08/01/2011 11:59 AM ET
Wells: Young players are solid
Veteran outfielder impressed with Angels' developing trio
This is my first season with the Angels, and it has been a learning experience. It has been about coming here and adjusting, and it has been about getting comfortable. There were some growing pains. It took awhile to get used to my new surroundings, but it now feels like home. It seems like I have been here forever.
I don't think there was one moment where I really felt like an Angel for the first time. I think that came with the more time I spent here. Being on the disabled list let me get to know more guys better and on a different level. I used that time to get comfortable around the people and getting comfortable with where I am at. Once I got settled, it was about going out there and playing baseball and having fun.
Being in Toronto for so many years, I saw a lot of players come and go. Having experienced it now, I think one aspect of changing teams for the first time that really surprised me was all the adjustments. I might have always said, "Oh, that is baseball, you just got out and play in a different place." But really everything changes. As baseball players we are used to our routines and how we go about things on a day-to-day basis. You take that completely for granted until you are relocated. I have learned, and I think I can help others guys now when they go through the same thing.
As a veteran player, it is fun to be on a team that features a lot of good young players. At times, I still feel like a young guy. Obviously, it is important for a lot of guys coming in to learn what it takes to be successful at this level and to learn the good and the bad parts of it. I've had fun watching the young guys grow up the last few months, and I am looking forward to spending more quality time with them over the next few years.
Peter Bourjos is very good in the field, but I think his ability to improve his play in center field is really under the radar. He has the speed, obviously, but it is another thing to learn to play that position on the whole. Learning hitters is a big thing up here, along with knowing your pitchers and their tendencies. He continues to get more comfortable out there between myself and Torii Hunter, and he continues to be on the path to being one of the best defenders in the big leagues.
When it comes to Mark Trumbo, I don't think anyone playing today can compare to him when it comes to raw power, and that includes Jose Bautista, who I played with last year. The way the ball comes off of Trumbo's bat is special, and he has the potential to be one of those big-name home run guys moving forward. The thing for him, at his young age, is not to try and do it. He is strong enough to where all he needs to do is put the bat on the ball, and the ball will fly out of any park.
Mike Trout is 19 years old. He is impressive. Obviously, the skills that he has, the talent that he has at such a young age, is pretty rare. When I was 19, I was in A-ball and still trying to learn to play the game the right way. To have this experience, and to soak it in at his age, it is going to be great for him moving forward. Pretty soon, he is going to be a mainstay in this lineup.
I am not the only veteran player on this team. Hunter is a long-time friend, and he always has a smile on his face, unless you hit him with a pitch. Then he can get upset. He always has a good time. He is as competitive as anybody I have ever met, and he is so talkative. I give him a hard time and he gives me a hard time. He brings something special to this club.
Vernon Wells has overcome a slow start and a stint on the disabled list this season for the Angels. He is second on the team with 16 home runs, he combined to hit 12 homers and drive in 28 runs in June and July.