ANAHEIM -- The following scenario seems very real, and a bit eerie: Mike Trout starting the All-Star Game and Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton both watching it from home.
When fan-voting results for the American League starting lineup were unveiled on Monday, Trout led all AL outfielders and ranked third overall, trailing only Miguel Cabrera and Robinson Cano. But Pujols, a nine-time All-Star who has missed the last two, placed fourth among first basemen and Hamilton, who has started each of the last five, was 10th among outfielders.
Granted, a month of voting remains, but an ailing Pujols (.248/.320/.416 slash line) and a flummoxed Hamilton (.216/.277/.380) won't get there if their numbers don't pick up. More importantly to the Angels, though, is that they get on track so the team can make up ground in the standings.
Trout believes they will.
"People always say the numbers are going to be there at the end of the year," said Trout, batting .294 with 10 homers after a scorching May. "Josh, he's in a little funk right now, but I'm pretty confident he's going to come out of it. Albert's still having good at-bats, and he's going to get his numbers, too."
Trout's 1,190,676 votes were less than 10,000 more than the current No. 2 outfielder, Adam Jones of the Orioles, and gave him more than a 400,000-vote lead on the player slated to be the third starting outfielder. That player: Trout's mentor, former Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, who sports a .316/.363/.427 slash line in a Tigers uniform.
"It'd be pretty cool to see me and Torii out there, reunited," Trout said with a big smile. "What he's doing in Detroit is pretty special."