How Angels Stopped A's From Picking Mike Trout Back in 2009 MLB Draft

Hindsight is everything, but looking back to the MLB draft 10 years ago, a multitude of fanbases have been asking themselves the same question for years now: How did we not pick Mike Trout? 

The greatest player of the past decade who has been compared to the likes of Mikey Mantle and Willie Mays fell all the way to the No. 25 pick in the draft. Everyone else's miss was the Angels jackpot. But even they didn't know what they truly had at the time. 

Los Angeles selected outfielder Randal Grichuk one pick ahead of Trout, making the two-time American League MVP their second choice in the draft. Perhaps no other team has been hurt more by Trout being an Angel than the Oakland A's. 

The A's, who held the 13th pick in the draft, were fond of Trout. A's president Billy Beane and data analyst Farhan Zaidi -- now the Giants' president of baseball operations -- even flew out to see him play a high school game in Millville, New Jersey. 

"Farhan [Zaidi] and I -- further proving the Peter Principle -- flew out together to go watch him, normally not a trip I would make, to see a high school outfielder from a small town across the country," Beane said to ESPN's Keith Law. "Trout went like 0-for-5, popped out, so we didn't even get to see him run." 

The A's had seen Trout show off his skills before, however, and the Angels heard of word of their interest from none other than ... Trout's father. 

"Jeff [Trout] called me, said [A's assistant GM] Dave Forst saw him hit three home runs in a weekend, and Jeff said, 'Well, he wants [Mike] to come to Oakland for a workout,'" Greg Morhardt, Angels Northeast area scout, told Law. "I'm thinking if you spend the whole day with Mikey you're gonna take him and Billy's a smart guy. I'm thinking I've got to stop this."

Morhardt and Jeff Trout have a long standing relationship. The two played with each other in the minor leagues in the 1980s, and the two were even roomates during spring training.

He also made up a story to Jeff that the Angels had a workout the same day as the A's, and did everything is his power to get an actual workout in place that day to get Trout to Southern California instead of the Bay Area. 

"If Billy had gotten him there, it would have been over," Morhardt said to Law. "You get Mike in your ballpark, and I don't know where he would have been hitting balls."

Trout has been to Billy's ballpark, and the A's have paid ever since. In 72 trips to Oakland, Trout has hit 16 home runs -- his second-most at any opposing ballpark -- and he has a .905 OPS at the Colisuem. Overall, Trout is batting .305 with 31 homers against the A's.

"Since then, Trout went on his own personal iron fleet in the Greyjoy. He's the fourth Greyjoy, just destroying us, with a vengeance worse than Euron's to remind the A's they should have taken him," Beane said to Law.

[RELATED: Wrapping our heads around that wild A's loss to Angels]

The A's wound up drafting USC shortstop Grant Green No. 13 overall. He spent five seasons in the big leagues between four different teams -- A's, Angels, Giants, and Nationals -- and hit .248 with four home runs. Green is currently out of baseball. 

Some history books are better left unopened. 

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