Kragthorpe: Mike Trout leads ex-Salt Lake crew into All-Star Game
MLB All-Stars • Former Bees making statement for Angels.
Published: July 2, 2012 10:33AM
Updated: July 14, 2012 05:05PM

There’s a reason the Los Angeles Angels started the season slowly and the Salt Lake Bees have leveled off since late April.

Mike Trout can’t play for both teams.

Trout was named to the American League All-Star team Sunday, barely two months after being recalled from the Bees. The AL team will have more Salt Lake representation than ever. Trout will be joined by Angels teammates Jered Weaver and Mark Trumbo, while Texas catcher Mike Napoli also played for the Bees and Boston designated hitter David Ortiz played for the Salt Lake Buzz in the Minnesota organization.

Those five players appeared in a combined 343 games for Salt Lake. Trumbo also played 71 games for Class-A Orem in his first pro season.

Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder, who began his pro career at Class-A Ogden, gives Utahns a connection to six AL All-Stars.

Trout’s story is the most remarkable of all. Having skipped Triple-A last season when he played for the Angels in two stints, the 20-year-old outfielder was expected to stay with the Bees much longer than three weeks. But the combination of his .403 batting average and the Angels’ rough start resulted in his promotion.

He’s thriving in the leadoff spot, hitting a league-leading .339 — he’s already eligible for the batting title — with nine home runs and 33 RBIs. The Angels are 37-21 since he arrived.

Trumbo, who spent the full 2010 season with the Bees, also is having a phenomenal year. He’s batting .312 with 20 homers and 55 RBIs.

So next week’s All-Star Game in Kansas City will have the most Utah flavor since 2007. That’s when former Ogden players Ben Sheets, J.J. Hardy, Russell Martin and Fielder joined ex-Salt Lake players John Lackey, Bobby Jenks, Francisco Rodriguez, Torii Hunter and Ortiz in the game in San Francisco.

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribkurt