Top prospect Mike Trout maintained his .500 average for Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday, going 2-for-4 and hitting his first homer. He’s 10-for-20 in five games for the Bees.
There will certainly be call in Anaheim for Trout to replace Vernon Wells in the Angels outfield if this keeps up. Wells is off to a 2-for-14 start (though one of those hits was a homer), and he was left out of Monday’s lineup in favor of Bobby Abreu. It’s doubtful the Angels will do anything for a few weeks yet, but at some point, they’ll have to address the likelihood that Trout is a better player than Wells, regardless of what the contracts say.
Trout is regarded by most as one of the two best position prospects in the minors, with Bryce Harper claiming the other spot. The 20-year-old hit .220/.281/.390 with five homers in 123 at-bats with the Angels last year.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.