27 for Number 27: 27 Amazing Trout Stats (#5 & #6)

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Chuckster70

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#5: WAR PACE THROUGH OLDER AGES

Here are the top five WAR leaders through the next few years:

Age 28: Cobb  78.6, Hornsby 77.0, Mantle 74.8, Trout 73.4, Foxx 71.3 (Trout’s 5.2 behind)

Age 29: Hornsby 87.9, Cobb 86.4, Mantle 85.1, Ruth 79.4, Rodriguez 77.7 (Trout -14.5)

Age 30: Cobb 97.9, Hornsby 92.5, Mantle 91.1, Foxx 83.6, Ruth 82.9 (Trout -24.5)

In other words, Trout only needs 5.3 WAR in 2020 to maintain his lead through age 28, 14.6 (or 7.3 per year) through 2021 for age 29, and 24.6 (8.2 per year) through 2022 and age 30.

Now unfortunately, the current crisis puts a damper on his pace. Assuming that MLB plays more than half a season, Trout has a good chance of maintaining his lead through age 28. He has averaged 9.9 WAR through 162 games for his career, or 10.5 over the last three seasons, so half a season gives him a shot and 100 games should get him there easily.

Assuming health, he could catch up a bit in 2021, with a real chance of finishing the year with the highest WAR through his 20s in major league history.

Age 30 and 2022 seems less likely. Cobb had a monster age 30 season (11.5 WAR), the highest of his career, and jumped way out  in front.

What about beyond that? Here are the WAR leaders through all ages for the rest of Trout’s contract, with the WAR that Trout needs to average per year to keep pace:

Age 28, 2020: Cobb 78.6 (5.2)

Age 29, 2021: Hornsby 87.9 (7.3)

Age 30, 2022: Cobb 97.9 (8.2)

Age 31, 2023: Cobb 104.4 (7.8)

Age 32, 2024: Hornsby 111.9 (7.7)

Age 33, 2025: Hornsby 123.0 (8.3)

Age 34, 2026: Ruth 126.3 (7.6)

Age 35, 2027: Ruth 136.8 (7.9)

Age 36, 2028: Ruth 147.5 (8.2)

Age 37, 2029: Ruth 156.2 (8.3)

Age 38, 2030: Ruth 163.0 (8.1)

What I find interesting about that list is that the pace remains relatively  consistent: If Trout wants to remain the age WAR leader, he pretty much has to average about 8 WAR per year from here on out. Anything significantly above that and he’s ahead of the curve; anything below, and he starts falling behind.

It is also worth reminding ourselves of the names on that list: all guys who played a century ago, in a very different context. Once we get to the mid-30s, the only recent player in the top 10 is Barry Bonds. Before Bonds you have to go back to Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.

Now it is highly  unlikely that Trout will average 8 WAR per season for the remainder of his career. But he might keep pace for a few years. And more so:  just the  fact that this is worth discussing reminds us just how great he is.

#6: ALL-TIME WAR LEADERS

With only eight full seasons and 1199 games under his belt, Mike Trout is still far down the list of all-time WAR leaders—but not as far as you might think. Trout current ranks at #47 all-time:

40. Charlie Gehringer 78.6, 2323 games

41. Ken Griffey Jr 77.7, 2671 games

42. Bill Dahlen 77.5, 2443 games

43. Johnny Bench 74.8, 2158 games

44. Frankie Frisch 74.8, 2311 games

45. Paul Waner 74.7, 2549 games

46. Ed Delahanty 73.7, 1835 games

47. MIKE TROUT 73.4, 1199 games

48. Derek Jeter 73.1, 2747 games

49. Fred Clarke 72.8, 2242 games

50. Reggie Jackson 72.7, 2820 games

Now consider this: Of the 46 players ahead of Trout, only # 46 Ed Delahanty (73.7 WAR, 1835 games), #39 Dan Brouthers (79.5, 1673), #34 Joe DiMaggio (83.1, 1736), and #29 Roger Connor (86.2, 1997) have played in fewer than 2000 games.

To find a player with fewer than 1200 games played, like Trout, you have to go all the way  down to #224, Charlie Keller with 46.0 WAR in 1170 games. Keller, by the way, is sometimes included among the best players to not be in the Hall of Fame, and that is entirely due to his short career.

In other words, Mike Trout is the  only player in the top 223 position players to have less than 1200 games played, and he’s at #47.

Speculation Time

How quickly will Trout rise in the rankings? Well, obviously we don’t know how Trout will age or how much time he will lose to injury, but let’s play make-believe anyway. Assuming a bit more than a half season this year and similar performance over the three years with steady  decline in his 30s, we get something like this: 5.6, 9, 9, 8, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 (obviously without such an even array, but the point is to give a moderate prediction of what might be ahead). This would yield WAR totals and rankings like so, with the player he would supplant in parentheses:

2020: 79.0, #40 (Charlie Gehringer)

2021: 88.0, #28 (Albert Pujols)

2022: 97.0, #22 (Eddie Mathews)

2023: 105.0, #18 (Frank Robinson)

2024: 113.0, #14 (Mickey Mantle)

2025: 120.0, #12 (Lou Gehrig)

2026: 126.0, #11 (Eddie Collins)

2027: 131.0, #7  (Tris Speaker)

2028: 135.0, #7

2029: 138.0, #6 (Hank Aaron)

2030: 140.0, #5 (Honus Wagner)

In other words, with basic health and without early or steep decline, but balanced with no performance spikes and steady decline, Trout would end up with the 5th highest WAR in major league history, with only Ruth, Bonds, Mays and Cobb ahead of him.

 

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