S.J. Coaches on Mike Trout


Mike Rucci, Gloucester Catholic: "In my opinion, if he stays healthy, he will be the greatest to play the game. And he's a fantastic person. He's humble, and he plays the game like he loves it. We are lucky to say he is from South Jersey."

Pat Fisher, Paul VI: "He's a class act. It's a proud thing for South Jersey baseball for him, not just to be as good of a player as he is, but for him to represent himself and his family and South Jersey baseball as well as he does."

Bill Alvaro Jr., Washington Township: "What he has done representing Millville and South Jersey baseball has been great to see. The way he approaches every at-bat and every play of every game is so much fun to watch. I think everyone who plays this great game of baseball should watch everything he does on the field."

Rich Horan, Audubon: "Great player. Plays the game the right way - hard all the time."

Sam Tropiano, Bishop Eustace: "We played Millville in the championship of the Grand Slam tourney. When you looked at Mike on a baseball field, you could tell very easily how special he was as a player, the way he made everything look so smooth and easy."

Bob Bergholtz, Camden Catholic: "He's somebody that everybody can look up to. He's such a role model. As coaches, you can point to a guy like that and tell your players, 'He gets it.' "

Rich Bender, Delran: "He's a complete baseball player, but the big thing is that he respects the game. His whole attitude is what you want to see in a player. He hustles. He plays hard. He plays the game the right way. He's an absolute pleasure to watch."

Erik Radbill, Cherry Hill East: "Most respectful, modest, hard-working kid I've ever come across. Had the pleasure of playing him five times. Once in the second round of the state playoffs at Millville, we walked him [intentionally] three times, once with bases loaded and once to put the go-ahead run on second."

Dan McMaster, Cherry Hill West: "It seems like Mike always had a great deal of respect for the game and played the game the right way. He plays the game with such energy. He always looks like he's having fun, whether it be back in South Jersey or now on the MLB stage."

Jim Ambrosius, Williamstown: "My grandfather played 17 years in the big leagues and always talked about respect for the game of baseball. We try to instill it in our kids. Mike Trout embodies that. There aren't a lot of Mike Trouts out there. But if kids can emulate how he approaches the game in some way, that's a pretty good place to start as far as developing as a baseball player and a person."

Marc Petragnani, Cherokee: "We beat them in a Diamond game, 4-3, when my little second baseman, Shane Lynch, hit a three-run homer off him. I told [Lynch], 'For the rest of your life, every bar you walk into, you start every conversation the same way, 'I hit a home run off Mike Trout.' "

Brian Anderson, Shawnee: "You watch the way he conducts himself, you can just see that he 'gets it.' "

Mike Bylone, St. Augustine: "I was lucky enough to coach against him twice his senior year. You could see he was a kid at a different level. But the big thing was his respect for the game. He would sprint in and sprint out after every inning. I'll never forget that."

- Phil Anastasia