Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 7/12/12

 On April 27, 2012, two new stars emerged into Major League Baseball. No, I do not mean Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. I mean Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo. Now before you all get your panties in a bunch, I know Trumbo was not called up to the majors on that day. My point is, with the addition of Mike Trout, these two players have become the most prolific young duo in the league. At just a combined age of 46, both players have had extraordinary first halves and are headed towards the All-Star Game in Kansas City. They both contain skill sets that, on their own, would be considered incredible, however together, they work as one to make the Angels the hottest team in baseball.

In selecting Mike Trout with the 25th pick the in 2009 draft, the Angels knew they had taken a future leader. The 5-tool Millville Meteor (New Jersey hometown) had committed to East Carolina University, but chose to begin his professional career early. His incredible outfield play, uncanny ability to get on base and “Ricky Henderson” like base stealing potential led to an impressive minor league stat line of (.342/.425/.516) making him the obvious choice by analysts to be the top prospect in the Angels’ farm system. After hitting .403 in 93 plate appearances for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, he was finally called up and man has he taken off. Leading the American League with a .341 batting average and 26 stolen bases at the break, he was selected to the all-star game by manager Ron Washington after initially not being on the ballot. Since his April 27th call up, the Angels currently hold the best record in the majors at 42-24.

After coming off an impressive rookie season in which he was barely edged out for the 2011 ROY, Mark Trumbo began the season looking to prove that there was more to come. Although his average was not up to par at just a mere .254, he flashed his power with 29 home runs and 87 RBIs. With a year under his belt, Trumbo has really come into his own. He is utilizing both sides of the field and seeing more pitches per plate appearance than he did last year, which has helped him improve his batting average to .306. This allows him to get deeper into at-bats and swing at better pitches.  He is on pace for 44 home runs and 114 RBI and was invited to both the all-star game and home run derby. 18 out of his 22 home runs this season have carried over 400 feet— a number untouched so far by any other player in major league baseball. He is currently 7th in the MLB in homers and 4th in the league in slugging percentage. Pretty decent stats for a guy only two years deep in the league.

In comparison to other duos in the league, most fail to come close to the potential that Trout and Trumbo could amount to. Across the freeway from Angel Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers probably contain the toughest adversary. A healthy Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier are a force to be reckoned with in the NL West. However, with Kemp’s injuries keeping him out the past month and a slumping Eithier, this duo seems to be in remission. Around the league, most twosomes seem to be facing a similar fate. Carlos Gonzalez has had a great first half leading to an all-star selection, while an injured Troy Tulowitzki is keeping the Rockies out of playoff contention. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder suffered a breakup last season. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are both battling lingering injuries, devastating the Phillies playoff hopes. The early season experiment of Hanley and Reyes seems to have failed with the Marlins 9 games back at the all-star break.

The Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers have the most intriguing tandems that could be worthy for argument. Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays are a few huge power hitters that are keeping them somewhat in contention. Even with Bautista leading the league in homers (27) and decent pitching despite countless injuries they are just even. However, in the AL East, if you aren’t 10 games over .500 at all times, you are behind.

On January 24th, the Tigers inked Fielder to a 9-year contract worth approximately 214 million dollars with the expectation that the Tigers would be way ahead in the AL Central at the break. Even with Fielder and Miguel Cabrera’s combined totals of 33 homers and 134 RBIs, Detroit has been fighting to remain over the .500 mark. Not to mention, both Fielder and Cabrera are nearing their 30s.

So what makes the T n T crew so great? Their style of play complement each other so well that their production is maximized. Mike Trout, 1st in the AL in stolen bases and 4th in the AL in OBP, sets the table for the Angels RBI leader Trumbo (6 more than Pujols and worth 250 million less) to drive him in. Both Trumbo and Trout are expected to play at such high intensity every night that they have grown close and learned to enjoy the game in the process. Just yesterday, during an interview on ESPN at the 2012 Home Run Derby, Mike Trout could not be happier while in anticipation for his friend to compete in the Derby. He was more excited than Trumbo was. This connection will carry these two extremely far in their careers. For a player who started the season on the bench and another that started the season in the minors, Trout and Trumbo’s outstanding relationship and unrivaled talent combine to make a dynamic-duo that should help the Angels battle for the AL West crown and be World Series contenders for many years to come.


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