Brother of Trout's girlfriend drafted by Angels
ANAHEIM -- Roy Hallenbeck has been running the baseball program at Millville High School in South Jersey for 17 years now, and in that time, two of his former players have been selected in the Draft.
The first was Mike Trout, the superstar center fielder and consensus best all-around player in the game. The second was pitcher, first baseman and outfielder Aaron Cox, who just so happens to be the brother of Trout's longtime girlfriend, Jessica Cox, and who also just so happened to be taken by the Angels in the 19th round on Wednesday morning.
"When I heard it was the Angels, that was crazy," Hallenbeck said. "We had heard some other teams that were interested in him, but I hadn't heard the Angels yet, so that's really exciting."
Trout has been dating Cox's sister since Trout's sophomore year of high school and the two, Hallenbeck said, are "like family, for lack of a better word." They go on hunting and fishing trips together during the winter, and Aaron occasionally works out with Trout, who's actually only three years older.
In 2011, Cox was the winning pitcher in Millville High School's first and only South Jersey title.
In 2012, Cox became the first player to be awarded Trout's former No. 1 jersey. Millville High was initially going to retire Trout's number, but Trout preferred to give it to the team captain each season.
"It never really seemed that odd to me, just because that's the way I've always kind of known the situation," Hallenbeck said of the unique situation. "But I guess from an outside perspective, it is kind of strange."
Cox just completed his junior year at Gannon University, in Pennsylvania, and is listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds. At the plate, he batted .316/.389/.624 with eight homers and 32 RBIs in 44 games. On the mound, Cox went 5-5 with a 3.74 ERA in 10 starts, striking out 81 batters and walking 15 in 65 innings.
The Angels listed him as a right-handed pitcher, which indicates they're going to try him out as a starter.
Hallenbeck called Cox "a little bit of a late bloomer" in high school and has seen him grow into his body since he graduated high school three years ago.
"I mean he just looks fantastic, and he just continues to mature physically," said Hallenbeck, who took over for Jeff Trout, Mike Trout's father, in 1999. "What I'm hearing from scouting reports is that his velocity crept up a little bit, as they expected it would, as he got bigger and stronger and older, but he really developed devastating offspeed stuff to go along with that."