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Happy Mike Trout Day

What is it about Fridays and MLB Debuts? On June 10 we celebrated Mike Moustakas Day here at the Sombrero, and just one week later we celebrated Dustin Ackley Day.  Today we are thrilled to celebrate another prospect debut: Mike Trout.

Ranked as The Golden Sombrero’s No. 2 Prospect headed into the 2011 season, Trout has done everything (and more) at Double-A to deserve the call to the Big Leagues.  At the time of his promotion, the 19-year-old outfielder was slashing .324/.415/.534 with 12 doubles, 11 triples, nine home runs, 27 RBI and 28 stolen bases.

However, like most Trout enthusiasts (namely MTD over at Off-Base Percentage), none of us sincerely expected his arrival until this time next season – maybe a bit earlier.  But after a hamstring injury to fellow speedster Peter Bourjos during last night’s game, the door officially opened for Trout.

So, to usher in the Mike Trout Era, here are several videos of the phenom in action from the last two years.  I’m now more excited about his debut than seeing Jeter collect his 3,000th hit (to an extent). Regardless, this is a great day to be a baseball fan.

And cue the celebratory tunes:

Top 50 Prospects Update: Parker, Montero, Ackley, Trout and Harper

With a third of the MLB season in the books, and some of the baseball’s best prospects now suiting up for their respective big league squads, it’s time to reflect on the performances of our Top 50 Prospects.  Today we look take an expanded look at 9-1, which includes: Brandon Belt, Jarrod Parker, Jesus Montero, Eric Hosmer, Domonic Brown, Jeremy Hellickson, Dustin Ackley, Mike Trout and, of course, Bryce Harper.

9. Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco Giants

Triple-A: .337/.470/.525, 7 2B, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 27 BB, 31 K

MLB: .211/.328/.281, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB, 9 BB, 15 K

8. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Double-A: 5-5, 4.95 ERA, 56.1 IP, 27 BB, 52 K, 1.385 WHIP, 0.2 HR/9

7. Jesus Montero, C, New York Yankees

Triple-A: .292/.338/.421, 10 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 13 BB, 50 K

6. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Royals

Triple-A: .439/.525/.582, 5 2B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 3 SB, 19 BB, 16 K

MLB: .288/.341/.442, 7 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 2 SB, 12 BB, 29 K

5. Domonic Brown, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

High-A: .368/.429/.737, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K

Triple-A: .341/.431/.537, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 7 BB, 9 K

MLB: .228/.311/.443, 5 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 2 SB, 10 BB, 11 K

4. Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

MLB: 7-5, 3.09 ERA, 84.1 IP, 33 BB, 54 K, 1.138 WHIP

3. Dustin Ackley, 2B, Seattle Mariners

Triple-A: .303/.421/.487, 17 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 35 RBI, 7 SB, 55 BB, 38 K

*Set to make MLB debut on Friday night against the Phillies

2. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

Double-A: .329/.431/.559, 9 2B, 8 3B, 8 HR, 22 RBI, 23 SB, 33 BB, 44 K

1. Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals

Class-A: .326/.421/.585, 14 2B, 3B, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 12 SB, 35 BB, 55 K

Top 50 Prospects Update: Conger, Castellanos, Iglesias, Hicks and more…

Conger off to solid start for Angels

With the first month of the MLB season in the books, and some of the baseball’s best prospects now suiting up for their respective big league squads, it’s time to reflect on the performances of our Top 50 Prospects.  Today we look at 45-50, which include: Chris Dwyer, J.P. Arencibia, Aaron Hicks, Jose Iglesias, Nick Castellanos and Hank Conger.

50. Chris Dwyer, LHP, Kansas City Royals

Double-A: 1-3, 6.35 ERA, 6 GS, CG, 28.1 IP, 27 H, 17 BB, 21 K, 1.553 WHIP, 1.24 K/BB

49. J.P. Arencibia, C, Toronto Blue Jays

MLB: .247(21-for-85)/.304/.482, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 7 BB, 20 K

48. Aaron Hicks, OF, Minnesota Twins

High-A: .206(20-for-97)/.322/.309, 3 2B, 2 3B, HR, 10 RBI, 2-for-5 SB, 18 BB, 23 K

47. Jose Iglesias, SS, Boston Red Sox

Triple-A: .253(22-for-87)/.278/.253, 0 XBH, 4 RBI, 2-for-4 SB, 2 BB, 17 K

46. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers

Single-A: .208(20-96)/.260/.281, 4 2B, HR, 13 RBI, 7 BB, 28 K

45. Hank Conger, C, Los Angeles Angels

MLB: .300(18-for-60)/.354/.500, 3 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 4 BB, 11 K

Golden Sombrero: Dustin Pedroia

Like we don’t know he’s ridiculously bald under there…

Bottom 1: Dustin Pedroia struck out swinging against Ervin Santana

Bottom 4: Pedroia struck out swinging against Santana

Bottom 6: Pedroia flied out to right against Rich Thompson

Bottom 8: Pedroia struck out swinging against Fernando Rodney

Bottom 9: Pedroia grounded into a force out against Jordan Walden

Bottom 12: Pedroia struck out swinging against Trevor Bell

Final Line: 0-6, 4 strikeouts

Notes: Pedroia’s golden sombrero against the Angels on Wednesday was the first by a Red Sox player this season.  The impressive feat, as well as the fact that the game ended shortly after 2:45 am est, was enough for Terry Franconca to hold Pedroia out of the line up on Thursday

Total 2011 Sombreros: 18

Some More Thoughts on Kaleb Cowart

Kaleb Cowart entered the draft in 2010 as a guy who was perceived differently between organizations.  As is the case with all exceptional two-way guys, the question ultimately comes down to which spot will allow the player to reach the big leagues faster.  Here’s why: if the player can reach the bigs fast enough but then fails, the other option now becomes the only option.  Rick Ankiel, Tim Wakefield, Joe Savery, Matt Bush, and Mike Dunn all share a common history, they tried and failed to stick with the role their organizations drafted them to fill.  Now they all are seeing varying levels of success at roles the organizations did not initially feel fit the player or team best.

Cowart currently is trying his luck at third with the Angels and is likely to start the year in Single A.  As an 18-year-old, Cowart was one of the youngest players in his draft class and has terrific power and arm tools.  His hands at third play at average and his feet are good enough, but he is never moving back to a MIF position.  His hit tool grading lags behind the power, but he is athletic and has a chance to pick it up quickly now that he is a baseball player every day and not a student-athlete.