Angels Call Up Top Prospect Mike Trout
Kyle Seager had one day to be the center of attention. The Angels called up their top prospect, CF Mike Trout, from AA this morning to replace Peter Bourjos who strained his hamstring on a double last night.
Trout was the Angels’ 2nd first round pick in the 2009 draft, a kid from a cold-weather state that not many people expected a lot out of. Oops. Though he doesn’t turn 20 until next month, he’s currently sporting a .324/.415/.534 line in the high minors along with what’s reported to be plus defense in center field. He’s stolen 28 bases thus far as well. A right handed hitter, he doesn’t show much in the way of platoon splits. He’s far and away the Angels top prospect, and some have him ranked as the #1 prospect in all of baseball (ahead of Bryce Harper). The Angels had a bit of a dilemma on their hands given that Peter Bourjos, the rookie incumbent in CF, is an elite defender. Would they move Trout off the position? Move Bourjos? For now at least, they don’t have to. If Trout hits like he has in the minors, he can play anywhere and be an all-star.
He may not start quite as hot as Dustin Ackley has, but he shouldn’t be overmatched. It pains me to say it, but I think this could be a great move for the Angels. Instead of using Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells to cover for Bourjos (and picking up someone like Juan Rivera or a AAAA left fielder), they limit the defensive hit due to Bourjos’ injury. They’re getting Trout’s feet wet a bit earlier than they may have planned, but he’s not going to be a Super 2, and I’m not sure they could’ve held him off in April of next year anyway. The choice here was pushing his call up to May of 2012 or going for it now. With the Halos starting play a game back of the Rangers, they need to put their best team on the field right now.
Assuming he plays tonight, he’ll face Blake Beavan, which is a far cry from the challenge Seager faced last night.
Interesting tidbit courtesy of Sam Miller of the Orange County Register: “If Mike Trout were on the Angels low-A team in Cedar Rapids, he would be the second-youngest player on the roster. If he were on the high-A team in the Cal League, he would be 17 months younger than his youngest teammate.”
The AL West race in 2011 hasn’t featured great teams, but it’s never been boring. Wow.