Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/26/12

The Angels knew they had a precocious talent on their hands when they promoted outfielder Mike Trout to

the majors at age 19 last season. Now, they just know they have a talent.

Since being promoted from Triple-A on April 27, Trout had been the Angels' best hitter until a recent

mini-slump -- and Albert Pujols' revival. In 25 games, Trout has hit .296 with a .360 on-base percentage,

four home runs, 12 RBI and 17 runs scored.

He has given the Angels something they sorely lacked -- a leadoff hitter capable of igniting the

offense. Before his promotion, Angels leadoff hitters combined to bat .195 with a .250 on-base percentage

in the first 20 games this season.

"I think it shows how advanced he is," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, whose team beat Seattle 6-4

Friday. "It's quite a tall order at 20 years old to be connected in the lineup with the best hitter of the

past 11 years (Albert Pujols) and know you have to get on base to set the table for him.

"He's certainly meeting the challenge."

Trout got a good look at what that challenge was during a pair of second-half promotions last season.

While flashing the potential that made him the top-rated prospect in baseball the past two years, Trout hit

just .220 in 40 big-league games last year. He opened the season in Triple-A but quickly demonstrated he

was ready to make the jump.

"If you looked at what he was doing in Triple-A, you saw some things that suggested he could do some

pretty special things," Scioscia said. "But you never know.

"As he's gotten more comfortable there's no doubt he's as tough an out right now as anybody we've seen

in our league. That's something that he'll hopefully keep going with."

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