The evolution of Mark Trumbo

Sunday night in Texas, Mark Trumbo took a 2-and-2 fastball from Rangers reliever Mark Lowe that may or may not have brushed the outside edge of the strike zone. Trumbo says he could have lived with it if the umpire had called him out on strikes. One pitch later, Lowe threw him a slider for a ball and Trumbo trotted to first base with a walk.

A year ago, Trumbo admitted, he probably would have swung at the same pitch.

"I thought about it a lot in the off-season," Trumbo said. "I wish at times I could have done a better job getting on base last year. You're a much more valuable player when you do."

The slugging percentage was evident last season when Trumbo hit 29 home runs as a rookie, but his newfound plate discipline (team-high .398 OBP) has been the most surprising development in Trumbo's game. He has nine walks, two more than Albert Pujols.

Last season, Trumbo finished second in rookie of the year balloting despite a .291 OBP, one of the lowest marks in the majors. Chasing fewer balls has also helped get Trumbo pitches to hit. His six home runs and 16 RBIs lead the team and he is hitting .357 this month.

Few players change their approach this dramatically once they reach the major leagues, but it appears to be working for Trumbo. It's also more in keeping with his style in the minor leagues, where pitchers were well aware of his prodigious power. He had a .368 OBP in his final season at Triple-A.

"The fact now that he's getting more walks is probably a byproduct of opposing teams really understanding the threat he is in the batter's box," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

* Scioscia said there is "no update" on the status of Torii Hunter, who is on the restricted list after his teenage son, Darius McClinton-Hunter, was arrested Monday in Texas on suspicion of sexual assault of a child, a second-degree felony.

Here are lineups for Tuesday's 4:05 p.m. game vs. Oakland:


Jemile Weeks 2B

Cliff Pennington SS

Josh Reddick RF

Seth Smith LF

Kila Ka'aihue DH

Josh Donaldson 3B

Daric Barton 1B

Kurt Suzuki C

Collin Cowgill CF


Mike Trout CF

Alberto Callaspo 3B

Albert Pujols 1B

Kendrys Morales DH

Trumbo RF

Howie Kendrick 2B

Vernon Wells LF

Erick Aybar SS

Bobby Wilson C