Youth baseball players will probably spend a lot of time in their lives watching professional, semi-pro, and/or college baseball. We want our young athletes to learn from the best, but unfortunately not all (read: many) talented athletes are the best role models on and off the field.
Thankfully, baseball has a star player who seems to do everything right inside and outside the lines. That man’s name is Mike Trout. Trout turns 28 this year and is already a seven-time Major League all-star. Even more importantly, he plays the game the right way.
Today we will review what exactly youth baseball players can learn from Mike Trout and other players of his ilk, and why it is important for our young people to find role models to emulate.
Mike Trout is the Best Player in Major League Baseball
Mike Trout’s numbers speak for themselves. He has been so dominant in nine major league seasons that he could easily have won five plus AL MVPs at this point. His awards include two MVPs, AL Rookie of the Year, six Silver Sluggers, and the list goes on.
Trout is also a prototypical five-tool player. True five-tool players are rare in today’s majors with so many players specializing in certain areas while lagging in others. The five tools of baseball are:
Hitting for average and getting on base: Trout has a lifetime batting average of .307 and an OPS of .997. Both are incredibly good in today’s game.
Hitting for power: an average of 37 home runs per 162 game season is again, an elite level of performance.
Fielding: Trout won the 2012 AL Wilson Defensive Player of the Year and is generally considered to be an above average fielder.
Throwing: possibly Trout’s weakest of the five tools is his arm strength, but it is still more than adequate for an MLB center fielder.
Base running: Trout stole 49 bases in 2012 and remains productive on the paths to this day.
Trout’s Journey from Little League to Major League MVP
Despite his obvious talent, Trout was not considered a bona fide blue chip prospect as a young man. His parents recall his abilities being obvious from a very young age, but playing in the American Northeast, where there are relatively few modern baseball success stories, Trout’s abilities were somewhat overlooked.
Around his junior season in high school, Trout did start to receive buzz from college and professional scouts. In the 2009 draft, he was the only player to physically attend the MLB draft which took place near his hometown. Trout waited, alone, while 24 other players were selected in front of him.
In a rare scenario, Trout began producing in minor league ball almost immediately, and rocketed up to the majors within only two years. He appeared in 40 games in 2011, and the rest is history. Trout has been so good and so consistent, it is almost difficult to argue that he has blossomed into a star. He was a star the moment he took the field as an Angel.
The Importance of Playing the Right Way
Another player we frequently mention at Hustle Sports for his sheer abilities and production is Barry Bonds. It is appropriate to talk about Barry when talking about Mike for one simple reason: they are polar opposites of how to handle talent.
Mike Trout plays hard, plays with solid fundamentals, and is a great teammate to have around the clubhouse. Coaches, teammates, and fans all love him because he plays the game the right way without getting into trouble.
Barry Bonds always played hard and had elite preparation and practice work ethic. Where he fell short was in his actions as a teammate, how he treated fans, and ultimately his questionable ethical choices.
For now, Trout remains a squeaky clean example of what it means to be a big leaguer that we can be proud to show young athletes.
What Young Baseball Players can Learn from Mike Trout
Quite simply, young baseball players can learn everything from Mike Trout. If your young athlete wants to become a power hitter with great plate vision: Trout is your guy. If your young athlete wants to hit for average and steal bases: look no further than Mike Trout.
Expounding upon the previous section, Trout also exemplifies what it means to be a star player and a great teammate. He puts up big numbers, but it is always for the success of the team. We should consider ourselves lucky if our young players choose to learn the game from Mr. Trout.
Youth Baseball Coaching with Hustle Training
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