As the end of Day 1 of the 2009 Draft approached, the Angels -- knowing they still had a pair of picks to come -- had two high school outfield prospects on their radar.
One of those picks was used on Mike Trout, whom the team selected 25th overall. The other, taken one place before LA's rookie phenom, was Randal Grichuk.
As Trout continues to shine on baseball's brightest stage,
the Angels' No. 12 prospect is doing everything he can down on the farm to ensure he joins him sooner rather than later.
The 20-year-old right fielder homered twice and plated five runs Wednesday as the Class A Advanced Inland Empire 66ers beat the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, 15-8.
Taylor Lindsey, ranked third among the Angels' Top 20, fell a double shy of the cycle in the victory.
Selected out of Lamar Consolidated High School in Texas, Grichuk slugged a solo homer to left field to lead off the second inning, and he doubled to center field with one out in the sixth.
The Texas native then slugged a grand slam -- his 14th longball of the year -- to left field with one out in the seventh after Steve Smith had intentionally walked C. J. Cron to load the bases.
Grichuk, who also flew out in the fourth and grounded out in the ninth, raised his average to .281 in the triumph. His 14 homers rank second on the team, six behind slugging first baseman C.J. Cron, who became the first Minor Leaguer to 100 RBIs this season on Friday.
Now in his fourth year of pro ball, Grichuk continues to have a breakout year. He has already topped his previous single-season home run total of 11, set across two levels in 2010, and Wednesday's performance lifts him over the 53 RBIs he recorded with the Angels' Arizona League affiliate in his rookie year in '09.
He has also set single-season highs in steals (12) and runs scored (62), mainly through playing in 104 games already this year, almost twice as many as a year ago (53) and 40 more than his previous best from the 2010 campaign.
Not to be overshadowed, second baseman Lindsey went 4-for-4 with a homer, a triple, a single, three RBIs, two runs scored and a walk out of the No. 2 spot.
Selected 37th overall in the 2010 Draft, Lindsey is batting .299 with eight homers and 42 RBIs in 102 California League games.
On Wednesday, Inland Empire starter Fabio Martinez allowed four runs on one hit and five walks while striking out four batters over 2 1/3 innings, but he did not factor into the decision. Alexander Bukard (2-0) surrendered two runs -- one earned -- over 3 2/3 innings to earn the win. He walked three batters and struck out one.
Smith (3-2) yielded six runs on six hits over 1 1/3 innings in the losing cause.