Mickey Mantle. Joe DiMaggio. Willie Mays. These are just a few of the greats that Los Angeles Angels rookie phenom, Mike Trout has been compared to.
Many players have been compared to the all-time greats and truly never lived up to it. The crazy thing with Trout, is the fact that he deserves the comparisons as a 21-year-old kid. The crazier fact is that he slipped all the way to the 25th overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft.
The scouting geniuses sure did mess up there. How can 21 teams pass up on a kid that might be the best player in all of baseball at the age of 21? I guess even the best mess up sometimes, and must not feel too smart now.
So, the real question is, what if the Giants drafted Mike Trout?
First, lets look at who the Giants did draft in 2009. With the No. 6 overall draft pick, San Francisco drafted right-handed pitcher, Zach Wheeler. Wheeler was a 6’3″, 180-pound righty out of high school with a huge upside. The Giants loved this pick.
Wheeler looked very promising right away in the minors and was soon considered the Giants’ top prospect. However, he was traded to the New York Mets during the 2011 trade deadline to acquire Carlos Beltran, who left for St. Louis in the offseason. In retrospect, Wheeler was a waste of a pick as he was traded for a rental player.
Picking Trout would have also meant no Gary Brown, who is a nice prospect, but he’s not Mike Trout. Who would the Giants have drafted instead of Trout? Well, nobody can really know, but there were arms like Zach Lee and Taijuan Walker and bats like Mike Olt and Nick Castellanos still on the board.
Now, how would Trout fit in with today’s Giants team? Game-changer.
Those two words are exactly what describe Trout. The Angels started off the season 6-14 and their big offseason spendings looked like a failure. Then came the young phenom and he changed games left and right. Trout has put the Angels in playoff contention and made Albert Pujols the second-best player on a team for the first time ever.
Giants fans and teammates would love Trout’s game-changing ability both on offense and defense. According to Baseball-Reference Trout is currently second in offensive WAR with a 6.2 and he leads all of baseball in overall WAR with a 7.7. What’s more impressive is that Justin Verlander is in second with a not-so-close 6.0.
The young star just adds a spark to the team, and leaves the fans in awe. Who doesn’t want to see this kid rob another home run, score another run, steal another base or blast another ball into the bleachers?
The Giants’ starting rotation is one of the best in baseball again, and if Trout was wearing black and orange, he might just be their best friend. Not only would he roam center field, snatching every ball in sight, but he would revitalize an improved offense. Let’s take a look at what a lineup with Trout could look like.
1. Mike Trout CF
2. Marco Scutaro 2B
3. Melky Cabrera LF
4. Buster Posey C
5. Pablo Sandoval 3B
6. Hunter Pence RF
7. Brandon Belt 1B
8. Brandon Crawford SS
That’s just one sample of what a lineup with Trout could possibly be. The Giants’ lineup is one that has many pieces that could move. Not to mention, that’s one scary outfield.
Having Trout as a Giant is something one can only dream about or make a reality in a video game, but the rookie that has a combination of The Hulk and Spider-Man to comprise his talent sure would have looked good in an orange and black suit.