Mike Trout Drafted by Angels After 21 Teams Passed

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 24: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim follows his three RBI home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Angels defeated the Orioles 9-3. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Mike Trout was drafted on June 9, 2009 by the Angels with the 25th pick in that year's amateur draft. 21 teams passed on him.

  1. The Nationals took Stephen Strasburg with the first pick in the draft. This was a no-brainer. Strasburg, who turns 24 on July 20, has already accrued 5.2 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in his short major league career.
    Washington also had the tenth pick in the draft. They drafted Drew Storen with the pick they received for failing to come to terms with Aaron Crow in the 2008 draft. Storen has already hit the bigs, made a mark, accrued 2.0 WAR and is recovering from elbow surgery. So the Nats had two chances at Trout and had one good reason for not taking him and one lousy reason like the other twenty teams you will read about. Imagine Trout and Bryce Harper on the same team. It could have been all theirs simply by the drafting.

  2. The Mariners took Dustin Ackley, now 24, who has accrued 4.8 WAR before his 600th Major League At Bat.


  • The Padres took a guy who is batting .193 in Low-A Ball

  • The Pirates drafted a catcher who is now 24 years old in AAA

  • The Orioles drafted a pitcher who had a 10.86 ERA in Low-A Ball last year before getting injured and who will miss all of 2012 as well.

  • The Giants drafted a starting pitcher who currently has a 1.88 ERA in AA. Only problem is that this prospect was traded by SanFran to the Mets for Carlos Beltran at the deadline last season.

  • The Braves took Mike Minor who, ironically, made it to the majors. He has accrued -1.7 WAR in the bigs, though.

  • The Reds took Mike Leake who hit the bigs right away to the tune of 2.7 WAR.

  • The Tigers took Jacob Turner who had a cup of coffee last year and made his 2012 debut Thursday night.

  • The Rockies drafted a pitcher who at 21 has made high A Ball and has 83 K in 75 IP this season.

  • The Royals drafted Aaron Crow who signed with them and has been good for 2 WAR as a middle reliever.

  • The Athletics drafted an infielder who will turn 25 in September and is now a AAA outfielder with a 788 OPS.

  • The Rangers didn't even sign the guy they drafted. Imagine the Rangers right now with Mike Trout.

  • The Indians drafted Alex White who was traded to Colorado as part of the package that brought in Ubaldo Jimenez.

  • The Diamondbacks, like the Nationals, had two picks. The Snakes' picks were back to back. With their first pick they took an outfielder who has an OPS of .825 at High A Ball Visalia.
    Their second pick was compensation for the Dodgers signing Orlando Hudson as a free agent. So even though the Dodgers were not one of the 21 teams to pass on drafting Trout, they could perhaps qualify as #21.5 as Trout would have been available when their pick (#17) appeared. But the Blueberries of Brooklyn signed the free agent O-Dog and the D-back took A.J. Pollock who made it to the majors this season at age 24 and hit .245 in limited playing time in the bigs.

  • The Marlins had the 18th pick and so far nobody taken 18-24 in the 2009 draft has made the bigs. The lefty starter they drafted has a 4.88 ERA in High A Ball.

  • The Cardinals drafted a RHP who at age 21 is rated the 8th best prospect in the minors, At AAA Memphis he has 73 Ks in 66 IP, but the 15 HR and 82 Hits allowed are holding him back.

  • The Blue Jays drafted a righty who has a 5.20 ERA in AA this season.

  • The Astros picked a kid who is now in Lancaster of the High A California league at age 21

  • The Twins drafted a kid who was ranked in the Baseball America Top 40 prior to 2011 but had Tommy John Surgery last September.

  • The White Sox has the 23rd pick in the 2009 draft. Mike Trout was available. Perhaps 20 teams passing on him sent a signal for them to reassess their preferences. We will probably never know. What we do know is that the player they picked instead of Trout was 3 years, 10 month older than Mike and currently has an OPS of .852 at AA Birmingham.
  • So then the Angels took Trout, right? Well, no, not exactly. The Angels had the 24th pick but did not use it to pick Trout. Technically, the Angels were the 22nd team to pass on drafting Mike Trout when they chose Randall Grichuk. They had received this pick in the draft as compensation for the Mets signing Francisco Rodriguez. If Omar Minaya had not signed a prime free agent in the 08/09 offseason, Jersey Boy Trout might have been a Met. The Mets would have had pick #24 and Mike Trout would have been available. So like the Dodgers, this might count for a half-pass for New York's National league team. Grichuk, by the way, is six days younger than Trout and currently has an OPS of .710 at High-A Inland Empire.

    It has been subsequently documented in interviews with Eddie Bane that the Angels had their sites squarely set on Trout all the way and took Grichuk ahead of him to assist in leveraging his asking price in case he asked them what they believed him to be worth. It turned out he was an easy sign. The Angels had the #25 pick and right after selecting Grichuk they selected Trout with that pick. This pick was awarded to them because the Yankees had signed Mark Teixeira. If the Angels had re-signed K-Rod and Teix, the Mets or Yankees surely would have drafted Trout. Wouldn't they have?

    Well as it stands, 21 teams passed on Mike Trout. He has accrued 4.2 Wins Above replacement in less than 100 Major League Games played, with not even 330 At Bats in the bigs. And he is all ours in what can really only be described as stupidity on the part of many clubs or destiny on the part of one club.

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