With the MLB All Star Futures Game tomorrow night, I wanted to take a look at Mike Trout. Trout has been the hot name among prospects this year and I can't really remember a time that a player climbed the rankings so quickly.
The Stats. In Trout's first full year at Low Class A Cedar Rapids, he's put together an impressive .362/.454/.526 slash line. He leads the league in Batting Average, On Base Percentage, stolen bases (45) and hits (113). Impressive stats. Oh yeah, he will also be the youngest player at the Futures Game at just 18-years-old. Earlier today Jonathan Mayo reported (via Twitter) that after the Futures Game, Trout will be promoted to High Class A Rancho Cucamongo.
The Rise In Ranking. It's hard not to respect the prospect work Kevin Goldstein does at Baseball Prospectus. In Goldstein's Future Shock column coming into this season, he had Trout ranked 53rd out of his top 101. On July 1st, Goldstein came out with a Future Shock that listed his top 11 prospects left in the minors after all the recent promotions. Phillies' outfielder Domonic Brown moved from 24th to first and Mike Trout moved to second. To completely rip off KG...
Why He's Here: It's not just the ridiculous .367/.449/.543 line at Low-A Cedar Rapids, as it's hard to find a scout who isn't downright giddy after watching him. He can hit, he's a plus-plus runner, he's going to hit for way more power down the road, his approach is good, and he's a fine center fielder. What more do you want? How about a max-effort player who runs out every ground ball and does it with a smile on his face? One scout gave him the highest compliment one can get from a talent evaluator: "I'd pay to watch him play."Keith Law, ESPN's snarky prospect guru, has also moved Trout into his top 3 prospects. He had this to say in his most recent Klaw Chat...
Kevin (NJ)Pretty high praise from some pretty smart guys.
Great job on being ahead of the curve on Mike Trout. What is his power upside?
Klaw (2:10 PM)
20-25 home runs, conservatively.
How do you have Brown rated higher than Trout?
Klaw (2:12 PM)
Among other reasons, Brown could play in the majors tonight, while Trout is at least a year away.
My Level of Excitement. Being an Angels fan who has seen a few prospects deliver (Kendry Morales, Jered Weaver) and some bust (Brandon Wood *that hurts to type*, Dallas McPherson), I'd say my excitement for Trout is about 9 out of 10 Strasburgs. The stats he's putting up at 18-years-old are pretty ridiculous. The power is coming. Scouts and coaches rave about him. I tend to get carried away with prospects but I'm pretty sure this kid is the reincarnation of Mickey Mantle. Trout was born 4 years and 6 days before Mantle passed but I'm working on a theory.