Diamondbacks castoff Barret Loux now 14-1 in minors

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If you don’t remember the story of Barret Loux, here it is in a nutshell: Arizona drafted the Texas A&M right-hander sixth overall in 2010 and came to terms with him on a $2 million deal, only to back out of it after his physical showed significant damage in both his elbow and shoulder.

At that point, the Diamondbacks figured it was a much better idea to let him go, and, in so doing, secure the seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft, rather than sign him at a drastically reduced amount. Loux was made a free agent and signed with the Rangers for $312,000 in Nov. 2010.

The now 23-year-old Loux has managed to avoid arm surgery since, and after winning again last night, he’s 14-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 91/35 K/BB ratio in 117 1/3 innings for Double-A Frisco.

Loux isn’t a top prospect, and the Diamondbacks certainly wouldn’t change the way they handled the situation, given that they ended up with promising right-hander Archie Bradley from the compensation pick. Loux, though, does project as a useful bottom-of-the-rotation guy or middle reliever if he can stay healthy. The Rangers did well to take a chance on him, and it’d be no surprise if they call him up to make his major league debut next month.

Mike Trout has been really good at baseball lately

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“Water wet,” “Sky blue,” “Dog bites man” and “Mike Trout good” are not exactly newsworthy sentiments, but once in a while you have to state the obvious just so you can look back later and make sure you were, in the moment, aware of the obvious.

And to be fair, “Mike Trout good” is underselling the Angels outfielder lately. He’s on the greatest tear of his great career lately, and dang it, that’s worthy of a few words on this blog.

Last night Trout went a mere 1-for-1, but that’s because the Diamondbacks were smart enough not to pitch to him too much, walking him twice. There was no one on base the first time he came up and he got a free pass. There was a guy on first but two outs the second time, so he was once again not given much to hit and took his base again. Arizona was not so lucky the third time. The bases were loaded and there was nowhere to put Trout. He smacked the first pitch he saw for a two-run single. They probably shoulda just walked him anyway, limiting the damage to one. The last time up he reached on catcher’s interference. Maybe Arizona figured that literally grabbing the bat from him with a catcher’s mitt was the best bet?

If so you can’t blame them, really. Not with the month he’s had. In June, Trout is hitting .448/.554/.776 with five homers. He currently leads the league in the following categories: home runs (23), runs (60), walks (64), on-base percentage (.469), OPS (1.158) OPS+ (219), total bases (179) and intentional walks (9). He currently has a bWAR of 6.5. WAR, in case you did not know, is a cumulative stat. When he won the 2014 MVP Award, he “only” had 7.6 for the entire year.

Sadly, one man does not a team make, so the Angels are only 9-8 in the month of June and have fallen far back of the red-hot Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the division race. For this reason I suspect a lot of people are going to do what they’ve long done and overlook Mike Trout’s sheer dominance or, even more ridiculously, claim he is overrated or something (believe me, I’ve seen it even this month).

Feel free to ignore those people and concentrate instead on the greatest baseball player in the game today, who has somehow managed to up his game in recent weeks.