Dynamic rookie Mike Trout has been a bundle baseball gifts for the Los Angeles Angels this season. But one of the more unexpected ones has been his power.
Trout hit his 22nd home run of the season in Wednesday's 8-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Despite spotting everyone else a 20-game head start, he is third on the team in home runs behind the team's more conventional power hitters, Mark Trumbo and Albert Pujols. Trout's 22 homers have come in just 95 games and 385 at-bats.
"I don't try to hit home runs. It just happens," Trout said. "Sometimes you get a good pitch to hit, put a good swing on it and it goes."
They went out often in July, when Trout had 10 home runs (and scored 32 runs). He was only the second Angels rookie to hit 10 home runs in any month (Wally Joyner did it in May 1986) and the first AL rookie to do it in July.
Trout said that burst coincided with an adjustment in his stance that involved him standing taller.
"I moved more upright in my stance," he said. "That's probably about when it happened. I was just trying it in batting practice and it worked for me. I got more extension. I felt like I was able to stay on pitches longer, see pitches better and get extended."
Trout has 27 home runs in less than 508 major league at-bats after hitting a total of 23 in 286 minor league games. But Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the power numbers are not that surprising.
"I won't say it's surprised me," Scioscia said. "Everything he's doing, he had the potential to be doing. Just doing it at age 21 is remarkable."