Angels promote top prospect Mike Trout for debut
Mike Trout is getting a sneak preview of the majors this
weekend, and the Los Angeles Angels are getting a tantalizing early
look at the teenager who’s considered the best prospect in
The Angels abruptly promoted their prized outfielder from
Double-A Arkansas on Friday, putting him in the lineup against the
Seattle Mariners for his major league debut.
Although the 19-year-old isn’t expected to stay in the big
leagues beyond the weekend, the Angels couldn’t wait any longer to
see Trout patrolling center field. When starter Peter Bourjos
strained his right hamstring Thursday, Los Angeles decided to make
the long-anticipated move.
”I don’t know if we anticipate this being all that long, but
this is a good opportunity (for Trout) to see what that monster of
the big leagues is all about,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
”I think it will be a great experience for Mike. He wants to
contribute. He wants to win. He’s driven. He’s ready on the
defensive side, and whatever he can contribute on the offensive
side, we’ll take it.”
Trout, a speedy outfielder from Millville, N.J., is considered
the top prospect in baseball in several recent rankings. After
earning the Midwest League’s MVP award last season, he has excelled
for Arkansas in the Texas League this season, batting .324 with 32
extra-base hits and 28 stolen bases.
Trout is the youngest player on a major league roster and the
youngest player to debut with the Angels since 19-year-old Andy
Hassler came up on May 30, 1971.
Trout was scheduled to play in the All-Star Futures Game in
Phoenix on Sunday. Instead, he might be facing Cy Young winner
Felix Hernandez in the Angels’ final game before the All-Star
”There’s always going to be pressure,” Trout said at Angel
Stadium on Friday, shortly after picking up his No. 27 jersey.
”Once you get on the field, it’s just a game. Tonight is going to
be a thrill, and I can’t wait.”
Trout is the youngest player to debut in the majors since the
19-year-old Hernandez broke in with the Mariners in 2005.
Although Trout has torn through the low minors over the past two
years, the 2009 first-round pick was shocked to get a
middle-of-the-night call from Angels general manager Tony Reagins
ordering him out to the West Coast.
”I got chills,” Trout said with a grin.
Bourjos was injured while rounding second base on an
eighth-inning RBI double against the Mariners on Thursday. He
shares remarkable similarities with Trout, including superior speed
and phenomenal outfield defense, but Scioscia insists the starting
job in center field still belongs to Bourjos when he returns.
The Angels don’t expect they’ll be forced to choose between the
two prospects for quite a while – although Scioscia acknowledges
Trout could make it tough on them.
”This is a short sample,” Scioscia said of Trout’s long
weekend in Anaheim. ”He’s only here for a finite amount of time. I
don’t know if we’re going to find out anything on the offensive
side, but what we saw on the defensive side in spring training was
very exciting. We saw a guy that’s ready to play center field in
the major leagues, and we’ll see what happens on the offensive
Although Bourjos isn’t ruled out for the weekend, Scioscia said
he’ll probably rest Bourjos until the Angels return from the break
next weekend. An MRI on Bourjos’ leg revealed no tears or serious
”It is Peter’s job when he comes back,” Scioscia said. ”He’s
been playing better defensive center field than anybody in the
league. We want Peter back in that lineup.”
The Angels sent fifth starter Tyler Chatwood back down to
Triple-A Salt Lake, where he’ll start next Thursday. Los Angeles
won’t need a fifth starter again until July 19.