Orioles star Adam Jones has had a good seat for some of Mike Trout's top moments in Major League Baseball. Trout's most iconic catch came at Camden Yards against the Orioles when he robbed J.J. Hardy of a home run with a leaping grab at the fence in 2012. Trout also has hit 10 home runs in 116 career at-bats against the Orioles. Jones knows Trout.
Jones also has a gift for gab, a way with words. So, after Trout went deep leading off the first inning at the All-Star game Tuesday night -- becoming the first player since Bo Jackson in 1989 to do it -- Jones was ready with these observations:
"That's a special talent. He's just special. I call him the white Bo Jackson. I've called him white Bo Jackson since he came on the scene. Look at his body. Look at him. It feels like a linebacker."
Trout, like Bo, was named MVP of the game. So is there anything to what Jones says?
These kind of comparisons usually are superficial, and this one's no different. While Bo Jackson was one of the best athletes of all time, he never really had a chance to be the best ballplayer he could be, because he also played pro football, of course, and he sustained a career-altering injury to his hip when he was 28 years old.
But, as far as raw power, and the ability to jump and make crazy plays on defense, Jones is onto something. Jackson, when he was great, produced all sorts of feelings in those who watched him. You stopped what you were doing when he came to bat. You watched replays after he made a great play in the field. People who weren't baseball fans watched Royals games and highlights because of Bo. He climbed fences, too. And while Trout has worked on his throwing, few athletes ever will have the arm Jackson did.
At the plate, he hit 33 homers per 162 games in his career, and stole 19 bases per 162. Trout's numbers are 35 homers and 31 steals, though he's running less every season. And the body comparison, as Jones noted. Trout's built like a linebacker. Bo really was a running back, one of the best college football players ever. He would have been better in the NFL if it weren't for baseball season cutting into his time.
And you know, looking at Jackson's final two full, pre-artificial hip seasons, he had a 132 adjusted on-base plus slugging. Nowhere near Mike Trout's 170, but still pretty good. Bo Jackson probably was the greatest part-time ballplayer in history.
The question remains, though: Does Mike Trout have any actual football skills? (Probably not NFL-level.) Still, a fun comparison by Jones. He knows.