Thunder and lightning? Trout has it all

Built like NFL tight end, Angels slugger incredibly quick for player his size

Thunder and lightning? Trout has it all

There's a common reaction every time an opposing player sees Mike Trout up close for the very first time. They watch how gracefully he moves, how quickly he motors up the first-base line, how much ground he covers in center field. Then they stand near him, and usually they'll say: I can't believe how big he is.

In other words, they can't believe someone that big can also be that fast.

Trout is all of 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, a frame well-suited for an NFL tight end. But then he darts out of the batter's box, or explodes for a ball off the bat, or rounds second base, and the common reaction is something like, "Whoa!"

Trout reaches a top speed of 21 mph, faster than a roadrunner. He's been caught stealing in only 21 percent of his chances and has been given a baserunning score of 29.9 by FanGraphs, easily the highest in baseball since 2012.

Once, on May 1, 2012, Trout went home to first in 3.53 seconds, the fastest anybody on the Angels' coaching staff had ever seen from the right-handed-hitter's batter's box. Another time, on Sept. 12, 2014, he got a triple out of a perfectly played, run-of-the-mill line drive into the left-center-field gap. And then there was that time in Boston, on May 22 of this season, when Trout avoided a tag at third base with a jaw-dropping, Matrix-style scissor slide he somehow pulled off with the greatest of ease.

Trout slides safely into third

His new shoe, the Nike Lunar Trout 2, has a flywire that provides a "lock-down" fit so that the cleat stays with him, through the swing, the burst out of the batter's box and around the bases. It's also 10 percent lighter than his first signature shoe, allowing him to jump higher and run faster.

That's right, Trout may be getting faster.

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.