Let’s ignore, for a second, the fact that the Angels are floundering at third place in the awful AL West. I want to talk about the one thing Angels fans can look forward to: the future.
For now, that future looks to revolve around rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo.
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Trumbo has been sensational this year, leading both the Angels and all major league rookies with 11 home runs. His batting average stands at .257, and it has been steadily increasing. Before going 0-for-4 against Tampa Bay on Wednesday, Trumbo had hit safely in nine straight games. Over that stretch, his batting average was a staggering .382.
But what really has fans buzzing is his growing ability to see the ball. Trumbo’s patience at the plate has improved quite a bit as of late. In his last 10 games, he has struck out only five times, including twice in his last game against the Rays. For the Angels, whose recent offensive woes have involved a heavy dose of strikeouts, such patience is a refreshing sight.
Defensively, Trumbo has been responsible for a couple of highlight-reel-quality plays, but most importantly, he can make the routine out at first as well. A ball hit in his direction is pretty much a guaranteed out.
Of course, being a rookie means you still have a lot to learn at the major league level. That definitely holds true for Trumbo, who is prone to the occasional swing at an eye-level fastball or a breaking pitch in the dirt. But his rate of improvement is raising eyebrows and hopes for the future. Trumbo probably has the most upside out of all Angels rookies.
With the Angels’ 2011 campaign entering a tailspin, many fans are calling for Mike Trout’s major league debut. But in the wake of Brandon Wood’s disastrous callup, the Angels are looking to give the star prospect a little more time to develop in the minors. Until Trout finally does make his first appearance in an Angels uniform, though, the Halos’ future looks bright as long as Mark Trumbo will lead the way.