Angels center fielder Mike Trout has informed tournament organizers that he will not play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in March, Trout’s agent, Craig Landis, said Saturday.
Trout, no doubt, would have been a huge coup for the WBC — the 21-year-old was a unanimous selection for the American League rookie of the year and finished second in the MVP vote after hitting .326 with a .399 on-base percentage, .564 slugging percentage, 30 home runs, 83 runs batted in and 49 stolen bases.
Trout was among the game’s top defensive players, leaping over the wall to rob opponents of four would-be homers, including a spectacular catch high above the wall in Baltimore’s Camden Yards last May.
But Landis said that Trout “just wanted a regular spring-training preparation,” so he opted to inform WBC officials before a formal invitation to play for the team was even extended to him.
New Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton, the former Texas Rangers star who signed a five-year, $125-million deal with the team in December, will not play in the WBC as well.