SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — When Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim general manager Jerry Dipoto made his marquee trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks over the winter, his clubhouse lost more than just 235 pounds and a big 33-ounce bat.
“We lost a big character guy in Mark Trumbo when we made that trade,” Dipoto said Tuesday at Cactus League media day. He was all smiles as he expounded.
Trumbo, who brings some of the best right-handed power in baseball to the desert, is just as highly touted for his strong makeup as he is for his strength at the plate, which has produced 95 home runs in just over 1,700 at-bats.
“He’s a leader,” Dipoto raved. “He will lead through his work habits. He’s a tremendously hard worker.”
Such habits led to a top-30 slot over the last three seasons among American Leaguers in FanGraphs.com’s weighted runs created (wRC) metric, which calculates how many runs a player “creates” — via all notable offensive categories — more than the league average. In another metric, isolated slugging — which zeros in more on power — Trumbo ranks 16th among AL hitters since 2011, with a .221 mark. His aforementioned 95 home runs rank fifth in the majors during the same span.
Just 28 years old and entering his fourth full season as a major leaguer, Trumbo just as quickly rose to prominence for his influence within the confines of the Angels’ clubhouse, even with longtime veterans like Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Albert Pujols and Bobby Abreu crowding the rosters he made.
“You used to look at Mark and (see) that he was the one guy in our clubhouse that the veteran players respected who he was as a person and the young players looked up to who he was as a player and his work habits,” Dipoto explained.
Trumbo’s extolled makeup is now transcending locker room walls and cropping up in the Diamondbacks clubhouse.
“He’s fit in great,” Eric Chavez, the Diamondbacks’ longest-tenured veteran, said. “He’s just got a great demeanor about him. You can tell he’s very serious about baseball and competing and wanting to be the best that he can be.”
The more that you hear about the Diamondbacks’ prime offseason acquisition, the more he begins to sound like another big bat in the clubhouse — 2013 NL MVP runner-up, Paul Goldschmidt.
“They’re both very similar,” Chavez noted. “They’re quiet, but the way they go about their business is very similar.”
With clubhouse leaders like Chavez and Goldschmidt, Miguel Montero, J.J. Putz and Aaron Hill already in place, it’s not as if there was any void that the brawny Trumbo needed to fill for the Diamondbacks in the way of influence. But the organization will surely begin to deeply value and take notice of his exemplary approach to the game, as Dipoto did.
“I couldn’t say enough about the human being,” the Angels GM remarked.
“He’s a remarkable guy. He cared about the people, cared about his teammates, cared about the community.”