Name: Dan Trumble
Place: Nampa, Idaho
College: University of San Francisco
Dan Trumble is currently in his fifth season in the Giants minor league system. In 2000, he started off with a .366 batting average for the Arizona Giants, but in Salem-Kaizer, he hit .167 in 15 games. He hit only .236 for Hagerstown in 2001, but his 26 home runs and .481 slugging percentage were enough to push him up to San Jose the next season. In San Jose, he had little success in his first two years. In 2003, while he hit an impressive 21 home runs in 296 at-bats, he also struck out 120 times and only batted .206. This season, he has improved quite a bit, only striking out 66 times in his first 228 at-bats, and his batting average has leaped substantially. He turns 25 on Sep. 29.
He has improved essentially every aspect of his offensive ballgame. The most impressive would be his leap in batting average. His highest average in Class A ball was .236, back in 2002. His current batting average of .289 represents a leap of 63 points. He has always shown the ability for hitting the long ball, but this season he has developed variety hitting more doubles and triples as well. His two triples in the 2004 season are more than he's had in any season since his tenure with the Arizona Giants, when he hit four triples.
The major concern still is patience. While he is striking out less and walking more, he still has to develop a better eye. In his 2003 season, he struck out so often that it was almost impossible to strike out more often that he did. Here is the development of his strikeouts and walks over the years, excluding his season at USF.
His patience has developed quite a bit from his previous years. For the first time, he is averaging less than two strikeouts per walk, and his strikeouts per at-bat has fallen below 0.3 for the first time ever. Although striking out 28.9% of the time is not very impressive and would put him near the top in strikeouts as a hitter, it is a big development, considering he struck out 44.9% of the time in 2002, and 40.5% of the time in 2003. He is actually striking out less than he did in his time with the Arizona Giants. His improved patience is good news, but he will have to do better if he wants to make it on a major league team.
Trumble has to show that his improvement wasn't a fluke season. Expect a callup to Norwich later this season, especially considering the fact that he is a California League all-star. How he performs at Norwich for the final month or two of the minor league season will determine his fate. If he flounders badly, he may never be able to make it , as he is turning 25 in September. But if he shows a lot of talent in Norwich, don't be surprised to see him getting invited to Spring Training Next year. A potential call-up could be by 2006. If he continues to improve like he has so far, he may be the Giants starting left fielder four or five years down the line.
Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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