Hometown Heroes

Conger, Trout put on show in Anaheim





ANAHEIM—Hank Conger put his head down and ran, just the way his father had taught him. No gesturing, no taunting, just play ball.

But this was his first home run in his neighborhood big league ballpark, and his father was there to see it.

"I tried to give him a little point," Conger said. "I was trying to keep a straight face, but rounding third, I had to break out into a big smile."

Conger, the MVP of the Futures Game and the Angels' top catching prospect, is a graduate of Huntington Beach (Calif.) High and grew up 15 minutes from Angel Stadium.

"This, to be honest, does not feel real," Conger said. "It's just so much adrenaline. It's an unbelievable feeling. I'll never forget this in my life." The U.S. team dressed in the Angels' clubhouse. Conger was assigned the locker usually occupied by Torii Hunter.

"I don't want to ruin the carpet or anything," Conger joked.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Conger was hitting .279/.378/.413 with five homers and 27 RBIs in 240 at-bats at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Outfielder Mike Trout, perhaps the hottest prospect in the minor leagues, received a loud round of applause from Angels fans aware he is not just a nice Class A player.

"It just gave me chills," Trout said. "I just wanted to put on a show."

The 6-foot-1, 217-pounder showed off his speed, beating out one infield grounder for a single, forcing two errors on grounders for which he could have been credited with hits, and legging what appeared to be a routine single into right-center field into a double.

"Every time I hit a ball in any gap, I'm thinking two," Trout said.

Trout, 18, selected in the first round of last year's draft, batted .362/.454/.526 with six homers, 39 RBIs and 46 stolen bases in 81 games at low Class A Cedar Rapids. After the Futures Game, the Angels officially promoted him to high Class A Rancho Cucamonga, where he went 1-for-4 in his debut.

ANGEL FOOD

• Third baseman Luis Jimenez, 22, also played in the Futures Game, with a single in two at-bats. Jimenez was batting .288/.331/.485 between Cedar Rapids and Rancho Cucamonga.

• The Angels, in need of outfield depth, promoted Cory Aldridge from Salt Lake. Aldridge, 31, in his 14th pro season, got his first major league hit.