Trout's homer paces Scorpions' victory
MLB.com's top prospect goes yard for first time in fall campaign
It was a long time coming for Mike Trout.
The Angels outfielder, MLB.com's top prospect, homered for the first time this fall as the host Scottsdale defeated the Salt River Rafters, 6-5, on Monday in the Arizona Fall League.
Batting with one out in the first inning, Trout deposited Rockies prospect Joe Gardner's fifth pitch of the at-bat over the right-field wall. It gave the Scorpions an early lead they would not relinquish.
"It was a 3-2 count, a fastball away and it caught the middle of the plate," Trout said. "I put a good swing on it and hit it out of the park."
The 20-year-old has struggled this fall, batting .252 with five RBIs and a .617 OPS in 24 games for Scottsdale. November has been particularly rough on Trout, as he's had just seven hits in 37 at-bats.
"My numbers aren't where I'd like them to be, but I'm just trying to get quality at-bats," the New Jersey native said. "My average is low but I have to stay positive, I just have to keep grinding it out."
After turning in an All-Star performance with Arkansas in the Texas League, Trout reached the big leagues a month before his 20th birthday. He batted .220 with five homers and 20 runs scored in 40 games for the Angels, finishing with 123 at-bats. Trout came to the desert looking to work on a few things in the hopes of parlaying that into a positive Spring Training experience.
"I am just trying to go up there and put some good swings on the ball and work on the accuracy of my throws," he said.
Joe Panik (Giants) tripled home a pair of runs and Dan Butler (Red Sox) added two RBIs. MLB.com's No. 2 prospect Bryce Harper (Nationals) reached base twice and scored twice for Scottsdale.
Red Sox prospect Brock Huntzinger (2-1) was credited with the win after allowing three runs on four hits while striking out three over 3 2/3 innings. David Carpenter (Angels) loaded the bases in the ninth, but escaped unscathed to earn his first save.
Rockies prospect Tim Wheeler was 3-for-5 with two RBIs for the Rafters, who have clinched a spot in the AFL Championship Game on Saturday.
Gardner (2-2) surrendered three runs on three hits in two innings of work.
Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.