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27 for Number 27: 27 Amazing Trout Stats (#18-20: Plate Discipline and Slugging)


Angelsjunky

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As has been mentioned already, Mike Trout’s greatness is largely the result of his well-rounded game: he’s a bonafide .300 hitter (career .305 BA, five of eight years above .300), a prodigious power hitter (six of eight seasons of 30+ HR, career .581 SLG), steals bases (averaging almost 25 per season), and is a good defender. But perhaps the key to the entire mix is his plate discipline. Trout is known for his ability to work the count, his pitch recognition, and a rather selflessly patient approach that leads to a ton of walks.

#18a: Walks Through Age 27

  1. Mickey Mantle 892
  2. Eddie Yost 874
  3. Mel Ott 815
  4. Mike Trout 803
  5. Jimmie Foxx 781

As you can see, Trout 4th through age 27, behind Mantle--a very similar player (which we'll look at later)--and a few high walk players who all started very young. Foxx and Ott are well-known Hall of Famers, while Yost is not. As an aside, he was an interesting and rather rare player: he drew 100  walks--123 or more, actually--eight times in his career, leading the AL five times. His career triple-slash was .254/.394/.371, meaning he walked a ton but didn't hit for a high average, never hitting .300, and had little power, only surpassing 12 HR once (21 in 1959, near the end of his career). He also didn't steal bases, meaning he was a one-tool player--drawing walks--but one of the best all-time.

#18b: 100-walk seasons through Age 27

Back to Trout, let's look at those walks from a different angle. Only three players have had more 100-walk seasons through their age 27 season:

5 Adam Dunn, Frank Thomas, Eddie Yost

4 Harlond Clift, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Charlie Keller, Mickey Mantle, Mike Schmidt, Mike Trout, Ted Williams

#19: On-base Percentage

The walks and .300 BA translates to a .419 career OBP, which is 21st all-time, 26th through age 27. That might not be as high as you’d expect, although this is largely on account of overall lower BA in recent years. Trout is 2nd among active players, behind only Joey Votto (.421), and tied for third with Frank Thomas over the last 60 years, behind Votto and Barry Bonds (.444).

Slugging Percentage

Moving away from plate discipline, Trout is even better known for his power. We already discussed his home run totals in a previous installment, but what about slugging? How does Trout's ability to generate total bases per at-bat compare to other players?

#20a: Career SLG

  1. Babe Ruth .690
  2. Ted Williams .634
  3. Lou  Gehrig .632
  4. Jimmie Foxx .609
  5. Barry Bonds .607
  6. Hank Greenberg .605
  7. Mark McGwire .588
  8. Manny  Ramirez .585
  9. Mike Trout .581
  10. Joe DiMaggio .579

As you can see, Trout currently has the 9th highest career SLG. Remember that this is not equalized for era or context, and all of those players played during higher run-scoring contexts. Through age 27, he's at #15 all-time--not as high, but still impressive.

Let's make it more specific, though, and narrow it to contemporary young players:

#20b: SLG 1970-2019, Through Age 27

  1. Todd Helton .622
  2. Albert Pujols .620
  3. Ryan Howard .610
  4. Frank Thomas .593
  5. Vladimir Guerrero .588
  6. Mike Trout .581
  7. Alex Rodriguez .581
  8. Manny Ramirez .576
  9. Nomar Garciaparra .570
  10. Ryan Braun .563

Notice the list of players? Every single one of them played in the inflated offense era (1993-2009) and/or was a known steroid user. This is not to indict any of those players, but to point out that Trout's only company of the last half-century in terms of SLG are players whose numbers are inflated by a very different context.

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