Mike Trout would be an even bigger star if he would spend some more time marketing himself, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred maintains.
At 26, the Los Angeles Angels outfielder is a two-time American League MVP and a seven-time All-Star. In 2015, he became the first player in 38 years to homer leading off an All-Star Game, then became the first player to take home the Midsummer Classic's MVP award two years in row.
He homered off the New York Mets' Jacob deGrom in the third inning of the American League's 8-6 win this year on Tuesday night.
"Player marketing requires one thing for sure -- the player," Manfred said earlier in the day. "You cannot market a player passively. You can't market anything passively. You need people to engage with those to whom you are trying to market in order to have effective marketing. We are very interested in having our players more engaged and having higher-profile players and helping our players develop their individual brand. But that involves the player being actively engaged."
Manfred said Trout chooses not to spend his downtime marketing.
"Mike's a great, great player and a really nice person, but he's made certain decisions about what he wants to do and what he doesn't want to do, and how he wants to spend his free time and how he doesn't want to spend his free time," Manfred said. "That's up to him. If he wants to engage and be more active in that area, I think we could help him make his brand really, really big. But he has to make a decision that he's prepared to engage in that area. It takes time and effort."
"Yeah ... no," Trout said in response after exiting the All-Star Game. "I keep telling you guys, I do as much as I can. But it's a long baseball season. I got to pick and choose when I want to do things and go from there."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.