Fri Jul 08 08:57am EDT
As Thursday night became Friday morning, the Los Angeles Angels went on a little fishing expedition in search of outfield help.
The Angels surprisingly promoted 19-year-old Mike Trout(notes) from Class AA Arkansas, where he was batting .330 with a .422 on-base percentage, .544 slugging percentage and 28 stolen bases. Those are good numbers and here's another: Only Washington's Bryce Harper(notes) is ranked higher on Baseball America's prospect charts.
Trout, who turns 20 in August, had been headed to the Futures Game in Phoenix. Instead, the future seems to be, oh, Friday night in Anaheim. Trout becomes the AL's second-youngest player — after his teammate, Angels right-hander Tyler Chatwood(notes).
A hamstring injury to Peter Bourjos(notes) apparently sped Trout's timeline forward. But hey, if anyone knows how to handle a baseball player named after a kind of fish, it's the franchise who gave us Tim Salmon.
To give you an idea of how much of a surprise this promotion is, Sam Miller of the Orange County Register tweeted that he recently asked the Angels' director of player development if Trout were ready for the Angels' Class AAA team in Salt Lake City.
Once Trout plays the field, he'll be just the third teen to do so since 2000 (Justin Upton(notes) and B.J. Upton(notes) were the others). There haven't been too many hugely successful 19-year-olds in major league history, though Trout's mere presence is a strong indication that he'll probably have a great career.
The promotion probably won't hurt Trout if he happens to fail, or is sent back to the minors after Bourjos returns (assuming he is rested through the All-Star break). But it seems out of place for the Angels, who are just a game out of first place in the AL West, to promote Trout right now.
Trout is 19 months younger than the Angels' pick in this June's draft, C.J. Chron. They couldn't be doing this for attention, right?
As good as his numbers are in the minors, they're not so good (once you boil them down to major league equivalencies) that it was obvious he had mastered Double-A.
He struck out 61 times and walked 38 in 341 plate appearances — which is very encouraging but not dominant. A lot of his slugging percentage came from 11 triples, which might be an ode to his natural speed and the bad outfield defense of others. He was caught stealing eight times in 36 attempts — again good, but not great.
This all projects to Trout being, at the moment, no more than an average major league player right now. Astonishing for a 19-year-old, and helpful to the Angels in a pinch while Bourjos is down, but it might have made sense to get someone else from Triple-A to fill in.
Bottom line: They should throw Trout back into the stream, for now.
Update: Here's Yahoo! Sports own Roto Arcade's take for you fantasy players.