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Mark Trumbo Angels Top Prospect #7

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A transcript from Ryan Ghan's March 29, 2011 appearance on LunchTime HaloTalk where he counted down his preaseason selections of the Angels Top Prospects.

Rev Halofan: We're moving on and I guess we are now at number seven. Who is our... the Angels' number seven prospect?

Ryan Ghan: Okay. This is a guy who has a lot of helium. He keeps moving up. Mark Trumbo. He put on a great show this spring. I'm really excited to see what he does this year. You know, he's one of the few power hitters in the Angels system who hits homeruns to all fields. It's a great sign. He hits more groundballs than the usual power hitter. A little bit more like Mike Napoli in that regard. Like Napoli, he tends to hit them hard enough to find holes. So, between the all fields approach and the hard ground balls, he's got a shot at hitting for average. Now the big question, the huge question, is the strikeouts. He struck out a lot this spring and he didn't walk much. Scioscia cut him a little bit of slack because Trumbo had a lot to prove very quickly, but it's going to be an issue. If he maintains that rate, if he strikes out a third of the time in the major leagues, he's going to have a very, very difficult time putting up the numbers he needs to put up.

Rev HF: Now, wait, Jim, I want to ask you do you see the Mike Napoli platoon situation driving all of Halos Heaven insane this season with Mark Trumbo as the Mike Napoli character?

Jim Gardner: Yeah. I think we've led through last two seasons. I think that this could be... this is something that is going to put us over the edge, at least put me over the edge as far as how Mike Scioscia handles this.

Ryan Ghan: Now, how do you guys mean when you say that? Do you mean his playing time versus Peter Bourjos?

Rev HF: No. No. No, no. They're going to be putting Mark Trumbo at first base and then they're going be putting Howie Kendrick at first base and Alberto Callaspo at second. Do you understand that basically is going to be a swapping out of Callaspo for Trumbo. As insane as that sounds, but it doesn't sound too insane when you're discussing Mike Scioscia.

Jim Gardner: Is Trumbo's defense that bad, Ryan?

Rghan: No. He has made a lot strides. I mean, he's never going to be great, but he didn't look too bad there in the spring. His footwork was decent. He'll make the basic plays and he's got that cannon of an arm. At some point very soon, he's going to make an out that none of us saw coming. He's worked really, really hard on the D and I see no reason why he can't be average with more reps over there. Now, the outfield is another question. I don't think he's got as good a shot at playing a quality corner outfielder.

RevHF: Wow. All right.

Jim Gardner: Well, coming up to the system, was he primarily an outfielder or first base?

Rghan: First base. They had him at first base since the beginning.  He's been in the system for a while. Trumbo is a guy who was primarily a pitcher in high school, who was going to go to college and play both ways, but was not as polished with the bat. The Angels taught him how to hit. For all of the flack the Angels get about their position prospects, we've got a group right now whom the Angels essentially taught how to hit. These were not seen as polished guys who had a good intuitive approach when they were drafted, but the Angels' coaches had a lot of success.  It took time. I mean, Trumbo's numbers even two years ago were not nearly what they are now. He was pounding the ball into the ground all the time in Double A. He was having trouble lifting the ball and he is a much better hitter now than when he was two years ago.

Mark Trumbo has been the primary 1B for the Angels in 2011. In 341 Plate Appearances this season he has 82 hits and 72 strikeouts. His 18 HRs lead all rookies in baseball. His OPS+ of 122 is second only to Howie Kendrick for position player regulars on the team.