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Gonzalez Gomez DOUG PENSINGER/GETTY IMAGES SPORT MIKE MCGINNIS/GETTY IMAGES SPORT with power and steal bases that the five-tool player began to reach prominence. However, it was during the 1980s that the media really began focusing on players who could do it all on a baseball field. And one of the early players to reach prominence nationally for his five-tool talents was Cincinnati’s Eric Davis. To look at the back of Davis’ baseball card can be a jaw-dropping endeavor. In 1986, Davis hit 27 home runs and stole 80 bases. In baseball history, only Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson has also hit at least 25 home runs and stolen 80 bases in the same season. Davis followed up that incredible season by smacking 37 homers and stealing 50 bags in 1987. When Trout came within a stolen base of joining that 30-50 club in 2012, it was noted that the only two members of that elite group include Barry Bonds and Davis. And to watch him hurtle his body all over the turf and above the outfield fences was a sight to behold. Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray once wrote that “Cincinnati announcers can note that Eric Davis is playing center field, shortstop and second base for the Reds.” Watching Davis at the time, like Trout, McCutchen and others like them today, was like watching the game being played on a completely different level. “It’s almost like something you dream about, being able to do all facets of this game at a high, high, high level,” says Davis. “Being able to control a game on the bases; I got so much more of a thrill out of defense and running the bases than I ever did hitting a homer.” Davis could see even before his teenage years that he could hit for power when he was breaking windows on long drives while playing baseball in the street. A football and track star in high school, he could also fly on whatever field he played on. Now a special assistant with the Cincinnati Reds, Davis still watches plenty of baseball, and keeps tabs on so many of the young players who are doing things on the field that he did three decades earlier. He sees in Trout special qualities. “What separates Mike Trout is not his talent, it’s the mental side,” notes Davis. “His thought process in how he plays the game is what separates him. He’s not the only guy that has that kind of ability. It’s just the matter of them having the confidence and mental side to do whatever it’s going to take to be that five-tool player. “Because of his aggressiveness, his willingness to do whatever it takes, he doesn’t settle. He’s one of those guys, if he’s not hitting, he’s going to play defense. Whatever that situation calls for him to do, he’s going to do it.” McCutchen is another player who has been given rave reviews from Davis. The reigning NL MVP was the 11th overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, and he was seen as a rising star in the Pirates’ system from the time he signed. In his first season in the big leagues, McCutchen showed his all-around skills by clubbing three home runs in a game on Aug. 1, 2009. Just 10 days later, the center fielder walked three times and stole three bases in a game. Yes, baseball had another all-around


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