BOSTON — Mike Trout is a lock for American League rookie of the year, and he's a leading candidate for most valuable player, but this week he reached a different kind of sports pinnacle.
Trout, 21, is on the cover of Sports Illustrated, holding a bat under the headline, "The Supernatural."
Trout is the seventh Angels player to make Sports Illustrated's cover, a list that includes Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew and Albert Pujols. Several players from the 2002 team graced the cover after the Angels won the World Series.
In his story on Trout, SI's Tom Verducci writes, "There never has been a position player this good this young." The story reflects a growing belief that Trout, in his first full season, is the best, or certainly one of the best, players in the game. He entered Wednesday leading the league with a .344 batting average, 97 runs, 39 stolen bases, a .606 slugging percentage and 1.014 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
Trout has also handled the attention and acclaim with a great deal of maturity. He has remained humble, modest and, most important for the Angels, focused.