Millville Senior High School product Mike Trout, 19, gets called up to the major leagues early Friday, July 8.
The Angels promoted Trout in a pinch because, according to ESPN, the team was "in need of a center fielder after Peter Bourjos strained his hamstring legging out a double in Thursday's game against the Mariners."
Trout's case appears to be an anomaly.
According to ESPNLosAngeles.com writer Mark Saxon, "Teams rarely promote players before their 20th birthday, though there have been notable exceptions. Alex Rodriguez was 18 when he debuted with the Mariners in 1994."
Prior to his promotion, Trout was playing for the Angels' Double-A affilaite the Arkansas Travelers, of the Texas League. It is unclear whether or not this is a permanent or temporary move by the Angels, but regardless, he will be in uniform tonight (wearing number 27) for Los Angeles’ match-up with the Seattle Mariners.
Widely considered the top prospect in baseball, Trout was selected 25th overall by the Angels in the 2009 MLB Draft. Since then, the local product has been tearing up the minor leagues, which led to his call up.
The Angels face off against the Mariners Friday at 10:05pm (EST), in Los Angeles. Even if Trout doesn't play, it will be his first time back to Angel Stadium of Anaheim since last year's Future's All-Star Game.
Atlantic City Weekly recently had an exclusive interview with Trout, prior to his call up.
Here is Trout's fascinating story, which highlights the outfielder's journey from being a South Jersey baseball prodigy to becoming a big leaguer.
It's Saturday morning, May 23, 2009, around 10am — just an ordinary spring morning almost everywhere in Cherry Hill, N.J.
But down at the David J. Martin Baseball Diamond, where Millville Senior High School (Millville) and Cherry Hill High School East are squaring off in a late season baseball contest, anything but ordinary is taking place.
A New York Yankees scout knows that. Many of the residents who woke up early for the ballgame do too.
That’s why they are all there: so they don’t miss out on witnessing the talents of a high-school senior who, some time down the road, may go down as the best ball player to ever grace the athletic playing fields of South Jersey’s high schools.
Mike Trout steps to the plate. The second he enters the batter’s box, it's clear there is something special about this kid.
His tree-trunk thighs, his forearms that are nearly as big as the barrel on his bat, his thick neck and huge back — high-school kids just aren’t supposed to look like this.
Everyone in attendance stops talking and pins their eyes to his every move.
Trout gets a pitch low and outside, knee level and off the plate, an un-hittable pitch for most players.
Swinging with every pound of his massive body rotating in perfect unison, Trout sends a sizzling white pearl soaring into the sky.
By the time the ball lands over the right-center field fence, 400 feet from home plate, people in the crowd bring their attention back to the field.
What they see next may be the most astonishing thing of all.
Trout is already at second base.
“He just hit a no-doubter home run, why is this Millville mammoth sprinting around the bases? Better yet, how did he even get there that fast?” many members of the crowd are asking themselves.
Upon hitting the ball, Trout hustled full-speed out of the box, trying to get as many bases out of his hit as possible in case the ball didn’t land over the fence.
And now, as he sees the ball disappear behind the fence for his 15th home run of the season, Trout begins to slow down into his nonchalant, home run trot, better known as the “Trout Trot.”
Trout is not only playing like no other rookie in MLB history, he’s putting most Major League veterans to shame.
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See all of Atlantic City Weekly's custom-made baseball cards here. Just click each player icon to go to that player's card. Print out the fronts and backs for a full set.
“It freaked me out. I don’t really know exactly what happened next, but I dug down deep and decided that I’m either going to stop baseball and get a job, or I have to do something here. My last few games, I took the ball and threw it as hard as I possibly could.”
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AS MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL’S regular season winds down this week (c’mon Phils, nail that NL East title down already!) and most of the playoff match-ups have been determined (this Red Sox fan would like to thank rival AL West division winners the Los Angeles Angels for beating the Texas Rangers Tuesday night, thus helping the Sox clinch the AL Wild Card spot) there’s a lot of fantastic baseball watching to be had this month.
The ultimate goal of the draft was to put together a Top-30 list of who would be the best players to start a baseball team with, if the baseball experts in the draft had to build their franchise around one single player. Trout was the 12pick overall.