June 9, 2009: Mike Trout becomes an Angel with the 25th pick of the Draft
Yes, this is number one. While this draft still had some good players in it, I am highly optimistic that all 23 teams who passed on Mike Trout, including the Angels once, would not do that again. He’s not a system guy, he’s not a change of scenery guy, he is simply The Guy.
Look, I know that the past few years haven’t been great but Mike Trout is going to play professional baseball for the Angels for his entire career and if that doesn’t make you happy as an Halos fan then I’m confident nothing will.
Trout would go on to make his debut in 2011 as a 19-year-old playing just 40 games. He hit just .220 and it was apparent he would figure it out in The Show but nobody on the planet would predict what happened next.
Mike Trout simply decided that he was going to own baseball as a rookie and nobody could do anything about it. An All-Star appearance, Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger, and 2nd in the MVP voting as a rookie is not just wildly impressive, it’s unheard of and eight years later I still can’t wrap my head around it. A 5-tool player by every definition, Trout would go on to slash, .326/.399/.564 as a rookie. Again, as a rookie.
We all know his resume and baseball-reference is an easy search, but they are never tiring to look at. An All-Star appearance every year (8), a silver slugger every year but one (7) and at least top-4 in the MVP race every year while taking home three. The only year Trout did not win a Silver Slugger or finish top-2 in the MVP race, he got hurt and only played 114 games. I literally cannot wrap my head around how consistently awesome he has been every year.
Counting 26 games played this year and 1225 through his career, Trout has 1351 hits, 295 homers, 777 RBIs, 201 stolen bases, a career slash line of .304/.417/.581. Mike Trout is 29. If you dig, guys like Griffey Jr., Mantle, and Pujols had bigger numbers at this point in their career but Pujols had about 200 more games and Mantle and The Kid had over 300. Not to mention those guys had World Series caliber teams around them to help out at some point in their 20’s while Trout has just been on a playoff team one time.
Dig as much as you’d like, there will always be someone saying that Trout is not the best to ever do it, I just disagree with those people. Some may disagree with this list, some may just reorder it. This isn’t a list of the greatest moments but the most memorable dates for Angel fans. Dates that brought in history even if it hadn’t happened yet. Dates that can be looked back on that have a real place in the history of baseball.
To me, Mike Trout being drafted is not just the most important dates in Angels history, but in time will be looked back as one of the most important dates in baseball history.