A change of position in his senior year of high school may not have seemed like much at the time, but it set Mike Trout up for sports' biggest pay day.
The Major League Baseball star re-signed with the Los Angeles Angels overnight on a 12-year contract worth a reported US$430 million (NZ$626m), which will see him remain at the club until he's 39.
The deal comes a decade after his senior year of high school, during which he was shifted from a shortstop and pitcher to a full time position in the outfield. After an impressive year in 2009, Trout caught the eye of MLB scouts, and was drafted by the Angels with the 25th overall pick in that year's draft.
Trout had initially committed to joining East Carolina University, but instead signed with the Angels organisation straight out of high school.
It didn't take long for Trout to make his mark on the minor leagues, becoming the youngest player to win the Minor League Player of the Year award in 2010 at 19 years and two months old.
Ranked as the best upcoming prospect in baseball, Trout got his opportunity to make his mark on The Show in 2011 when Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos went down with injury. It was a short taste of the top level though, before he joined the top side full time in 2012.
From the 2012 season, Trout has been a force in the league. In his seven seasons since joining the MLB roster full-time, he has been named an All-Star every year. In 2012 he was named Rookie of the Year, led the American League in stolen bases and was named one of the three best offensive outfielders.
Since then, he hasn't slowed down. The 27-year-old was named American League MVP in 2014 and 2016.
While injuries set him back in 2017 and 2018, he remained on of the league's leading offensive players and was expected to fetch a massive deal when he became a free agent.
However, the Angels did not let it get to free agency. As Trout's contract was due to expire after the upcoming season, the Los Angeles club made him an offer too good to turn down.
Trout's US$430 million contract makes his the highest paid athlete in sports, surpassing the mark set by fellow MLB outfielder Bryce Harper, who signed a 13-year deal with US$330 million with the Philadelphia Phillies earlier in this month.
Largest contracts in sport (all in NZD)
- Mike Trout (baseball) - $626 million over 12 years
- Canelo Alvarez (boxing) - $532 million over 11 fights
- Bryce Harper (baseball) - $481 million over 13 years
- Giancarlo Stanton (baseball) - $474 million over 13 years
- Manny Machado (baseball) - $437 million over 10 years
Mike Trout career highlights
- Two-time American League Most Valuable Players (2014, 2016)
- Seven-time All-Star (2012-2018)
- American League Rookie of the Year (2012)
- Five-time Silver Slugger award for best offensive player at his position (2012-16)
Mike Trout career statistics (2011-2018)
- Batting average: .307
- Runs batted in: 648
- Hits: 1187
- Home runs: 240
- Stolen bases: 189
- On base percentage: .416