ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia didn't watch Ken Griffey Jr. play on a regular basis during the Hall of Fame outfielder's career, but he's fairly certain that one of his current players will, when it's all said and done, fit that same once-in-a-generation mold."When you talk to guys who
ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia didn't watch Ken Griffey Jr. play on a regular basis during the Hall of Fame outfielder's career, but he's fairly certain that one of his current players will, when it's all said and done, fit that same once-in-a-generation mold.
"When you talk to guys who were around Junior, they say, 'This guy was the Trout of his time,'" Scioscia said. When you see it every day, and you see what Mike does, every little thing ... he never misses a step."
Trout, who, like Griffey Jr., debuted at age 19, has been an All-Star each of his five full seasons with the Angels. He has won the American League Most Valuable Player Award twice, in 2014 and last season, which might have been his best yet.
Trout's 2016 campaign earned him the Esurance MLB Award as Best Major Leaguer, an honor that came as no surprise to his manager.
"Whether it's what he's doing on the basepaths, or in center field, in the batter's box that's obvious, what he does on the bench to prepare for a game, how he works," Scioscia said. "He's a once-in-a-generation player for a reason."
In 2016, Trout batted .315 with 123 runs scored, 32 doubles, five triples, 29 home runs and 30 stolen bases. He also led the big leagues with a .441 on-base percentage.
Esurance MLB Awards are unique, in that they include votes from a wide variety of people around the game, including, perhaps most meaningfully, the fans. Others included in the voting are broadcasters, reporters, front-office personnel, MLB alumni and the Society for American Baseball Research.
Recipients of the awards are usually quick to point out that the fan vote makes the honor extra-special.
"It means a lot," Trout said. "Fans are great. They come to the ballpark each and every day to support you. Win or lose, they're out there to support you, and it's pretty special. When you go to different cities, you see them supporting you and wearing your jersey and just coming out there to support the team."
Trout's 2016 was distinctive for several reasons. The center fielder became just the second player in MLB history to hit .315, walk 115 times, score 120 runs and steal 30 bases, joining Ty Cobb in 1915.
Additionally, Trout led the AL in runs and walks for the second time in his career (also in 2013), becoming the ﬁrst player to accomplish the feat multiple times since Ted Williams.
Trout beat out Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts and Cubs third baseman Kristopher Bryant, among others, to capture the Esurance MLB Award as Best Major Leaguer.
"There's a lot of great players out there, a lot of young stars that are coming up," Trout said. "And you've got guys over there like Kris Bryant and [Bryce] Harper. To be named at the top, it's pretty special. And coming from the fans it means a lot too."
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.