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Hometown Hero

Bill Shaikin -Premium Content

The Angels haven't raised a big-time power hitter for a decade, save for the all-too-injured Dallas McPherson. They might finally have found one down the street from Angel Stadium. Mark Trumbo grew up in Orange County, a long fungo from the ballpark. He wowed scouts as a pitcher at Villa Park High, but the Angels drafted him in 2004 and paid him $1.425 million to grab a bat.<br/>

Majors | #2008#Los Angeles Angels#Organization Reports

Positioned To Succeed

Bill Shaikin -

If the Angels needed him to pitch, he'd be happy to do it. Sean Rodriguez said he was an "occasional closer" in high school and a regular pitcher in his youth. "It was easier then," he said. "I didn't need to throw any breaking balls." The Angels probably will pass on Rodriguez as a pitcher, but they would not hesitate to play him just about anywhere else on the diamond.

Majors | #2008#Los Angeles Angels#Organization Reports

Australian Idol

Bill Shaikin -Premium Content

If kids in Southern California aspire to be Vladimir Guerrero or Kobe Bryant, kids in Australia aspire to be Ian Thorpe or Ricky Ponting. Thorpe recently retired as one of the best swimmers in history; Ponting is the captain of the national cricket team. Rich Thompson grew up in Sydney, playing every sport he could before deciding baseball offered him the brightest future. He signed with the Angels for $50,000 in 2002, and six years later he has a fastball registering in the mid-90s and a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Majors | #2008#Los Angeles Angels#Organization Reports