Mike Trout has been named Baseball America's Player of the Year for the second straight season, further proof that the Angels' superstar outfielder accomplished what many deemed impossible in 2013: He actually met expectations after all the hype that surrounded an historic rookie season in '12.
In fact, some would say he even exceeded them.
Trout's 2013 slash line (.323/.432/.557) almost mirrored the one from his '12 campaign (.326/.399/.564). He led the American League in runs (109) and walks (110), set a franchise record for on-base percentage and easily led the Majors in fWAR for a second straight season (10.4), all while adding 27 homers, 97 RBIs, 33 steals and 190 hits.
He's the first player in AL history with 100 walks, 70 extra-base hits and 30 stolen bases in the same season, the first in AL history with 25 homers, 30 steals and 100 walks in a season, and the youngest player in Major League history -- as well as the first Angels player ever -- to post back-to-back 20-homer, 30-steal campaigns.
Trout, who turned 22 on Aug. 7, joined Willie Mays (1957-58) as the only players in history with two seasons with a .320 average, 25 homers and 30 steals at any point in their careers.
Baseball America has been handing out the Player of the Year award since 1998, and last year, Trout became the first player to win Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year in the same season. However, he still finished second to Miguel Cabrera for the AL's Most Valuable Player Award, and the Tigers' third baseman, with a .348 batting average, 44 homers and 137 RBIs in 2013, is expected to win it again.
Asked about his chances for the MVP late in the season, Trout said: "I think it's going to be another thing like last year. I can't take it away from Cabrera. He won the division, is going to the playoffs and we're heading home. That's a big contribution, being on a winning team."
• Former Double-A manager Tim Bogar was recently hired to be the Rangers' new bench coach. Bogar, formerly on Terry Francona's coaching staff with the Red Sox, was in the mix to take over for Dino Ebel as the Angels' third-base coach, a position that has yet to be filled.
• Reliever Robert Coello elected free agency under Article XX(D). Coello, 28, missed about three months with right shoulder inflammation, came back to appear in three September games and finished the year with a 3.71 ERA in 16 games.
• Minor League catching coordinator Orlando Mercado, who just finished his third season with the Angels, will not return for 2014. The Angels recently let go of Double-A hitting coach Ernie Young as well as two coaches at Class A Inland Empire (manager Bill Haselman and pitching coach Brandon Emanuel) and two at Class A Burlington (manager Jamie Burke and pitching coach Trevor Wilson).
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less