The Arrival Of Mike Trout
Mike Trout is one of the top-10 prospects in baseball. In fact, he's even better than that. According to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, Trout is the top prospect in baseball. Baseball Prospectus had less faith in Trout. They listed him #2 (behind Bryce Harper). That's the same way the folks over at Baseball America had it as well (Harper-Trout).
Clearly those people that are paid to predict future greatness for youngsters all think the same thing – Trout will be a superstar in the big leagues.
The Angels pulled a surprising move by calling up Trout to the big league club because of the hamstring injury suffered by Peter Bourjos Thursday (Bourjos isn't going to play through the weekend, but a decision to place him on the DL is not a foregone conclusion). You might be asking yourself – why is it surprising that the Angels would call up a prospect who everyone agrees has such a luminous future? The answer is that Trout is just 19 years old (he wont turn 20 for a month). So what are my thoughts on Trout, a kid who is barely old enough to join the armed forces and isn't legally able to drink alcohol?
You don't end up at the top, or near the top, of every prospect list without an overabundance of skills. Trout is 6'1”, 200 lbs, and he brings elite speed to the table. His power is still developing, but he does have a pretty advanced understanding of the strike zone for a player his age. He's also roundly given the thumbs up when it comes to his maturity level – he's not one of these punk kids we see so often.
Trout was hitting .330 with a .422 OBP in the minors this season.
He'd also gone deep nine times with 28 steals in just 74 games played.
In three seasons in the minors Trout owns a slash line of .338/.423/.503.
Toss in 97 steals in just 250 games and you can plainly see why everyone is so high on this kid.
Think Grady Sizemore at his peak, a 20/30 guy who will score a ton of runs, and that's what Trout will likely be one day. Notice I said one day and not today...
The last teenager in the majors was Justin Upton in 2007 if I'm not mistaken. As wonderful a player as Upton is, he hit only .221 in 140 at-bats that year. It's just not that easy to make the jump from the minors to the majors. It's also not easy to make the move when you have only 74 games under your belt above Single-A ball. Mix in the fact that Trout hasn't even been on Earth for two decades yet, and the road is likely to be bumpy. If Trout hits the ground running, I decided to leave out some lame joke about a stream or river, he could stick with the Angels. However, if he struggles at all the club will not hesitate to send him back to the minors. Also, if Bourjos doesn't need a DL stint, the team would likely turn the starting spot back over to him since they are pleased with his bat and feel that he is the best defensive center fielder in baseball.
Keeper Leagues: Fall all over yourself to add Trout.
AL-only League: Spend that FAAB money liberally.
Mix Leagues: It's a crap shoot. Don't go all in, but if you have a roster spot feel free to add the mega talent.
Now, a mailbag question.
I’m sure you’re on this for an upcoming article but wanted to check and see what hitters/pitchers are 2nd half performers? May be some good insight for possible trades. – Jim
I will be giving my BUY/SELL thoughts on players next week. However, I don't put much into 'this guy is really good in the second half' stuff. It's so random. Here is a an example.
Someone might be considered to be a 2nd half hitter because of a .300 batting average. However, if you actually look at his second half performances maybe he's hit .375, .225, .335 and .265 the past four years. Overall he's a .300 hitter in the second half, but his performances have been all over the map if you go year by year. Basically saying first/second half is just as random as saying July/August. They are just random points to start analyzing the data. Remember that before you make a deal for a guy who is a “second half player.”
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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