PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 13: Casey Stoner of Australia and rider of the #27 Repsol Honda Team Honda poses with a trout prior to the Australian MotoGP, which is round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship, at the Rhyll Trout and Bush Tucker Farm on October 13, 2011 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
1) Mike Trout, 8/07/91 - CF, AA & MLB
.326/.414/.544 with 11 HR and 33 SB. +32 run bat, +5 run glove, ~5 WAR in 2011
He's our guy, so I'm going to say it: Trout's the top prospect in the game. With his skills and raw athletic ability, he could be baseball's best leadoff hitter for the next decade. Who else would you rather have hitting in front of Albert Pujols? The single season runs scored record is 198, set by Billy Hamilton in 1894. While the game's changed some over the past 108 years, putting that number out of reach, Jeff Bagwell scored 152 runs in 2000. How close do you think Trout can come to challenging that milestone?
To test his era's possibilities, Trout's going to have to cut the small ball crap that he was dabbling with in the Arizona Fall League. Slapping the ball on the ground and to right field is for mere mortals. He need to rest up, have faith in his patience and trust his growing inclination to turn on the ball. If he does that, the batting average will take care of itself.
Thanks to the Vernon Wells deal, Mike Trout will likely head to Salt Lake purgatory for a month or so to open the season (barring some kind of injury to any of the outfield vets). That may cost the Angels a very dear win or two. When Trout does finally arrive this season - I imagine that it will be soon- he may very well take over top of the order duties from the get-go.
OK, I have to admit something: I am sick to death of thinking of new things to say about Mike Trout, and I don't want to regurgitate old stuff. If you want more verbiage on the dude, you can go here, here, or here.