27 for Number 27: 27 Amazing Trout Stats Feature Series

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Chuckster70

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Last year I was playing with the idea of an article series that collected 27 amazing Trout stats that I was going to publish on the blog throughout the offseason. Obviously that didn't happen, but I started it and thought I'd share them over the next month or two, as we face a delayed season of indeterminate length.

I will release at least two per day, each in its own blog post. 

Finally, there is no rhyme or reason. I have a list of 17 or 18 of them so far, and will have to scramble for more. There is also some overlap, especially as--I'm sure you'll guess--a lot of this is focused on WAR and related supernerd stats.

That says, here goes 1 & 2. 

#1: CENTER FIELD JAWS LEADERS

JAWS (or Jaffe WAR Score system) is a nifty stat designed by Jay Jaffe that averages out a players career rWAR (Baseball Reference version) with the total of their seven best seasons, and is used primarily as a predictor of whether that player will reach the Hall of Fame. What is nice about it is that it balances career and peak numbers, thus avoiding the often deceiving cumulative-heavy nature of straight-up WAR.

Through 2019, Trout is now, just turned 28-years old, 5th all-time among center fielders, having just passed Ken Griffey Jr. Let me put that another way: Mike Trout has, through his age 27 season, the 5th best Hall of Fame resume among all center fielders in major league history. The impressive nature of that feat is when you look at who is on the list, centerfield being perhaps the most hallowed position on the baseball field, at least in terms of "Hall of Fame density."

The average of 19 Hall of Fame center fielders is 58.0 JAWS; Trout is at 69.2. Here are the above average center fielders, with their number of years played:

  1. Willie Mays 114.9 (22  years)
  2. Ty Cobb 110.0 (24 years)
  3. Tris Speaker 98.4 (22  years)
  4. Mickey Mantle 87.4 (18 years)
  5. MIKE TROUT 69.2 (9 years)
  6. Ken Griffey Jr 68.9 (22 years)
  7. Joe DiMaggio 65.7 (13 years)

Duke Snider, Carlos Beltran, Kenny Lofton, Andruw Jones, Richie Ashburn, Andre Dawson, Billy Hamilton and Jim Edmonds round out CFers with 50+ JAWs.

As you can see, there is a big gap between Trout and those above him, all of whom are all inner circle greats who at least twice as many years. If he maintains a modest (for him) 8 WAR pace, his JAWS should go up by about 4 per year, so he should be passing Mantle by the end of 2024, his age 32 season. If he averages 6 WAR over the course of his 11-year contract, he'll join Mays and Cobb in the 100+ JAWS club.

#2. POSITION PLAYER JAWS LEADERS

So the above compared Trout to center fielders. How does he match up against all position players? Here is where Trout currently resides on the JAWS list for all position players:

  1. Babe Ruth 123.5 (22 years)
  2. Barry Bonds 117.7 (22 years)
  3. Willie Mays 114.9 (22  years)
  4. Ty Cobb 110.0 (24 years)
  5. Hank Aaron 101.7 (23 years)
  6. Rogers Hornsby 100.4 (23 years)
  7. Tris Speaker 98.4 (22  years)
  8. Honus Wagner 98.1 (21 years)
  9. Stan Musial 96.3 (22 years)
  10. Ted Williams 94.9 (19 years)
  11. Eddie Collins 94.1 (25 years)
  12. Lou Gehrig 91.1 (17 years)
  13. Alex Rodriguez 90.9 (22 years)
  14. Mickey Mantle 87.4 (18 years)
  15. Rickey Henderson 84.4 (25 years)
  16. Nap Lajoie 83.8 (21 years)
  17. Mike Schmidt 82.8 (18 years)
  18. Mel Ott 82.4 (22 years)
  19. Albert Pujols 81.0 (19 years)
  20. Frank Robinson 80.1 (21 years)
  21. Joe Morgan 79.9 (22 years)
  22. Cal Ripken Jr 76.1 (21 years)
  23. Carl Yastrzemski 76.0 (23 years)
  24. Jimmie Foxx 75.8 (20 years)
  25. Eddie Mathews 75.1 (17 years)
  26. Roberto Clemente 74.6 (18 years)
  27. Wade Boggs 73.9 (18 years)
  28. Adrian Beltre 71.2 (21 years)
  29. George Brett 71.0 (21 years)
  30. Al Kaline 70.8 (22 years)
  31. MIKE TROUT 69.2 (9 years)

On first blush you might think that any list that Trout is #31 on isn’t that impressive. But the thing I like about this list is that it is comprised of the very best players in baseball history: this is the 70 JAWS club (which Trout will officially join a month or two into the season), and there are only 30 position players on it (and 23 pitchers). Note, again, that he’s only played in 9 seasons, 8 of them as a full-time player. The next fewer seasons on this list are Gehrig and Mathews at 17. 

Mike Trout will probably be in the top 20 by the end of the 2022 season. Barring something catastrophic,  he'll be in the top 10 by the end of his career, with a good chance of nudging past Hank Aaron and Rogers Hornsby to be in the hallowed top 5.

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