Mike Trout becomes youngest member of 30/30 club

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At the tender age of 21, Mike Trout became the youngest member of the 30 HR/30 SB club when he hit his 30th home run Sunday off the Rangers’ Yu Darvish.

Trout’s 30-30 season is the 60th in major league history. 37 different players had combined on the previous 59. The youngest to do it was 22-year-old Alex Rodriguez of the Mariners in 1998.

With 48 steals, Trout is one of 19 players to hit 30 homers and steal 40 bases in the same season. Matt Kemp was the last when he finished with 39 homers and 40 steals last year.

One imagines Trout should have at least one or two more 30-30 seasons in his future. Here’s a list of the players to do it multiple times in their careers:

5 – Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds
4 – Alfonso Soriano
3 – Howard Johnson
2 – Bobby Abreu, Jeff Bagwell, Ryan Braun, Ron Gant, Vladimir Guerrero, Ian Kinsler, Willie Mays, Raul Mondesi, Sammy Sosa

Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani will pinch-hit and pinch-run for the Angels in 2018

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The Angels’ bench is looking woefully thin this winter — so thin, in fact, that manager Mike Scioscia says he’s considering utilizing starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner on the days he’s not scheduled to pitch.

I’ve never had a pitcher pinch-run,” Scioscia told reporters Saturday. “There’s more bad than good that can come out of it. But Shohei is not just a pitcher. He’s a guy that has the ability to do some of the things coming off the bench, whether it’s pinch-hit or pinch-run, and we’re definitely going to tap into that if it’s necessary, because we feel we’re not putting him at risk. It’s something he’s able to do.

Granted, spring training allows for a certain amount of experimentation before managers and players decide what works best for them, so this may not be the strategy the Angels employ for the entire season. In addition to coming off the bench between starts, Ohtani is also expected to see 2-3 days at DH every week, forcing Albert Pujols to shift over to first base to accommodate the new two-way star.

Ohtani’s hitting prowess has already been well-documented — he has a lifetime .286/.358/.500 batting line from NPB and crushed a batting practice home run during his initial workouts with the team this week — but his skills on the basepaths have received less attention so far. MLB Pipeline describes the 23-year-old phenom as a “well-above average runner” whose speed has yet to manifest stolen bases: he’s nabbed just 13 bases in 17 chances over the last five years. That’s a number Scioscia hopes to see increased this season, though he doesn’t want his ace pitcher making any head-first slides on the basepaths to do so.

To be sure, it’s an unorthodox role for any young player to step into, but if anyone can pull it off, Ohtani can.