Is Mike Trout too good at baseball to be a role model?

NBC Sports
May 13, 2014

Very few people, let alone baseball players, measure 6-foot-1, 230 pounds with blazing speed and colossal strength. Even fewer possess the ability to hit a curveball 430 feet to the opposite field and the baserunning instincts to score from first on a double to left.

Mike Trout is this perfect storm of physical gifts and innate baseball intelligence -- a once-in-a-lifetime prodigy who has already earned the mantle of "the game's greatest player" at the age of 22.

It's all incredibly impressive, but for the head baseball coach at Trout's alma mater, the nearly unprecedented success of the Angels' superstar outfielder makes for a tough sell to current players at Millville High School.

"He's almost too good," said Roy Hallenbeck. "It's unrealistic. How do you look at a kid and say 'Hey, go be Mike Trout.'"

The coach has a point. Trout is the only player in Major League history to lead his league in WAR in both of his first two seasons. The odds aren't necessarily in favor of anyone repeating the feat in the near future.

"There isn't another Mike Trout, so it's almost to the point where it's laughable how good he is," said Hallenbeck. "I always say it would be a lot better for these guys [current high school players at Millville] if he was the fourth outfielder who was sticking on the team. 'Hey, let's go be him. You can do that.' But to say 'Hey, go be one in a million, one in a billion.' That's tough to ask of a kid."