Trout pulled as precautionary measure

Bees skipper: 'Everything's good' after outfielder hit by pitch

By Jonathan Raymond / Special to | April 22, 2012 6:14 PM ET

As closely as Salt Lake's Mike Trout is monitored, getting pulled after being hit by a pitch in Sunday's 16-1 win over Tucson could have set off alarms in some circles.

Nothing to worry about, though, according to Bees manager Keith Johnson. He simply pulled Trout after he was hit in the fourth inning because Salt Lake was already up, 3-0, and the skipper wanted to play it safe.

"It was just a precautionary thing. We had a lead at the time, so rather than having him play through it, I pulled him," Johnson said. "Everything's good."

Trout tripled in the first inning and came around to score Salt Lake's first run on Alexi Amarista's sacrifice fly. He then walked in the second before getting hit with two outs in the fourth. That ended up sparking a seven-run, two-out rally.'s No. 3 overall prospect is hitting .400 with one home run, 11 RBIs and three doubles in 18 games with Salt Lake. His four triples tie for the Minor League lead with Albuquerque's Alex Castellanos, Birmingham's Jared Mitchell, Frisco's Engel Beltre and Charleston's Tyler Austin.

Johnson said the thing he's noticed most about Trout is how much his actual game matches the hype that surrounds him.

"He comes as advertised," said Johnson. "You hear about his speed and you see it show up every day. You hear about his ability to put the ball in play, have good at-bats and you see it every day. He plays solid defense. You look at a player of his caliber, with all the surrounding hoopla and to see him work as hard as he does on a daily basis, it's rare."

Johnson said he's never managed another player like the Angels' top prospect, and thinks it's only a matter of gaining a bit more experience before Trout is ready to stick with the team at the Major League level.

"I think the biggest teacher is experience, and that's the one thing that he doesn't have that's going to make him a Major League player," said Johnson. "As far as the tools and the ability to compete, he's at that level. The things that you mess up as a player as you're coming up, doing something in a certain situation that you shouldn't have done, that's the only thing that I've seen that's lacking.

"The parts of his game, his ability, all that stuff is ready. It's just the reps, the games played, so to speak, that's holding him back."

Salt Lake's 16-run outburst Sunday was a team-wide effort, with six different players picking up at least two RBIs. Designated hitter Paul McAnulty homered twice and drove in three. First baseman Efren Navarro went 4-for-6 with two doubles and four RBIs and second baseman Jorge Cantu went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. No. 15 Angels prospect Kole Calhoun, Alexi Amarista (No. 12) and Ryan Langerhans each drove in two apiece as well.

Starter Brad Mills (2-0) earned the win after allowing one run on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts over six innings. Loek Van Mil worked two scoreless innings in relief and Francisco Rodriguez set down Tucson in the ninth.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor for This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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