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An ASG veteran, Trout savors every minute

MLB.com @mi_guardado

When Mike Trout was elected to his first All-Star Game in Kansas City in 2012, the entire experience seemed to unfold in the blink of an eye. Now in his seventh Midsummer Classic, Trout has learned to savor every minute of the festivities instead of being overwhelmed by the jam-packed itinerary.

When Mike Trout was elected to his first All-Star Game in Kansas City in 2012, the entire experience seemed to unfold in the blink of an eye. Now in his seventh Midsummer Classic, Trout has learned to savor every minute of the festivities instead of being overwhelmed by the jam-packed itinerary.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

"It's been crazy," Trout said Monday during his media session at Nationals Park. "It went by so fast. Just to think, now it's my seventh. It's pretty incredible how time flies. You try to take every second of it in and just enjoy it. You're running, you're doing this, you're doing that, and by the time you think you can relax and stuff, it's over. For me, it's just relaxing, and enjoying this and taking everything in."

Trout, the Angels' lone All-Star this season, will bat third and start in center field for the American League on Tuesday night in the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. The game will air live at 4:30 p.m. PT on FOX.

Video: ARI@LAA: Halos score 3 on error, Trout's 2-run single

Trout earned his bid with the sixth consecutive fan election. He's the first AL outfielder to earn six straight since Manny Ramirez, who accomplished the feat from 2001-06.

Trout will be rewarded with a chance to face Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who is slated to start for the National League. Trout is 3-for-16 (.188) with one home run, one double and 10 strikeouts against Scherzer in his career.

"Huge challenge," Trout said. "He throws 96-97, and I'm sure he's going to be amped up for tomorrow, playing in front of his hometown."

Already a two-time AL MVP Award winner, the 26-year-old Trout is in the midst of his best season to date, batting .310 with a 1.060 OPS, 25 home runs, 50 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 97 games this season. He currently leads the Majors in WAR (6.8), on-base percentage (.454) and walks (84), ranks second in OPS and is tied for third in homers.

Video: LAD@LAA: Trout belts his 25th home run of the season

"He's the best player I've ever seen," Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole said. "He's the best player probably of all time."

For all his accolades, Trout is always searching for ways to continue to elevate his game. During Spring Training, he said one of his goals for the season was to improve his defense in center field, and the metrics so far show that he has. After posting -6 Defensive Runs Saved in 2017, Trout has accumulated 5 DRS this year.

"I try to get better every day," Trout said.

Video: LAA@BAL: Trout robs Valencia with a leaping catch

While Trout declined to participate in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, he said he's looking forward to watching the annual slugfest on Monday night. 

"Everybody is going to pick [Bryce] Harper, but I've got to go with the AL, with Bregman," Trout said.

Trout said his favorite part of attending the All-Star Game is mingling with other young stars around the league and the opportunity to interact with some of his peers.

"Obviously, coming here, that's what it's all about," Trout said. "I want to spend time with the best across the league. Now, they're on your team. To share a clubhouse with guys like this, it means a lot to me. You build friendships like that, and we've got a great group here."

While watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX on Tuesday, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout