Originally posted on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 6/22/12
Mlb-all-star-futures-game

The June 22nd, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Mike Trout the MVP candidate, Jean Segura was chosen for the Futures Game, Brendan Donnelly defends Joel Peralta's pine tar use and much more...

The Story: The case for Mike Trout to be an MVP candidate.

The Monkey Says: If his numbers maintain, he obviously has a legit case.  However, I don't know that we can just throw away the Angels' resurgence once he called up.  It isn't a strict cause and effect, but it isn't just a "fairy tale" either.  The biggest problem facing the Angel lineup was that the top three in the order were giving them absolutely nothing before Trout got called up.  He gave them the top of the order catalyst they were in desperate need of.  Having Albert Pujols remember how to hit at the same time helped too, that part is coincidence.

The Story: Jean Segura was selected to play in the Futures Game during All-Star weekend.

The Monkey Says: Segura deserves it, but he isn't as exciting as past Angel representatives.  This is also hardly the time to be talking about how he is "blocked" in the majors.  The Angels will likely trade him before long, but they don't have to.  They could move him to third base.  They could keep him in the minors for another season then trade Howie Kendrick.  They could call him up if Erick Aybar continues to stink.  They could use him as a super-sub after Maicer Izturis leaves this off-season, my preferred choice.

The Story: Former Angel reliever and one-time pine tar user Brendan Donnelly defends former Angel reliever Joel Peralta's use of pine tar.

The Monkey Says: Whether or not pine tar is really that big of an advantage isn't at issue here, even if Donnelly wants it to be.  The fact of the matter is it is against the rules.  Don't break the rules and you don't have a problem.

The Story: A graphical comparison of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.

The Monkey Says: A lot of Trout's extra value comes from his defense, which is worth noting, but it shouldn't lessen the comparison because defense is very important.  However, their respective UZRs can change quite a bit before the season is over.  Then again, so can their offensive numbers.  Wait, what were we talking about?

The Story: Mark Trumbo is the Angels' shadow MVP candidate.

The Monkey Says: This again assumes he can keep it up, as Keith Law pointed out on Baseball Today on Thursday, his walk rate has slipped a bit.  Granted, he was kind of cherry-picking date ranges and if he had just walked all of two more times in that span, there would be no red flag, but it is something to keep an eye on.  I also doubt Trumbo receives any real MVP consideration because Mike Trout is drawing all the attention.  Also, Mark offers nothing in terms of defensive value.

The Story: A look at how Albert Pujols got himself out of his slump.

The Monkey Says: I don't care if he did with magic beans just so long as he doesn't ever slump like that again.

The Story: Angel draft pick Michael Roth has been a star for South Carolina in the College World Series.

The Monkey Says: Roth, a ninth-rounder, is the highest drafted unsigned pick for the Halos because of his team still being in the CWS.  Roth has been the ace for the Gamecocks who have won the past two College World Series.  He doesn't have ace potential in the majors, but he does profile as a guy who could be a mid-rotation starter very quickly because he is already so polished.

The Story: Angel players don't seem to think much of the rivalry with the Dodgers.

The Monkey Says: That's a little surprising, but it also makes sense because there isn't any real bad blood between the guys on the respective rosters and pro ballplayers just don't care about bragging rights as much as fans do.  Still, I hate the Dodgers and I hope the Halos kick their ass.

The Story: The Angels promoted 3B prospect Kaleb Cowart to Advanced-A Inland Empire.

The Monkey Says: Cowart entered the season needing to prove himself to justify his status as a top prospect and he has gone and done so.  His bat is maturing very quickly from both sides of the plate which could make him very special, not Mike Trout special, but All-Star special.  He's still got a long way to go though since we all know far too well the dangers of getting excited about a guy with a big bat putting up big numbers in A-ball.

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