Trout providing Halos with on-base threat

Trout providing Halos with on-base threat

Trout providing Halos with on-base threat
ANAHEIM -- After a night that saw Mike Trout reach base three times but get thrown out on the basepaths twice, Angels manager Mike Scioscia was asked about pulling the reins on the hyper-active, supremely-talented, still-maturing youngster.

The skipper's response: "Experience will pull it in."

Scioscia isn't about to mess with the aggressiveness of Trout, who has mostly provided the Angels with the spark plug they sorely lacked at the top of the order before his April 28 callup.

The positives are a lot greater than the negatives, really.

The 20-year-old Trout finshed Thursday's game against the White Sox with a .333 average, .370 on-base percentage and .531 slugging percentage through 17 games, and he may be trending upward. Despite going 0-for-4 in a 6-1 loss on Thursday, he was batting .307 (20-for-65) since finishing his first two contests 0-for-7. Trout has five multihit games over his last nine -- going 12-for-31 in that span.

It's only 17 games, but Trout has evidently taken major steps since 2011, a season that saw him bat .220 in a 40-game stretch in the Majors.

"I definitely feel more comfortable, playing every day and getting my chance to go out there and have some fun," Trout said. "That's the big thing, going out there and having fun, not trying to do too much, just getting on base. ... My confidence is going up a little bit, just putting good swings on balls and getting my pitch. And I'm not scared to hit with two strikes."

That points to what's perhaps the most impressive part of Trout's game -- that he's been uncommonly good when hitting behind in counts, especially for someone his age.

The Angels, ranked 26th in the Majors in on-base percentage at the start of the day, need that kind of plate discipline in the lineup.

You just wouldn't expect it to come from the 20-year-old rookie.

"That's when I go into battle mode, with two strikes," said Trout, ranked by as the No. 3 prospect in baseball heading into the year.

"That's part of his game," Scioscia added. "He works deep counts well. He sees a lot of pitches, and that's why his on-base has always been so high in the Minor Leagues. And he's getting more comfortable in the box now."