Trout wins minor-league player of year award
Posted on: September 7, 2011 1:47 pm
By Evan Brunell
Mike Trout has won Baseball America's minor league player of the year award, capping a year that saw the 20-year-old reach the major leagues as a 19-year-old.
Named the top prospect in the game prior to the season by CBSSports.com, Trout hit .326/.414/.544 for Double-A in 412 plate appearances, swiping 33 bags. He is currently in the major leagues for his second stint of the year. Through Tuesday's games, Trout was hitting .238/.309/.464 in 94 PA. However, that line rises to .317/.404/.659 in 47 PA since his second recall of the season, putting him in pole position to open next season as a starting player for the Angels.
Even without the promotion, Trout earned the distinction of garnering at least 300 at-bats at Double-A or higher during his age 20 season or younger. There tends to be one or two every year, but Trout put up the fourth-best OPS of any such player, behind Miguel Cabrera (2003), Gary Sheffield (1988) and Delmon Young (2005). Other luminaries like Justin Upton, Paul Konerko, Joe Mauer, Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez make the list. There are busts as well (Sean Burroughs, Ruben Mateo, Chad Hermansen, Young) but the overall list is still favorable toward Trout having a productive career.
It's still hard to fathom so many whiffing on Trout, who was selected with the 25th pick of the 2009 draft despite ranking No. 2 on Los Angeles' wish list behind Stephen Strasburg.
"Going back, [area scout Greg Morhardt] was probably the only guy who did have it right," Angels crosschecker Jeff Malinoff explained in a Baseball America story. "He was so over the top on Trout. The time he popped up three times, I remember telling Mo, 'I thought he should have hit those pitches.' Mo wouldn't even go into the mechanics of his swing. He just said, 'He's a Hall of Famer.' "
Here's a list of previous winners, dating back to 2000:
2000: Jon Rauch, rhp, White Sox
2001: Josh Beckett, rhp, Marlins
2002: Rocco Baldelli, of, Devil Rays
2003: Joe Mauer, c, Twins
2004: Jeff Francis, lhp, Rockies
2005: Delmon Young, of, Devil Rays
2006: Alex Gordon, 3b, Royals
2007: Jay Bruce, of, Reds
2008: Matt Wieters, c, Orioles
2009: Jason Heyward, of, Braves
2010: Jeremy Hellickson, rhp, Rays
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