Mike Trout is not only the de facto captain of the Los Angeles Angels, he's the captain of Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. He's the best player on the team and one of the best baseball players we've ever seen.
Trout had an opportunity to be on Team USA in 2017 but declined the invite. He watched the US win at home and accepted the invitation this time around without a thought. Trout accepting the invite caused a ripple effect that helped Team USA form one of the best lineups the WBC has ever seen. Trout seems to be having fun playing on the stage he's deserved to play on.
Trout had gotten off to a bit of a slow start in the WBC, but had his big moment in the first inning of last night's victory.
LA Angels outfielder Mike Trout hits first WBC home run
Trout had gotten off to a bit of a slow start in a Team USA uniform. He was hitless in four at-bats, two of which came against the Angels in USA's two exhibition games. Trout did draw a walk, but no hits is obviously out of character.
That carried into the games that counted, as Trout went hitless in four at-bats with a walk in USA's first game. He then had his first hit on Sunday night and drew two walks. Overall, he had just one hit in ten at-bats with four walks in his first 14 plate appearances including the exhibition games.
Trout walked his first time up and scored. Team USA batted around that inning, and that allowed Trout to get his second first inning at-bat. Trout finally had his big moment on the big stage when he launched a three-run homer to cap a nine-run inning.
Team USA would win this game 12-1 and improve to 2-1 in Pool Play. This is all great, but the best part is watching Trout have his big moment on the big stage.
The Angels have just one postseason appearance in his Hall of Fame career. Trout had just one hit (a home run) in 12 at-bats in the ALDS defeat. He waited so long to play meaningful baseball, and to see him have this moment is very refreshing.
Obviously we hope the Angels get back to the postseason this year and I truly believe they have the talent to do it. Trout deserves to be on the big stage every year, and do things like this. It should be fun to watch him for the rest of this tournament.