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With the benefit of hindsight, Mike Trout has been the best baseball player of his "generation," if not of all time. Yet, one would not know this from his draft history.

He was the 25th draft pick in his class (2009), and was actually drafted by the Angels behind Randal Grichuk (the team had two back to back "compensation" picks). He was a first round pick but just barely, because he was actually the Angels' "second" choice. Normally, a very talented player would be drafted in the "top five," because scouts, coaches and commentators would be all over him. A 20-something draft pick is normally a talented player, but one that teams have doubts about, someone like St. Louis' Kolten Wong.

A talented second baseman named Dustin Pedroia was picked by the Boston Red Sox late in the second round. Teams overlooked him because he was "small" (5'7") for a baseball player. But Trout (over six feet tall, over 200 pounds) had no such disadvantage.

Still, why did so many people overlook his talents to pick him at the end of the first round? Was he a late bloomer who "blossomed" in the minors after being an "indifferent" (high school) player? Were there any obvious "turn-offs" (e.g. health or "signability" issues) that would cause people to "doubt" his talent?

  • Perhaps this question should have been closed in its original form. The current form cited two or three specific concerns: 1) Health, 2) Signability, and 3) High school/late bloomer. This narrows the question to one that can be answered yes or no, specifically and objectively. It is no longer "opinion based" IMHO. – Tom Au Jan 1 at 6:39
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One of the major things that would make Mike Trout a passed up on draft opportunity would have been his age. Trout was just 18 at the time of the draft and just finished high school. He was a split sport athlete playing both baseball and basketball. He had committed to play at East Carolina University, a Division I school however not a team necessarily known for their MLB level player production, although they have a few players who have been drafted (a total of 20 players drafted since the inception of the draft in 1965). Due to his draft pick he never actually played any college baseball. Likely this low level of experience and long-term investment made him seem less appealing to teams.

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  • "High school" and multiple sports represented two good reasons why Trout might have been overlooked. – Tom Au Jan 1 at 6:37
  • @TomAu Yep that is fair. Are you asking me to rephrase my answer or simply making an additional observation? – Paul Witry Jan 2 at 19:08
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    No. I "rewrote" the question in line with your answer. "Multiple sports" does hurt signability." Will you vote to reopen (if you have not already done so). – Tom Au Jan 2 at 20:47
  • @TomAu ok thanks for the clarification! :) yes I certainly will – Paul Witry Jan 2 at 22:15

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