TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Monday that he isn’t worried about possible contract talks becoming a distraction for star center fielder Mike Trout.
“It’s not an issue and it’s certainly not an issue with Mike,” Scioscia said.
Published reports have said the team and Trout are discussing a long-term deal.
Scioscia said he hasn’t seen a contract becoming a problem in his time with the Angels.
“We haven’t had anybody here in 15 years because of a contract situation that hasn’t come out and given 100 percent,” Scioscia told reporters.
Scioscia said his training camps are “high energy” and designed to keep players focused. He added that distractions can come in many forms and pointed out that Trout has handled distractions easily through two seasons with the Angels.
“We know how tough it is not only getting to the big leagues but making it in the big leagues,” Scioscia said. “The footprint that he’s made was pretty big in his first full year. To keep filling that footprint and to grow is a challenge and Mike has shown no drop with what he did last year.”
Trout came up a month into the 2012 season and took home the American League Rookie of the Year award after hitting .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs. He followed that with 27 homers, 97 RBIs and a .323 batting average in 2013. He was the runner-up for AL Most Valuable Player both seasons.
“There’s no doubt that there are potential distractions there with what’s happening,” Scioscia said. “He hasn’t flinched. He’s very grounded. He has everything sorted out on his priorities. He just wants to play baseball and he’s doing a great job of it.
“This kid doesn’t even seem to mind (the limelight). I think with Mike, if nobody was paying attention to him he’d be fine with that. Everybody is paying attention to him and he’s fine with it. He’s extremely focused.”