The Los Angeles Angels selected two outfielders in the first round of the 2009 Major League draft and assigned them to Cedar Rapids for the start of the 2010 campaign.
One of them was Mike Trout, who has quickly developed into one of the best players in the game. The other guy was Randal Grichuk, who got hurt and overlooked a bit.
Here we are in the playoffs and Trout is home, perhaps counting his $144.5 million contract. Meanwhile Grichuk is playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League championship series against Baltimore, hoping to get the Cardinals into the World Series.
The Angels traded Grichuk and Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals last November for David Freese and Fernando Salas. Bourjos was the big name in that trade for St. Louis, but Grichuk has impressed enough folks to get in the postseason lineup after hitting .245 with three homers and eight RBIs in 47 games during the regular season.
The Angels drafted Grichuck BEFORE they picked Trout in 2009. They went back-to-back, with Grichuk the 24th overall pick in the first round and Trout the 25th.
The two young players were born just six days apart in 1991, Trout on Aug. 7 and Grichuk on Aug. 13. Now they're both in the Major Leagues, Trout as an all-star and Grichuk as an important player in the national spotlight.
Trout has been on the fast track since Day 1. The Angels sent him to Cedar Rapids at the tail end of the 2009 season and less than two years later he was in the big leagues, leaping over fences to steal home runs and making a name for himself as a 19-year-old kid.