MINNEAPOLIS -- Baseball wanted Mike Trout in the Home Run Derby. American League captain Jose Bautista wanted Mike Trout in the Home Run Derby. But Trout said Monday that he decided not to participate after his manager, Mike Scioscia, "told me his opinion of it."
Trout said the Angels' manager "was leaning toward me not to do it." He said Scioscia's biggest concern was "the full-out swings you take over a period of time, and just the wear and tear on your body."
Trout was careful to point out that no one ever ordered him not to take part or pressured him not to take part, and he said that while he listened to Scioscia's opinion, "other that that, it's my choice."
"I'm sure," he said of Scioscia, "if I would have said I wanted to do it, that he would have supported it."
But when Trout was asked how difficult it would have been to say he wanted to take part after his manager had expressed such a strong opinion, he replied: "Yeah, you've always got to respect your manager, and do what's right for you and the team, and your body, for sure."
Trout reached the all-Star break with 22 homers, trailing only Jose Abreu, Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnacion in the AL home-run race. His average home-run distance of 418.2 feet would have ranked second among all hitters in the Derby, behind only Giancarlo Stanton (423.8), according to ESPN Home Run Tracker. And his 489-foot shot into a waterfall in Kansas City last month is the longest home run hit by anyone in baseball this year.
But Trout insisted he still doesn't think of himself as a classic slugger.
Asked if he'd considered what he means for to the sport before making his decision, he said: "Everything is for the fans, and the league. But it's funny. I'm not really a home-run hitter guy, if that makes sense. I'm not trying to hit home runs in games. I'm just trying to get base hits, and the ball goes out of the park."
Nevertheless, Trout said he wouldn't rule out taking part in a Derby sometime down the road.
"In the near future, if it's the right opportunity, I might do it," he said.