Look, out in the field and up at the plate. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s most definitely a Trout!!
Angels fans got a brief taste of Mike Trout at the Major League level in 2011. However, with his stellar performance since his April 28thcallup, I think it’s safe to say that in 2012 Mike Trout has truly arrived.
Called up the same weekend as the National’s young phenom Bryce Harper, any initial national Trout fanfare was largely drowned out by the waves of Harper-mania crashing through the media. Within the Angels family, however, no additional media hype was necessary. After all, we fans have only been longing for the time it was right to “free Mike Trout” since more or less the day he was drafted.
For those first few games when Trout’s name appeared in the lineup, we fans had sky high hopes. But those hopes were largely based on all of the predictions and analysis we’ve heard about the talents of this 5-tool player. And we almost felt guilty about it, with fans across numerous social media outlets expressing a laudable desire not to unfairly heap the pressure of their expectations on such young shoulders.
Then Trout started to rack up the hits and rake in the well deserved applause for heads up defensive plays. I mean, the kid’s only batting .331 and this after a bad night at that plate in which he went 0 – 3...after going 4 – 4 the previous night, but who’s counting? Today when fans see Trout’s name in the lineup, our expectations may even be even higher than before but now it’s all based on Trout’s current performance. Besides, the more we watch Trout play, the more we understand the true nature of the young talent before us, as witnessed by these recent fan tweets from the last two Angels series:
Ryan Vander Yacht@VanderTweets:
I'm so glad that Mike Trout's father Jor-El sent him to Anaheim when Krypton exploded. #Angels
Death once had a near Trout experience.
Did you hear that Superman tried to buy Trout pajamas but that darned Chuck Norris had just bought the last 3 pairs?
(Okay, so that last one was mine. I am unaware of any rule stating that I’m not allowed to participate in the fun. ;) )
Hey, Trout hits for average and power. He may actually be faster than a speeding bullet given proper motivation on the basepaths and his fielding is top notch. He plays the game the right way and is an absolute joy to watch. Sure his arm, while improved since last season, still needs some work, ditto his base stealing and he’s still learning routes in the outfield. But, in my opinion this leads us to the best thing about Trout, and that's on a very long list indeed: he’s always learning. He’s already made improvements over last season and you see him making crucial adjustments at the plate and in choosing his routes during games. As good as he is, Trout is only going to improve with age. Clearly we are, in fact, watching a budding superhero grow and learn on our favorite team…it’s the only logical explanation.
Oh, and about that initial lack of national hype? Well, the national media hasn’t quite picked up on the Superman angle just yet. We understand. It’s notoriously difficult to find a reliable Kryptonian Sociology expert to interview. But they did eventually clue in to what they were missing. Now ESPN says ‘Mike Trout Looks Like the Real Deal,’ MLBN analysts can’t stop gushing over him and MLB named him Rookie of the Month for the month of May. And I am sure this list is only going to grow throughout his career as Trout grows into his superpowers.