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Trout is on pace for a truly historic season


Aglets

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How historic?

According to ESPN, (which I believe uses bb-ref WAR), Trout has been worth 6 wins so far, which puts him on pace for 11.35 WAR for the season.

There have only been 12 single position player seasons in the history of the sport that have been that high.

The players that put together seasons like that are none other than Babe Ruth, Hornsby, Yaz, Barry Bonds, Gehrig, Ripken, and Honus Wagner.

Pretty darn good company. Interesting fact though, all of these guys were age 24 or older at the time they put up those numbers.

No one has EVER had this kind of a season at age 20 like Trout. The highest WAR season by any single position player at age 20 was Arod's 9.2 WAR in 1996.

We are witnessing real history this year with this kid, hope no one is taking it for granted.

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Pretty crazy that if he plays top this level for his career he would be the best player in baseball history.

There are a number of players who had historic seasons very early in their careers, and that ended up being their peaks. ARod has had a great, HOF career, but he's only topped his rookie season once. Rickey only had two years better than his age-21 WAR total of 8.7. Al Kaline only matched his age-20 season once. Eddie Mathews best season was probably at age 21. Ted Williams was a monster, but his best two seasons were at age 22-23. Mel Ott was a great player, but never really any better than he was at 20.

Even if Trout finishes out the year with around 10 WAR, that doesn't mean he's going to just get better from there. He might be very good for a very long time, but it's unlikely he's going to smoothly grow up to 15 or 18 WAR at age 27, he'll probably just kind of plateau. Or he could be Cesar Cedeno, who was worth 34 wins by the time he was 25, and only 15 thereafter.

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There are a number of players who had historic seasons very early in their careers, and that ended up being their peaks. ARod has had a great, HOF career, but he's only topped his rookie season once. Rickey only had two years better than his age-21 WAR total of 8.7. Al Kaline only matched his age-20 season once. Eddie Mathews best season was probably at age 21. Ted Williams was a monster, but his best two seasons were at age 22-23. Mel Ott was a great player, but never really any better than he was at 20.

Even if Trout finishes out the year with around 10 WAR, that doesn't mean he's going to just get better from there. He might be very good for a very long time, but it's unlikely he's going to smoothly grow up to 15 or 18 WAR at age 27, he'll probably just kind of plateau. Or he could be Cesar Cedeno, who was worth 34 wins by the time he was 25, and only 15 thereafter.

Every guy that I listed in my OP is either in the HOF or is named Barry Bonds who certainly has the numbers, even if he may not get in during his lifetime. To say that Trout is in that company in his rookie year is just incredible.

If he reaches that 11.3 WAR plateau, he will also have done it in fewer games than any other player in MLB history.

Even if he finishes with the 10.0 WAR that Drungo suggests that still puts him in the elite company of current HOFers and nebulous future 'artificially enhanced' HOFers. Pretty astounding stuff.

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I absolutely love that Trout is stealing Bryce Harper's thunder. What a treat to watch the development curve on these 2 over the next 15-20 years.

It's like watching the beginning of a baseball version of the Magic/Bird thing.

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I absolutely love that Trout is stealing Bryce Harper's thunder. What a treat to watch the development curve on these 2 over the next 15-20 years.

Keep in mind that Harper has an OPS 100 points higher than Trout did at 19. Harper still has a reasonable chance at having the most valuable season by a teenage position player since World War II. He'd have to have a heck of a last two months to catch Mel Ott's 3.7 win 1928.

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It's like watching the beginning of a baseball version of the Magic/Bird thing.

Except baseball doesn't do the individual rivalry thing very well. The Nats and Angels might face each other a handful of times a decade. And even then, it's not like two outfielders are really staring down each other.

I can't really even think of any pitcher-batter rivalries. You don't really think of Cal in a showdown with Nolan Ryan, there aren't TV shows devoted to the back-and-forth of Tony Gwynn and Greg Maddux.

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Except baseball doesn't do the individual rivalry thing very well. The Nats and Angels might face each other a handful of times a decade. And even then, it's not like two outfielders are really staring down each other.

I can't really even think of any pitcher-batter rivalries. You don't really think of Cal in a showdown with Nolan Ryan, there aren't TV shows devoted to the back-and-forth of Tony Gwynn and Greg Maddux.

Well, there was always the Ryan/Ventura thing, haha.

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Ted Williams made his major league debut in 1939, and batted .327 with 31 home runs. He led the American League with 145 RBIs.[1]

That's incredible, but I was surprised to see that Teddy Ballgame's rookie season was "only" worth 6.6 bWAR. I'm assuming his OF defense (19 errors) suppressed that number.

Either way, as Aglets alluded to, the fact that Trout's season is in the discussion with inner circle HOFers is remarkable. I tuned into the the Rangers/Halos game this past Sunday night specifically to watch him. In his first AB, he effortlessly stretched a routine double into a triple. Just glided around the basepaths. It came on a nice down and away pitch by Harrison too. ESPN noted how Trout was hitting .411 against pitches down in the zone; tops in baseball. Of couse, we all remember the catch he made at Camden Yards earlier this season. One of the best catches you will ever see. He's a blast to watch!

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To me WAR is an absolutely horrible statistic. I don't mind us trying to assign a value to estimate the amount of wins a player contributes. This number should not be subjective. WAR is a made up, arbitrary formula. It's the opposite of what stats should be, which is objective and concrete. Take for instance batting average. You divide the hits by the AB's. There is no ifs and or buts. Just this season baseball reference completely altered their WAR. Their old one had Matt Kemp as the best player in the MLB by a huge margin last year. Now he's back down to Earth. They are just taking made up formulas to assign a bogus value on a player. How about this one? The Dodgers are 4 games under .500 without Matt Kemp and about 15 games over .500 with him. I don't need a made up number to tell me he is the best player in the league. I already know when he's healthy that he is.

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