Will Mike Trout Move to Left Field?
Since the season ended, news has circulated that Torii Hunter's departure from the Los Angeles Angels could mean that Mike Trout shifts from center to left, speedster Peter Bourjos takes over in center and young slugger Mark Trumbo handles right field, as MLB.com noted last month.
I can understand the logic behind moving Trout in favor of Bourjos, but I can't agree with it.
Mike Trout brings a presence to the Angels outfield that they haven’t had since the days of Jim Edmonds. Trout has turned more home run trots into walks of shame then any Angels outfielder in a long time.
How many ridiculous catches did he make in center field this past season?
How many robbed home runs and spectacular diving catches?
And let's not forget his wheels in the alley, grabbing would-be doubles.
Trout’s preference is to play center field, although he has been quoted on the possible shift as saying "But to help the team win, I'll play wherever Scioscia will put me," adding "Just being out there is all that matters."
So why the move?
Admittedly, moving Trout would help conserve him physically throughout the season. Center fielders get a lot more work during games than corner outfielders do, so this could keep him on the field longer.
However, while the idea is good in theory, you're taking a major weapon out of your game. I can understand that the Angels want to preserve their young phenom. They don’t want to see him go down the same injury-plagued road as players like Ken Griffey Jr. and Josh Hamilton.
But he's 21 years old.
Let the kid play in center. You can always move him when he's 30.
As for Bourjos, he can hold his own in center. He has the speed and the tools to get the job done at a high level. Bourjos had an injury-riddled 2012 campaign, but had a respectable season offensively in 2011, hitting .271 with 12 homers and 43 RBI.
Those numbers are decent for a center fielder, but they are just not good enough for a corner outfielder.
Trout, on the other hand, exhibited greatness this past season.
Trout could be the next Torii Hunter, reminiscent of his days with the Twins. With the way he played last season, he could be on his way to a Hall of Fame career.
Why would you deprive your team of game-saving catches? Why would you limit a potentially great player to one side of the field, when he has the ability to affect the game from left to right?
Bourjos makes good plays, Trout makes Hall of Fame plays.
That’s all that needs to be said.
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