Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/7/12

Glowing stories written about dynamic Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout this summer often referred to his potential to become one of the youngest batting champions -- and MVPs -- in baseball history as almost a fait accompli.

That has decidedly changed as baseball enters its final month.

Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera has caught Trout for the AL lead in batting average (.330134 to .329764 through Thursday) and is gathering support as the AL MVP by hitting .360 since the start of August. Trout, on the other hand, has been more human than the "SuperNatural" billing he received on a recent Sports Illustrated cover.

"The bar was set so high that we're talking about a month where he hit .290 as a lull," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said of Trout's August, in which he batted .284 -- by far his lowest mark for a full month in the big leagues. "If his accomplishments to date have created a standard where simply being really good can be considered a lull, we're going to be OK."

The lull has extended into September. With a hitless game in Oakland on Wednesday, Trout has batted just .275 (38-for-138) in his past 33 games. His season average is the lowest it has been since June 18.

"Mike is incredibly energetic. He brings such a high level of energy to the game every day," Dipoto said, "but he has entered that zone where this is going to be the longest season where he has had to play pole-to-pole.

"They call these the dog days for a reason."

Trout and Cabrera will square off on the same field this weekend with the Angels hosting the Tigers for a key three-game series between the two playoff hopefuls -- and MVP candidates.

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