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Monday, October 25, 2010

More Nice Words On Mike Trout

From Baseball America's Jim Callis:
[...] Trout is a lot better than almost anyone realized. He floated a $2.5 million price tag the night before the 2009 draft, but that didn't really scare teams away. The Angels, who didn't believe his asking price, were on him more than anyone and took him with their second of two first-round choices. He signed for a slot bonus of $1.215 million.

Viewed as a raw athlete at the time of the draft, Trout has proved to be anything but raw. He didn't face elite competition as a New Jersey high schooler and had some length and loopiness in his swing, so he wasn't expect to hit pro pitching right away. Yet he has batted .344 in two years of pro ball. He was graded as having 70 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale, and it turns out that was selling him short, because he's an 80 runner.

I'd feel better about Trout delivering on his promise compared to Kotchman, McPherson and Wood. I liked all of those players, but they all had flaws they couldn't overcome. Kotchman never hit more than 10 homers in a minor league season and his power never developed like the Angels hoped. Even during their breakout seasons, McPherson and Wood struck out in bunches, which proved to be their undoing in the majors.

Even if Trout doesn't get any better than he is right now—which would be silly, seeing as how he's just 19—he'd hit for average, get on base and run wild once he did, and play a quality center field. His power is still developing, and he should hit at least 20 homers per season once he gets more aggressive about driving pitches. He's a more well-rounded player than Kotchman, McPherson or Wood ever were.

I think Callis is wrong about McPherson — it was his inability to stay healthy, and an inability to take walks, that destroyed his career. The strikeouts didn't help, but 27 walks in 505 plate appearances is horrible.

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But how is it "wrong" to say that Trout is more well-rounded than McPherson, when Trout *does* take walks? That's simply an
...accurate statement. McPherson two tools: power and defense.
I didn't say he was wrong about Trout being more well-rounded than D-Mac, only that I disagree with Callis over the cause of the latter's downfall.

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