Quantcast

Ron Washington: Comparing Mike Trout to Willie Mays has to stop

Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout is an insanely good athlete. After spending much of the first month of the season in the minors, Trout has wasted no time figuring out how to wear out Major League pitching and make an impact on the game. In 74 games, Trout is leading the American League with a .357 average, 31 stolen bases, 70 runs scored and an on-base percentage of .412. He has also added 15 homers and 47 RBI and played tremendous defense in center field.

For all the aforementioned reasons and more, folks are already comparing the 20-year-old phenom to Willie Mays. Rangers manager Ron Washington says that has to stop.

“He’s not Willie Mays,” Washington said after a loss to the Angels on Sunday according to ESPN.com. “He’s a pretty good player, but I think the comparisons have to stop. Let the kid play. When he’s been here five years, six years, then you can start doing that.”

I couldn’t agree more. Trout is obviously a phenomenal talent with incredible potential as he has shown with plays like this one, but Mays is arguably the best all-around player to ever play the game. As amazing as it is that Trout has already shown he is a five-tool player after just over 100 total Major League starts, that could also mean opposing pitchers have yet to figure him out. Mays played over 20 seasons, hit 660 home runs and drove in nearly 2,000. If Trout continues to produce at a high level for about 1,500-2,000 more games, then the comparisons to Mays would be slightly more justified.

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Trout’s girlfriend is Jessica Cox, his high school sweetheart

Mike Trout is practically on top of the world right now. He’s young, the best player on a playoff contender and an MVP candidate — as a rookie. So who’s the lucky lady who gets to be Trout’s romantic companion during these exciting times? A supermodel? Pop star? Miss July? Kim Kardashian? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Definitely wrong.

No, the Angels phenom is keeping things simple (as most baseball players not named Evan Longoria, Matt Kemp and Alex Rodriguez do) and dating his high school sweetheart Jessica Cox. “I met her in high school, and we trust each other, and she is one of my best friends,” Trout told the Philadelphia Daily News, per to PlayerWives.com. “She is somebody I can talk to and is always here for me.”

A gloss over of her Twitter page reveals Trouty recently sent her a bouquet of roses with the message, “I love you and miss you.” Ah, to be young and in love. Additionally, she is currently vacationing in Bermuda and likes to Instagram photos of bowls of fruit. The life of an MLB WAG!

Here are more photos of these two lovebirds together:

[Read more...]

Mike Trout makes crazy catch to rob J.J. Hardy of home run (Video)

Mike Trout leads the American League in batting average and stolen bases, and if they had a category for spectacular catches, he’d be leading that too.

The 20-year-old outfielder made a perfectly timed jump to rob Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy of a home run to center in the first inning of Wednesday’s Angels-Orioles game. Trout extended well beyond the fence, and barely caught the ball with a snow-cone grab. The youngster was so fired up about making the catch he pounded his chest and gave a few loud “woos.” He seemed to be as impressed with himself for the catch as we were.

And if things weren’t bad enough for Hardy, Erick Aybar made a leaping catch in the third to rob the Oriole infielder of a hit in his next at-bat. Sometimes baseball just isn’t fair.

Angels call up Mike Trout after releasing Bobby Abreu

The Angels promoted prospect Mike Trout and released Bobby Abreu on Friday in response to the team’s early-season struggles.

The Angels are 6-14, have lost five in a row, and are currently one of the worst teams in the American League. They’re tied for last in the AL with 13 home runs, tied for the third-fewest runs scored, and third-worst in slugging percentage. They’re hoping the 20-year-old Trout can give them an offensive spark.

GM Jerry DiPoto described the move as one designed to “add a little energy, get some spice … shake it up a little bit.”

Trout, who hit .220 with five home runs in 120 at-bats last season, was tearing the cover off the ball in the minors. The former first-round pick of the Angels was batting .402 and OPSing 1.091 through his first 20 games in Salt Lake City. Abreu had a miserable spring and was batting .208 with three extra-base hits in 24 at-bats. The 38-year-old is owed $9 million for the season.

The Angels made a major mistake when they let Abreu’s $9 million option for 2012 vest by giving him over 500 plate appearances last season. Now they’re paying for that management mistake, but at least they’re not waiting long to correct it. The team said they wouldn’t bring up Trout unless they had a spot for him. DiPoto says he’ll play.

Now that they’ve cut Abreu, you have to wonder how long it’s going to be before the Angels get rid of their other big mistake — Vernon Wells.

Mike Trout Dressed up as Lady Gaga During Angels’ Rookie Hazing (Picture)

It’s September, meaning it’s the time of year when MLB teams expand their rosters 40 players. Rookies are called up and subsequently hazed. This is Angels top prospect Mike Trout dressed up as Lady Gaga after Sunday’s loss to the Yankees:

Yup, Trout’s Lady Gaga outfit even came complete with a gratuitous nip slip. Thanks Mike! You sickos may have enjoyed seeing him in a Gaga outfit, but I still say Jered Weaver’s prank of Trout was even better.

Thanks to LA Angels Insider for the picture, and head over to their album to see plenty more pictures of the Angels rookies in funky costumes.

Bryce Harper Pumped to Be on Mike Trout’s Arizona Fall League Team

Before we start making fun of Bryce Harper because he makes it so easy, let us first pay him a compliment.  Good for you, Bryce.  That was very mature of you to reach out to a future teammate and tell him how excited you are to be joining forces.

Harper recently sent a tweet to Angels prospect Mike Trout to convey his excitement about their Arizona Fall League team: “Me and Mike Trout on the same AFL (Arizona Fall league) team!” Harper wrote. “Love how this years working out! We’re stacked with talent. @Trouty20.”

Trout — who belted two home runs on Tuesday — and Harper are indeed two of the best prospects in baseball and should anchor a strong lineup.  Heck, it doesn’t even sound like Bryce will get bored with the team like he has with some others in the past.

While the Tweet is harmless, I just enjoy picking on Harper.  Saying stuff like this and blowing kisses to pitchers really lets his age show through.  Tell me you can’t rememeber playing intramural sports when you were younger and being pumped when your buddies got picked for your team.  Who hasn’t had the “we’re gonna be stacked this year” talk with their friends when they were 14 years old?  As long as Harper’s having fun I guess that’s all that matters.  Oh yeah, and as long as he doesn’t ever wear his hair like this again.

Fist pound to Halos Heaven for pointing out the Harper tweet.

Mike Trout Pranked By Angels With Phone Number Bit

Mike Trout, a highly-touted outfield prospect from the Los Angeles Angels, recently broke an unwritten rule during team exercises. For that, his phone bill will pay accordingly.  According to Off Base Percentage, Trout spoke out of turn during one of Mike Scioscia’s team building exercises.  Pitcher Jered Weaver was reportedly offended and decided to play a prank on Trout to teach him a lesson.

Weaver — or some other teammate if the pitcher is being falsely accused — arranged for Trout’s cell phone number to be plastered on the scoreboard at Temple Diablo Stadium at various points throughout the game. Lucky for the 19-year-old, there were only 2,822 people on hand to watch the spring training game between the Angels and A’s.  Still, teammate Joel Pineiro said his phone was “blowing up” in his locker during the game.

We’ve seen plenty of baseball pranks before, but this one seems like more of a nuisance than a practical joke.  Rather than thinking to himself, “haha you got me,” Trout has to be thinking, “great, now I have to get a new cell phone number and let everyone know about it.” That being said, I doubt he’ll ever speak out of turn again during one of his manager’s team building exercises.