NEW YORK -- Mike Trout finished his rookie year with 30 homers and 49 steals.
Eric Davis was just waiting for that one extra bag. It was 25 years ago that he became Major League Baseball's first 30-50 player. Barry Bonds did it three years later.
"Thirty-49 -- he didn't climb that mountain," Davis said Friday with a playful grin. "It's still only me and Barry. I paid attention."
Now the Reds' special assistant to the general manager, Davis, a Los Angeles native, raved about Trout's magical start with the Angels. But speaking Friday at the MLB Fan Cave, where he was promoting Major League Baseball's "Legends are Born in October" marketing campaign, Davis cautioned people not to go too wild with expectations.
"He's a phenomenal young player -- his exuberance, his excitement, his electricity," Davis said. "They haven't seen it in a long time. I have a lot of respect for him. I know he's a great kid. The sky's the limit.
"But I think when you have a kid who is that talented, you have to take two steps back and allow him to develop into who he's going to be. Is he going to go 30-50 every year? Probably not. When you start the way he started out, it's going to be tough to maintain that, because now the expectations are at .325 and 30 and 50, and 120-some-odd runs scored every year. But that's not the realistic side of it."
Davis had 37 homers and 50 stolen bases for the Reds in 1987. The year before, he needed just three more homers to actually have a 30-80 year. In 1990, Bonds had 33 homers and 52 steals for the Pirates. Stolen bases gradually eroded in significance during those hyper-power years in the Majors, and while there were grandiose homer totals, those became the last two 30-50 guys.
Trout came ever so close.
"I like what I see from him," Davis said. "He comes to play and he has a bright future."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.