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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

LA Times: Angels’ Mark Trumbo has chip on his shoulder, thunder in his bat

How soon we forget the demonic swagger stare of Hammer Hamelin!

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“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.”

Repoz Posted: August 09, 2011 at 01:44 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, history, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

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   1. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: August 09, 2011 at 02:01 AM (#3895998)
So, if I continue to criticize his abysmal OBP he'll see it as it is intended: a motivational diatribe meant to make him a useful major league player?

Quasi-seriously, though, I didn't think he'd hit 20 homeruns in his MLB career, let alone his rookie season. So, good for him on that front. But damn, it's legal to NOT SWING, Mark.
   2. Chicago Joe Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:02 AM (#3896043)
Any relation to Dalton? Now that would put a chip on your shoulder.
   3. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: August 09, 2011 at 03:43 AM (#3896060)
Saw him play a few weeks ago when the Angels were visiting Oakland. Three advance scouts were sitting in the row behind me, and they didn't think much of Trumbo: long swing, poor plate discipline, trouble with good fastballs. They saw these problems as related, where he has to guess at when he will get a fastball. Their collective assessment was that he would mash mediocre pitching enough to have superficially impressive numbers, but would struggle with good pitching and never have an All Star-type year.

Trumbo's numbers against power pitchers seem to bear out the scouts' assessment. Out of the league leaders in home runs, he is the worst hitter by far against power pitchers (sOPS+ is performance relative to the league in this split):

PLAYER ... sOPS+ (slash line)
Bautista ... 370 (.377/.538/.841)
Konerko .... 200 (.310/.389/.631)
MCabrera 184 (.253/.398/.560)
Teixeira ... 178 (.247/.357/.588)
Ortiz ...... 174 (.241/.394/.532)
Granderson 146 (.228/.360/.467)
Quentin .... 124 (.224/.320/.435)
Reynolds .... 99 (.141/.303/.366)
Cruz ........ 82 (.157/.231/.386)
TRUMBO ...... 56 (.156/.184/.234

The lesson, of course, is that Jose Bautista is awesome.
   4. BWV 1129 Posted: August 09, 2011 at 08:16 AM (#3896111)
The best thing about Trumbo is that his at-bat song is Social D's "Machine Gun Blues".

The kid has just ridiculous power. I can forgive a subpar OBP in exchange for him connecting as often and as hard as he has. He hit a ball off of Felix the other day that may well be the hardest ball anyone has ever or ever will hit against Felix -- 471 feet, allegedly.

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