ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Teenager Mike Trout, who hit a combined .341 with the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, is the winner of the 51st annual J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year. At 19 years and two months, Trout is the youngest player to win the Spink Award. Andruw Jones was 19 years and six months old when he was named the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year in 1996.
"Before the season started, I was talking to my dad about all these awards I could get and all the hard work has paid off and getting all this recognition is great," Trout said.
Trout was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim out of Millville (N.J.) Senior High School with the 25th overall pick in the June 2009 Draft. He began his season with the Kernels in the Midwest League, hitting .362 with six homers and 39 RBIs, before being promoted to the Quakes.
Before becoming the youngest player in the California League with Rancho Cucamonga, Trout played in the All-Star Futures Game in Angel Stadium. He went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in the U.S. Team's 9-1 win over the World Team.
Trout remarked that playing in this game was the highlight of his memorable season, which included being named the Midwest League MVP and its Prospect of the Year, as well as playing for the Team USA club that finished tied for third in the Pan Am Qualifier Tournament.
"The Futures Game is probably it because I got to play in Anaheim, which was great being in front of all my fans."
Trout then hit .306 with four homers and 19 RBIs in 50 games with the Quakes.
The six-foot-one, 217 pound center fielder showed great speed for a player his size, stealing 45 bases in 81 games with Cedar Rapids and another 11 with the Quakes. His 56 total stolen bases tied for fifth best in Minor League Baseball this season. Trout joins a group of former Spink winners that includes Buster Posey (2009), Josh Beckett (2001) Johnny Damon (1995) and Derek Jeter (1994).
The best performances in all classifications of Minor League Baseball again this year are being honored
by the Topps Company of New York, N.Y., in conjunction with Minor League Baseball.
Next: Player of the Year in 16 Minor Leagues, November 2
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.