young brethren when he was called up in April, particularly because the Angels were so terrible at the time.  But he has been a sparkplug and has led the Angels to the best record in baseball since early May.  That's right, I said "led"...a 20, now 21, year old kid is leading this team.  Not the $250-million man Albert Pujols, or the 15-1 Jared Weaver, but Mike Trout.  Even after spending the first month of the season in the minors, as of this post, Trout leads the AL handily in steals, runs, batting average, is 2nd in slugging, 3rd in on-base, and is playing a Gold-Glove caliber outfield.  He's all but a shoe-in for the Rookie of the Year and there needs to be serious consideration to him in the MVP conversation as well.  He is on pace to have the greatest rookie season of all time, not to mention one of the best seasons of all time, period.  With the way Trout has energized this team, especially taking the pressure off of Pujols, this kid really exemplifies the term "Most Valuable Player."

I had the fortune of seeing this kid play a few times in Cedar Rapids when I lived in Iowa, before the guys upstairs realized it was a waste of time to keep him in low-A any longer.  When watching such young kids you don't really notice great talent that often, but I definitely remember Trout standing out for the 2010 Kernels.  Trout hit over .400 in his time in CRapids, and him along with Alexi Amarista and Casey Haerther made for a fun team to watch that was worth the 45-minute drive.  Lawrie seems to have attitude problems, and I can already tell that Harper is going to need to shorten his swing to succeed in this league, but Trout continues to improve.  He's got a short, powerful stroke and he plays with a passion that is refreshing to see in today's game.  I'll be watching the Angels every chance I get this year, and I will be rooting for him to become only the 3rd player in Major League history to win the ROY and MVP in the same season.

Brewers 49-59, -16.5 (3 v. Reds, 3 @ Astros)
Reds 66-43, +3.5 (3 @ Brewers, 4 @ Cubs)
Twins 48-61, -12.5 (3 @ Indians, 3 v. Rays)

Erik - 23
Peter - 32

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