Mike Trout's ascendancy last year was a pleasure to watch!
He not only provided a welcome excitement to the Angels near miss season, but, along with Mark Trumbo, provided the spark that got the team going.
How can anyone who had a near MVP season like Mike Trout continue to perform at a level that ignites a team, energizes the fans, and awes the league?
Well baseball fans, he's doing it again!
And, he's doing it in a style reminiscent of his stellar rookie year! Doing everything one could ask a ballplayer to do and with a consistency that amazes.
While the Angels have been struggling, inconsistent, and fans have been frustrated with their performance, there are some bright spots.
Peter Bourjos and the realignment of the outfield, Trout moving to left, and Josh Hamilton moving from center making a more than respectable transition to right has been exciting and eases the pain of losing Torii Hunter. And J.B. Shuck, filling in for Bourjos when he's been out with injuries, has been sensational. This trio, especially with the recent thefts by Bourjos and Hamilton, continue to rob opponents of home runs and extra-base hits like it was just another day at the office!
Howie Kendrick has provided some fun with the bat with a swing, balance, and confidence that is exceptional. And Vargas was productive on the mound before his recent injury.
But it's Trout's stellar play that generates enthusiasm for Angel and baseball fans everywhere.
And he's only 21 with a potential of rewarding ticket holders with sparkling plays, never-ending hustle, and dynamic performances for years to come.
Like Miguel Cabrera in Detroit and Chris Davis in Baltimore, Trout leads his club in nearly every offensive category and is in the top ten in the league in nearly every one of them as well.
He's leading the Angel's in hits (104), Runs (57), RBI's (52), Steals (20), SLG% (.545), On Base Percentage (.392), Doubles (25), and Triples (6) and he's third in Avg. (.315) and second in Home Runs (13).
Trout, Cabrera, and Davis are in the stratosphere dominating three the first five spots in nearly every American League category. Trout is in the top five in both leagues in three categories.
And he's having fun!
It's infectious. For the team and the fans. It's the kind of hustle and enthusiasm that ignites a rally and inspires a team. The kind of on-field presence that thrills fans and makes baseball less boring.
Again, we don't know whether the Angel's will make the play-offs or not. They may have come to life too late. But, don't count them out yet because there is still a lot of season left. They're still hanging despite the series of injuries that have beleaguered them and the fact that their two over-paid power hitters have yet to get on track. But, Albert has been plagued with foot problems and Hamilton seems to finally be relaxed and having fun also.
And, we must remember, that as long as you have a player like Mike Trout, anything can happen. Howie Kendrick, J.B. Shuck, Peter Bourjos, Eric Aybar, Chris Ianneta, Hank Conger, Jerome Williams, and Jaime Vargas are keeping the Angel's drive alive and, as Angel Fans know -- miracle's can happen!
As long as the Angel's give their best and continue to perform -- showing us fans that they're worth the outrageous amount of money they're paid to play a game at night under thousands of watts of electricity -- and strive to make it fun for us, we will continue to share their burden and hope, hoping to ascend with them to the playoffs.
But, no matter what happens this season -- with Mike Trout, one can be assured: as long as there are fields to roam, fences to climb, bases to steal, and pitchers to face -- he will wow Angel fans season after season.
Last year's Rookie of the Year is still ascending, and, judging from the season so far -- the sky's the limit!
Follow Jim Worth on Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorofmystery