High-flying Trout makes habit of robbing HRs

All-Star center fielder dazzles on defense with eye-popping catches

High-flying Trout makes habit of robbing HRs

It was the sixth inning of a Saturday night game against the Rangers on Sept. 5. Mike Trout was playing the left-handed-hitting Rougned Odor to pull, then quickly dashed to his right, sprinting diagonally toward the wall in center field to haul in the catch, just before slamming into it. Odor put his hands on his head as he approached second base. He couldn't believe it. Trout had reached a top speed of 20 mph and covered 110 feet, more than he had on any catch all year, to track it down. His route efficiency, per Statcast™, was 98.6 percent, almost perfect.

The following day, Angels manager Mike Scioscia concluded, "There's no question this guy is one of the best center fielders in our game. The ground he covers is unbelievable."

In 2012, Trout robbed four home runs, becoming one of only four players to do that over the last eight years.

In 2015, he has won at least three games with his glove.

On April 30, Trout recorded the final out in Oakland -- with the tying run on third and the winning run on second -- by leaping against the fence and stretching his left arm behind his head for a catch. On May 13, he casually took away a homer from Troy Tulowitzki in the 10th and sparked an inning-ending double play in the 11th, making a shoe-string catch and firing a perfect strike home. On June 29, he made two drifting, leaping catches with a runner in scoring position to rob Yankees outfielder Chris Young.

Now Trout can take his defense to another level.

The Nike Lunar Trout 2 is 10 percent lighter than Trout's first signature shoe, providing him the freedom to jump higher and run faster. The flywire in the shoe provides a lock-down fit, which allows the cleat to stay with him as he sprints into the gaps. And the shoe's durability paves the way for quick spurts in any direction, helping him track down line drives to either side.

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.