As Mike Trout surged through the Minor Leagues with a rare combination of speed, hitting aptitude and fielding prowess, many wondered when the power would come. It was inevitable, really. The hands were too quick, the frame too imposing. At some point, conventional wisdom said, Trout would develop into one of the most feared power hitters in the game.
Few expected it to happen within his first full season in the big leagues, though.
That year, in 2012, Trout went from averaging a home run every 49 at-bats throughout his Minor League career to one every 19 at-bats as a Major League newbie. He hit 30 that year, while winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award unanimously, then 27 in 2013 and 36 in 2014, when he won the AL Most Valuable Player Award unanimously. This year he has 35 and is on pace to set a new career high in homers. The velocity of the ball off his bat, on anything put in play, was 93.23 mph, sixth-fastest in the Major Leagues.
Trout has already amassed 300 extra-base hits, joining only four other players -- Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. -- to do it before his age-24 season. He is only the second player with four years of 25 doubles and 25 homers before his age-24 season, joining Frank Robinson. And he's also the second player to reach 25-plus homers, five-plus triples and 10-plus steals in four consecutive seasons, joining Willie Mays.
Trout's masterpiece came on June 27, 2014, in Kansas City, when he blasted a Jason Vargas offering into the second set of fountains that sit adjacent to the center-field scoreboard at Kauffman Stadium. ESPN's Home Run Tracker estimated it to land a whopping 489 feet away, making it the longest home run in two years.
A compact swing, lightning-quick hands, a middle-of-the-field approach and a whole lot of distance - the quintessential Mike Trout home run.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.