2011 Minor League Player of the Year: Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
The runaway winner in the community poll for the 2011 Minor League Ball Player of the Year Award is Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. Trout hit .326/.414/.544 with 18 doubles, 13 triples, 11 homers, 45 walks, and 33 stolen bases in 353 at-bats for Double-A Arkansas in the Texas League. He impressed scouts with his tools, showed a polished bat, answered questions about his power potential in a positive way, and demonstrated excellent defensive skills.
Trout is currently hitting .220/.282/.420 in 100 major league at-bats, and will probably exceed rookie qualifications by the end of the season. There were a few complaints in the comment section for the poll about eligibility for the award, gripes and whines that I should have included Brett Lawrie or Jose Altuve. I wanted to focus on players who would still be technical rookies entering 2012, and I had to draw some lines somewhere. You can argue that I should have waited until the end of the season to see who was eligible and who wasn't, but I wanted to get the poll done while interest was still high.
Nevertheless, the question "Trout vs. Lawrie" is an interesting one from a purely prospect perspective, and I think I am going to put up an "Either/Or" question for that later today.