Mike Trout turned 21 on Tuesday, and his present is yet another award.
The Angels' rookie center fielder was voted by fans as Major League Baseball's best player of July regardless of league affiliation. They gave him this latest recognition by the slightest of margins, 38 to 37 percent, over Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen as the Head & Shoulders Mane Man of the Month in balloting at MLB.com.
Trout hit .392 (38-for-97) with six doubles, two triples, 10 home runs, 23 RBIs, 32 runs scored and nine stolen bases in 25 July games. He came out on top after days of seesaw lead exchanges with McCutchen atop the vote standings. They were followed in the balloting by Reds closer Aroldis Chapman (20 percent) and Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (3 percent).
"My confidence has definitely increased because I'm getting more at-bats [and] playing every day and just getting more comfortable," Trout said. "I'm feeling pretty good out there right now."
The Head & Shoulders Mane Men are being recognized on MLB.com as the star of each game this season. In addition to that daily selection of the top players, fans have a say in deciding the monthly recipients of this fan award. Trout also just won the American League Player of the Month Award as well as his third consecutive AL Rookie of the Month recognition.
When asked what he is doing with his growing collection of hardware, Trout said: "I ship them to my house" -- referring to his parents' house in Millville, N.J. "I have a little trophy room in my bedroom. I have like a little memorabilia room in my house, so it all ends up there."
Trout's numbers for July put him first in the AL in batting average, runs scored and slugging percentage (.804), tied for first in hits, second in homers and on-base percentage (.455), and tied for second in triples. According to Elias, Trout tied an all-time Major League rookie record for runs scored in July with Cleveland's Hal Trosky (1934). He also matched Roy Hartsfield's 1950 rookie mark with at least one run scored in 15 straight games, from July 5-23, and his start also has been likened statistically to Ty Cobb's more than a century earlier.
"Not only is Trout a great player, but this is a case where a kid is helping take the pressure off a big-name veteran like [Albert] Pujols, who obviously puts a lot of pressure on himself," Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog said. "That's a great thing."
Trout's 10 homers tied Wally Joyner (May 1986) for the most any Angels rookie has hit in any month.
"He's on his way to a remarkable career," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's just getting started, and look what he's doing. He's just an unbelievable baseball player."
The four nominees for the monthly honor are selected by an MLB.com editorial panel.
Trout also was nominated for June, but that Mane Man of the Month Award went to Giants right-hander Matt Cain, who threw a perfect game that month. Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels won the award for May, the first time it was presented.
The overall program began with Seattle's Dustin Ackley getting the nod for that first game of the Japan Opening Series on March 28, and it will continue through the World Series clincher. Look back at daily videos to see the conga line of Mane Men so far, including each of these four monthly candidates.