Angels veterans keeping Trout humble

Angels veterans keeping Trout humble

Angels veterans keeping Trout humble
ANAHEIM -- So many superlatives are being thrown in the direction of the uber-talented, awfully young Mike Trout. They compare him to Rickey Henderson and Mickey Mantle, they mention him for the All-Star Game and the American League Rookie of the Year Award, and they talk about him already being among baseball's elite -- before he's even old enough to drink.

Not that he really needs help in this area, but it's the job of the Angels' veterans to keep the 20-year-old outfielder grounded.

Albert Pujols sees it that way.

"I think the best thing for him is just to continue to play, and that's something where I'm going to be here for 10 years and I'm going to keep telling him to not let you guys [in the media] try to raise him up, because sometimes if you let a young player get like that, let it go to his head, he can change a little bit," Pujols said. "[Trout] hasn't, and if I see anything different, that's what I'm here for, just to let him know."

One of the most impressive things about Trout is that he hasn't let success get to his head, despite being second in the AL in batting average (.337), leading in stolen bases (19) and being the most dynamic player on the field almost every time he steps on it.

To the Angels, though, he's just another rookie -- except he's better than any they've ever seen.

"We give him crap more than anything," said second baseman Howie Kendrick, whose locker sits next to Trout's at Angel Stadium. "I just talk noise to him every day. He's a great guy. He's kind of quiet, and he doesn't walk around the place like he owns it or anything."

"I think he has the foundations already of a humble, down-to-Earth, hardworking person," outfielder Torii Hunter added, "and I don't think he's going to change."

A lot of that is a credit to Trout's own persona.

Some of it could also go to having guys around like Pujols, Hunter and others, who have had prolonged success in this league and know what it takes to achieve consistency.

"I think there's definitely some mentoring that goes on," manager Mike Scioscia said. "And it's more than 'this guy really likes a slider in this count' or anything like that."