“You can see his swagger,” veteran right fielder Torii Hunter said of the 25-year-old rookie who is hitting .261 with a team-leading 22 home runs and 63 runs batted in entering Tuesday’s game against the New York Yankees. He walks with a chip on his shoulder. He stares with a chip on his shoulder. It’s a little smirk like, ‘I told you.’
...Trumbo has had his share of critics even though they have been silenced this season as the former Villa Park High star emerged as a leading rookie-of-the-year candidate. But their words still sting; they still rattle around in his head and push him.
“It wasn’t any one thing in particular,” Trumbo said of the magazines and websites that cover minor league baseball, “but unless you’re a can’t-miss type of guy, a lot of them tend to focus on whatever weakness you have and hammer those home.”
Trumbo’s weaknesses? “Where do you want to start?” he said. “My swing was too long. My uppercut wouldn’t translate [to the big leagues]. I was a poor breaking-ball hitter, a poor defender, a minus runner.
“Power was my one plus, but the general consensus was that I would never pan out, that I’d probably never make it out of Class-A ball. . . . You pour yourself into it and get bad report cards at the end of the year. I think that would motivate anyone.”