Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): Elite talent that should contribute in every phase of the game as soon as late 2012.
The Player: Mike Trout (OF, Los Angeles Angels) – A bit under-scouted in 2009 because of weather and teams pitching around him in New Jersey, Trout fell to the 25th pick, signed quickly and played 44 games as a 17-year old that summer. He ripped through the Midwest and California Leagues in 2010 and then posted a .326/.414/.544 line with Double-A Arkansas in 2011. He also saw action at the big league level last year with 135 plate appearances and a .220 average.
Body: Built like a football safety, Trout is an extreme quick twitch, muscular athlete.
Makeup: Those both inside and outside the Angels organization rave about Trout’s makeup. He is a tireless worker, great teammate and is generally regarded as a good guy. Some consider his makeup his most outstanding attribute, which is saying something.
Hit: Somewhat upright stance with hands at shoulder level. Lightning quick hands, short, compact swing that gets to the zone quickly and stays there a long time. Excellent barrel awareness and hand-eye coordination allow for easy hard contact. Good approach, sees pitches well and adjusts from at-bat to at-bat easily. Potential to be an elite level hitter. Grade – 50/80
Power: Generates plus to plus-plus bat speed with strong wrists and plenty of drive from his lower half. Added some loft to swing in 2011. Still learning when to turn on a ball but can drive to all fields with ease. Grade (raw power) – 40/60
Arm: His weakest tool he lacks natural arm strength and even when he tries to get after it the best he can generate is a fringe-average throw. He has good accuracy on his throws. Grade – 40/40
Fielding: Fantastic instincts for the position with tremendous jumps on balls hit to his right, left, and directly at him. Takes proper routes and can cover everything from gap to gap. Still learning when to make the spectacular play and when to play it a little safe. Grade (center field) – 60/70
Speed: Shows true 80-grade speed from home-to-first and covers a ton of ground in the outfield. Absolute burner right now though there are some mild concerns that he will slow down as he matures. Even if he does, he’s probably still a plus-plus runner. Grade – 80/70
Summation: Elite level prospect with impact potential on both sides of the game. Game changing hitting ability, speed and defense, along with very good power. His makeup is spectacular and actually helps his already impressive tools play up even more. Potential face of the franchise caliber superstar.
Relative Risk: Low. His combination of jaw dropping tools and impressive makeup give him a deadly combination that nearly eliminates risk from his profile. It is impossible to find anyone that doesn’t believe he will be a star.
Future: Trout appears destined to return to the minor leagues to start the 2012 season but at some point he will force the issue and almost defy the Angels to put him on the big league roster. He is ready to make an impact on a contending level club right now. Though it may take a year or two for his full complement of tools to show on a daily basis, the brief wait will be more than worth it.