ANAHEIM -- Alighting on Tuesday evening in Angel Stadium, a ballpark rookie center fielder Mike Trout has illuminated all season with his brilliant play for the Angels, Rangers manager Ron Washington acknowledged Trout as an American League Most Valuable Player candidate -- along with two of his own athletes.
"Three guys, man," Washington said after a long pause when asked what he'd do with an MVP vote. "One is the kid you have over here, Trout. And [Josh] Hamilton and [Adrian] Beltre. I don't see Trout every day, but I see Hamilton and Beltre every day. I see they're very valuable to us."
When someone mentioned Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera, Washington grinned. "There's four," he said, quickly adding another candidate to the list.
"The good thing," Washington said, "is you [media members] have to make the decision. If it was me, there might be four MVPs. I'm biased, but you can't take anything away from Trout. He's the reason the Angels are hanging around. He's been so consistent in every part of the game."
Trout comes into the three-game series with a .392 average and four homers and 15 RBIs in 13 games against Texas. He leads the AL in runs scored (116) and steals (45) and was passed by Cabrera on Sunday in the batting race after leading the league most every day since he became eligible.
"Rookies like him come along every now and then," Washington said. "I don't think you'll see one like him come along in a long time. He can do everything."
If there are slight flaws in his throwing and bunting abilities, Washington added, they're minor. "He's a complete player -- and he has fun. You can see the enthusiasm. He makes everyone better."