Mike Trout Unlikely To Be Traded

Angels prospect Mike Trout reached base in all four of his at-bats at this year's All-Star Futures Game, twice on hits, and twice after "forcing errors on sharply struck grounders," to quote MLB.com's Lyle Spencer.  It was yet another impressive performance for the 18-year-old Trout, and one that reiterates his value to the Los Angeles organization.  This is why Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that any potential deal of Trout for a proven major leaguer seems highly unlikely.

It shouldn't necessarily come as a surprise that the Halos are hesitant to deal their first-round pick (25th overall) from the 2009 amateur draft.  After all, Trout has a .358/.440/.509 line in 579 plate appearances for the Angels' rookie ball and single-A affiliates, plus 58 steals in 69 attempts and a good center field glove.  Baseball America's John Manuel ranks Trout second amongst all minor leaguers on BA's list of the top 25 midseason prospects

So while holding onto Trout bodes well for LAA's future, it might also curb their ability to acquire a big hitter at this season's trade deadline.  Players like Prince Fielder or Adam Dunn who have been rumored to be on the Angels' radar could almost certainly be had for a trade package that included Trout.  But since Trout seems to be untouchable, Los Angeles probably doesn't have the necessary minor league talent to attract a superstar big bat.  Hank Conger and Peter Bourjos were both ranked on BA's preseason top 100 prospects list, and Luis Jimenez also played well in the Futures Game, but overall, the Angels' system lacks depth.  The 2010 Baseball America Handbook ranked the Angels' minor-league system as 25th among all major league teams, the same spot that they finished in the 2009 ranking.

Dealing prospects at this point would only serve to weaken an already-thin system, so as we approach the deadline, it's most likely that we see the Angels make a "plan B" style move for some bench help.  For example, Hank Blalock's name has already been mentioned in connection with the Halos, and Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles speculates that Russell Branyan could be made available now that Seattle has Justin Smoak at first base.

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