Mike Trout The Best MLB Player In The Game Today
Mike Trout is considered by many to be the best player in the MLB right now–even his peers, the MLB players themselves. He’s a once in a generation talent who passes the eye test and has the numbers to back it up.
What’s great about Mike is that he’s such a great guy off the field as well. Teammates, coaches, and fans rave about his work ethic and down to earth personality.
Sports Illustrated writer Ben Reiter caught up with some prominent people in the game of baseball as well as Mike’s coaches and players from high school all the way to the big leagues to get some behind the scenes stories of the man who could go down as the best player to ever play the game.
Check them out below.
Kenny Williams, Trout’s assistant coach in high school
“Mike had verbally committed to East Carolina the summer before his senior year. One night Billy Godwin, the coach there, was here when we were playing our local rival. There are 30 scouts in the stands. Mike hits a moonshot, and everyone thinks it’s going out. The centerfielder runs back, then realizes it’s going to drop in front of him. Mike’s flying. He was 3.8, 3.9 seconds home to first from the right side, which is ridiculous. He crosses the plate standing up before the ball gets back to the infield. Thirty scouts’ stopwatches drop. Thirty cellphones pop up. Godwin comes walking along the backstop, kicking the ground, and says, ‘He’s the best bleeping high school player I’ve ever seen. There’s no way he’s coming to East Carolina.’”
Brian Cashman, New York Yankees General Manager
“This is real: He was No. 2 on our draft board. Stephen Strasburg was No. 1. We were picking toward the back, No. 29, but we didn’t think anybody was on him. He came off the board before us, and that’s that.”
Jeff Mathis, former Angels catcher
“I was at Angel Stadium right after they drafted him. They brought him in to see the stadium and take BP. He didn’t have a bat, so I gave him mine. He steps into the cage, and he starts hitting these deep bombs to right center, one after the other. My bat never sounded like that. He was 17 years old.”
Tim Mead, Angels Vice President of Communications
“There was a family in New Jersey that had a fire in their house at Christmastime in 2015. Lost their tree, presents, everything. Mike heard about it. On his own he picked up gifts for them—they were strangers—and dropped by the house. He low-keyed all of it. If the family had not said anything to anybody about it, it would have gone unnoticed. That’s Mike.”
C.J. Cron, Los Angeles Angels first baseman
“The play that sticks out is when he robbed the Mariners’ Jesus Montero, at home in September 2015. I’ve seen people rob homers before, but the way he climbed the wall, hung up there and just snagged it, it was something I’ve never seen before.”
“He signs autographs for kids every day, probably hundreds of them. Always. Before the game, after the game, wherever the kids are gathered. You just don’t see superstars doing that.”
Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher
“It’s crazy: He’s pretty decent at everything he does. He figures things out really quick. Video games. Cribbage. When Torii Hunter was here, we played a lot of dominoes, and he got good. He’ll shoot in the mid-70s in golf, no problem, and we’ll really only play during spring training, and sometimes on off days during the season.”
Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs third baseman
“If you had no clue about baseball and were just talking to him, you’d be like, This guy is a cool guy. Just a normal human being who happens to be able to do amazing things on the field.”
Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels first baseman
“The thing that impresses me most, for a big guy like he is, is how well he runs. When he goes around the bases, it’s like a freaking linebacker running.”
Dino Ebel, Angels Bench Coach
“His rookie year [in 2012], we’re sitting on the plane together. I said, ‘You know that guy Jeter over there with the Yankees? That’s you.’”
Mike Butcher, former Angels Pitching Coach
“Mike loves video games, and he used to play my son in an online game called Clash of Clans. Mike was winning, and my son asked him why he had so many weapons and tools. Mike said, ‘You’ve got to spend some money if you want to play with the big boys. Use your dad’s account.’ The next day I get a receipt that shows $1,500 in charges. Fifteen hundred dollars! I thought somebody hacked my account. I go to my son, ‘What is this all about?’ And he says, ‘Mike Trout said I needed these.’ I see Mike later that day, and he’s just laughing. He’s really this great big kid who’s always having fun. He hasn’t changed a bit.”
Jim Leyland, former MLB Manager
“I’m not a guy who likes to compare one player to another. I’m not going to compare Mike to anybody else. But I will say this: People will try to compare other players to Mike Trout for a long time.”
Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers President Of Baseball Operations
“He’s the best in the game—that any of us have ever seen, really.”