Bell takes step closer to show

GLENDALE — Trevor Bell took one more monumental step forward to realizing his Major League Baseball dream on Sunday when he was called into the Arkansas Travelers coaching office and given the news that he had been called up to the Triple-AAA Salt Lake City Bees.

“I think that it’s a terrific opportunity for him and one that he has earned and deserves,” said Bill Hertz, Bell’s agent.

Bell, who was drafted in 2005 by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with the 37th overall pick in the Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft, had been tearing up the opposition in the Texas League.

Playing for the Travelers, the Angels’ double-AA affiliate, he was leading the league with a 2.23 earned-run average and with just 1.08 walks/hits per innings pitched.

The news of his promotion traveled fast on Sunday.

“That’s awesome,” said Crescenta Valley baseball Coach Phil Torres. “We’re all excited. Good things happen to good people and that’s why he’s where he’s at.”

Torres, who coached Bell for four years at Crescenta Valley, received a call from his former multiple-time Pacific League Most Valuable Player and All-Area Baseball Player of the Year on Sunday and was quickly looking up the dates in which Salt Lake will travel to take on Pacific Coast League rivals Fresno and Las Vegas.

Bell, 22, is set to make his first start today when Salt Lake hosts the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

He left early Monday from Arkansas to travel to Salt Lake, where the Bees were playing the Sky Sox. However, in an e-mail to the News-Press late Sunday night he wrote that he was just happy to keep moving up in the organization and to get a chance, one which he added he’ll learn as much as he can from.

Heading into Monday’s game against the Sky Sox, in which St. Francis graduate Jason Hirsh was starting for Colorado Springs, the Bees were ½ a game behind the Sox for first place in the Pacific Coast League North with a 36-28 record.

It’s quite a change from the Travelers, who, as of Monday, were 24-37 and in last place in the Texas League North.

Bell played much of last season in the Angels’ Class A Advanced club in Rancho Cucamonga, but was actually sent down during one stretch.

This season, though, he’s been simply tremendous on the mound. With a deceiving 4-3 record, he’s tossed 68 2/3 innings and given up just 54 hits and a .212 opposing batting average, while striking out 51 to just 20 walks. He gave up one earned run on June 8 in his last start.

On the Bees, he will join such Angels organization luminaries as Howie Kendrick, Jose Arredondo, Reggie Willits and Brandon Wood. On the team’s current roster, Bell will be the fourth youngest player.

“It’s one more step,” said Hertz of Bell’s quest to reach the big leagues. “Everybody’s real proud of him.”

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