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July 9, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; American League outfielder Mike Trout (left) of the Los Angeles Angels talks with National League outfielder Bryce Harper (right) of the Washington Nationals during practice for the 2012 All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via USA TODAY Sports

Who is the best franchise player in Major League Baseball?

You’re the new general manager of an expansion franchise. You get one choice at building this team from the ground up. Who is your top target?

Do you pursue a top-notch pitcher like Clayton Kershaw? Or do you go on someone who is reliable – a stable outfielder like Andrew McCutchen? Perhaps you’re in it for the long haul – you have an eye on the likes of Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.

With the top pick in my ‘fantasy’ draft, there’s only one player that I would draft. And that’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout.

Trout, just 22 years old, is a career .314 hitter in three big league seasons. He’s the ultimate five-tool player, averaging 30 home runs and 41 steals a year. No other player comes anywhere remotely close to those numbers.

Taken in the first round – the 25th overall pick in 2009 – the Angels made perhaps the best choice in MLB Draft history outside of the first ten picks.

He was a sleeper. Everyone knew he was good, but no one could have expected this type of sheer dominance – with over a decade and a half likely remaining in his big league career.

The Angels’ headlines are often caught up with the likes of Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols. The real answer to this team’s struggles is already there, and healthy.

There’s no doubt. Mike Trout is the best player in Major League Baseball.

Tags: Bryce Harper Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim Manny Machado Mike Trout MLB MLB Draft

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