SEATTLE -- Baseball, you hear every day in every clubhouse in the Major Leagues, is a game of adjustments. Mike Trout clearly has taken the message to heart.
In the course of his second full professional season, having turned 20 just 24 days ago, the Angels' brilliant outfielder has shown that he has the aptitude and attitude to go with his otherworldly talent.
When he found he was struggling with pitches in the lower reaches of the strike zone during his first visit to the big time, Trout adapted. He lowered his stance and began to feel more comfortable taking his hacks at sinkers down in the zone. That was evident on Tuesday night when he launched a low changeup and then a low curveball by southpaw Anthony Vasquez for home runs at Safeco Field on a five-RBI night.
Trout was back in the lineup on Wednesday night, playing left field and batting eighth against reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez.
"He's been really impressive," Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos said. "He and Mickey [Hatcher, hitting coach] worked on his stance, and it's paid off. He went down and hit a couple of balls that weren't even strikes.
"He's showing some power, and just as impressive as his swings are his at-bats. He knows what he's doing up there. And everyone knows how he can run. He almost beat out that routine ground ball [to third base]. He was flying."
Trout's commitment to improvement extends to defense. On the first stop of this trip, in Texas, Trout misread a play he had at home on a mid-range fly ball, hesitating and then throwing late to third base. He immediately went to the master, Torii Hunter. The nine-time Gold Glover let him know what he'd done wrong and how to prevent it.
"I won't make that mistake again," Trout vowed.