Angels star outfielder Mike Trout is getting set for his 13th season in the MLB, all, of course, with the Halos. However, before he turns his full attention to the Angels season, he’s preparing to captain Team USA at the World Baseball Classic.
Team USA’s general manager, Tony Reagins, and manager, longtime MLB veteran Mark DeRosa, said that Trout was the key to getting the league’s top stars to commit to the games. They called him the “catalyst” for USA’s stacked roster.
Ahead of the games, Trout had a media availability, where he spoke about his excitement to play, his expectations for next season and how his back injury is healing. He was asked about the recruiting process for the WBC, and if he had to reach out to other players, or if they came to him. He said it was a little bit of both.
“A lot of people and a lot of players reached out. The first one I reached out to was Bryce [Harper],” Trout said. “I told him, I said, look, this is a chance we get to play together. And I think it would be a pretty cool moment.
“I think, ever since that, it was just a lot of guys that reached out said, hey I want to be a part of this. And I think everybody wants to be a part of this because it’s going to be something special. I think being able to represent Team USA, go out there and have the whole country behind you, it’s going to be pretty cool.”
Trout said he would “throw out feelers” to the coaches on which guys he would want on the team and who wanted to play, but there were also tons of big name guys reaching out to him that wanted to be a part of it.
Unfortunately, Harper won’t be able to play in the WBC as he recovers from elbow surgery, but thanks to Trout, they’ll have no problem replacing him. Between Mookie Betts, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Trea Turner, Clayton Kershaw and tons of other stars, Team USA is ready to defend their crown as the reigning champs.