Vintage Trout reappears during torrid stretch

May 4th, 2016

MILWAUKEE -- It was only 15 days ago that Mike Trout came to bat in Chicago and the scoreboard read .220 next to his batting average. When he came to bat in Wednesday's ninth inning, Angels starter Hector Santiago glanced towards Miller Park's center-field JumboTron and saw that number at .317.

"What's going on here?" Santiago thought, in the late stages of the Angels' 7-3 victory over the Brewers. "Are they giving him extra points for every hit that he gets?"

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No, Trout is just getting hot.

Over his last 14 games, the Angels' superstar center fielder is batting .407 (22-for-54) with six home runs and 18 RBIs. His slash line has gone from .220/.333/.340 to .317/.400/.596. His OPS, .996, is suddenly the fifth highest in the American League.

Trout was a catalyst in helping the Angels avoid a demoralizing sweep on Wednesday, giving his team its first lead with his first triple of the season in the third and tying the game with a solo home run to right field in the eighth, his team-leading seventh.

"I feel good at the plate," Trout said. "I just made some slight adjustments. Getting the foot down. I'm seeing pitches like I should be and not missing pitches."

The Angels, ranked 22nd in the Majors in collective OPS, are still waiting on several of their key contributors to get going.

Albert Pujols, the man who bats behind Trout, is still hitting .198/.280/.387. Andrelton Simmons, who entered the year hoping for improvements offensively, is hitless in his last 18 at-bats, his slash line down to .215/.236/.280. Johnny Giavotella, a key to providing production in the bottom of the lineup, is batting only .190/.203/.270 despite a two-hit game on Wednesday.

Trout's FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement score is 2.0. The rest of the Angels' position players have combined for a score of 1.3.

"He's locked in, man," Santiago said of Trout. "He's unbelievable. And you can tell. He's hitting the ball over the wall, he's on base all the time, he's driving in guys. You can definitely tell when he's hot."