Mike Trout had to blink a few times. Was this really happening? Was he really jacking shots over the walls of the new Yankee Stadium? The Millville (N.J.) High School star isn’t in the Major Leagues just yet. He hasn’t even graduated high school (though it’s coming soon on June 16), but he’s getting a good idea of what life is like in the Major Leagues.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior centerfielder went to St. Louis for a workout with the Cardinals on Friday, and then had another planned workout this weekend with the Oakland A’s. He’s worked out at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, and he’s expected to go somewhere in the early to mid-teens in the first round in the June 9 amateur draft.
Trout has been invited by Major League Baseball to attend the MLB draft live, beginning 6 p.m. Tuesday night.
For now, he’s just trying to take everything in. It’s been a hectic though fun time for Trout, No. 50 in the MaxPreps Baseball Report 2009 Top 100. When not doing interviews, or being called by reporters, or finishing his season, he does manage to find some alone time.
“It’s why I love fishing,” said Trout Thursday afternoon, as he was getting some crab traps together before heading out with friends. “Fishing and crabbing, you can say I do it all. It’s actually a great way to wind down and relax.”
When asked how good of a fisherman he is, Trout let out a bellowing laugh, “On a scale of 1-to-10, I’m a 13,” he said, laughing. “But seriously, it’s not how I would rate myself as a player. I still need work, and right now, with everything going on around me, reporters, and Major League Baseball calling, it’s a great time.
“I think the biggest thing that’s help get through this is just relaxing and taking it easy. As long as I have fun with all this, the attention and the cameras and stuff, I’m okay. A big key, I believe, is staying positive. You hear different things, and how things can go, and I concentrate on the positive. The negative stuff I let slide by.”
Trout has committed to East Carolina, but there is almost a 100-percent likelihood that that won’t happen. He’s been contacted by all 30 Major League teams, while 27 team representatives have visited his Millville home. He also has adviser, Craig Landis, whose clients include Major Leaguers Aaron Rowand and Brett Myers.
Trout says that Oakland, which has the No. 13 pick, and St. Louis, which has the No. 19 pick, have shown the most interest. But the Yankees have also been keeping a keen eye on Trout, too. According to a number of sources, the Yankees like him quite a bit, but feel he’ll be well off the board by the time they pick at No. 29.
Trout has also worked out extensively for the Detroit Tigers, at their Spring Training facility in Lakeland, Fla. The Tigers have the No. 9 pick.
“It feels great to get all of this attention,” Trout said. “I think I’ve expressed a strong interest in being signed, and I’m just tying to take the whole experience in. Hitting in some of these Major League stadiums is certainly a great confidence boost.
“But I have to say I wouldn’t be in this position if not for my parents, obviously, and the great support I’ve received from the teachers and administration at Millville. They’ve been great, and more importantly, very accepting of the schedule I’ve had to keep.”
But before he left for St. Louis, Trout had to escape one more time to the Maurice River, with his fishing reel and crab traps. So for just a few hours, he got a chance to kick back with nothing but sun, bait, crab traps and running water before Trout’s new world gets closer and closer on June 9.
Joseph Santoliquito covers high schools for the Philadelphia Daily News and is a frequent contributor to MaxPreps.com. He can be contacted at JSantoliquito@yahoo.com.