ARLINGTON, Texas — Plenty can change between now and October, but as the Angels entered August they had players with the potential to win American League most-valuable-player, Cy Young and rookie-of-the-year awards, a triple no team has ever pulled off.
Jered Weaver (14-1) leads the league in earned-run average (2.29) and winning percentage (.933), he’s second in batting average against (.202), and he threw a no-hitter in May.
Outfielder Mike Trout looks like a lock for rookie of the year, and he is also being touted as an MVP candidate because his overall play and the impact he has had on the Angels, who were 6-14 when he was promoted from triple A on April 27 and 51-33 since entering Wednesday.
Trout entered Wednesday leading the AL in average (.352), runs (80) and stolen bases (31). He was second in slugging percentage (.608) and third in on-base percentage (.411) and average with runners in scoring position (.385).
And he keeps popping up in sentences with baseball’s all-time greats. Trout, who also has 18 homers and 55 runs batted in, is the first rookie to score 80 runs in 81 games or fewer since Joe DiMaggio did it in 76 games in 1936.
He is one of two players who entered August with an average of.350 and at least 15 homers and 30 stolen bases. The other: Rickey Henderson, who hit .352 with 16 homers and 47 stolen bases in the first four months of 1985.
Twenty-nine times since 1967, the first year Cy Young winners were named in each league, teams have claimed two of the three awards. Not once has a team won all three.
“That would be crazy,” right fielder Torii Hunter said. “Special things could come out of this clubhouse.”
But nothing would be more special than a championship.
“I won’t sell my soul,” Hunter said, “but I’d trade all those individual achievements for a World Series ring.”
Talks on hold
General Manager Jerry Dipoto said he had not spoken to Zack Greinke’s agent about a contract extension. Nor does he plan to in the near future.
“It’s something we’d like to explore at some point,” Dipoto said, “but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
Dipoto traded three of the organization’s top nine prospects to Milwaukee last Friday to acquire Greinke, who will be a free agent next winter and reportedly turned down a five-year offer of more than $100 million from the Brewers.
But Dipoto said he wants to get to know Greinke, and he wants Greinke to get to know the Angels, before they dive into contract talks.
“There’s no rush here,” Dipoto said. “We’re going to let it play out.”
Ryan Dempster will face the Angels for the first time Thursday night when he makes his Rangers debut after Monday’s trade from the Chicago Cubs.
One Angel will be all too familiar, though. Albert Pujols, the former St. Louis star, has a .327 average (18 for 55) with seven homers — the most he has hit off any pitcher — and 14 RBIs against Dempster.