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27 for Number 27: 27 Amazing Trout Stats (#21-23: OPS, wRC+ and WPA)




By Jonathan Northrop, AngelsWin.com Columnist

My apologizes for the two-month gap in this series--extenuating real-life circumstances (and no, I wasn't sick, but thanks for the concern!). Let's continue...

#21: On-Base + Slugging Percentage

Remember back in the 90s when OPS was the new-fangled stat that only stat-nerds were using? We’ve come along way  from there, with more sophisticated versions, but it was a starting point for looking at total hitting. Like most conventional statistics, it has limited utility historically as it doesn’t account for context. Despite that, Trout is one of only 7 players in major league history with 3,000+ PA to have a career OPS of 1.000 or higher—he’s exactly at that threshold, 7th all-time.

#21a: Career OPS (3,000+ PA)

  1. Babe Ruth 1.164
  2. Ted Williams 1.116
  3. Lou Gehrig 1.080
  4. Barry Bonds 1.051
  5. Jimmie Foxx 1.038
  6. Hank Greenberg 1.010
  7. Mike Trout 1.000

Rest of the top 10: Manny Ramirez .996, Mark McGwire .982, Mickey Mantle .977.

#21b: Career OPS+

Adjusted OPS does account for context, so gives us a more accurate picture of Trout’s historical offensive value. If you’re not familiar with it, it is basically OPS adjusted for context (era, park), and represents a percentage over average (100). Trout ranks even higher:

Career OPS+

  1. Babe Ruth 206
  2. Ted Williams 190
  3. Barry Bonds 182
  4. Lou Gehrig 179
  5. Mike Trout 176

Rest of the top 10: Rogers Hornsby 175, Mickey Mantle 172, Dan Brouthers 171, Joe Jackson 170, Ty Cobb 168.

#22: Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+)

Let’s take it a step further, with one of my favorites: wRC+. If you’re not familiar with it, it is basically a different take on OPS+, but a bit more sophisticated--I see it as the best overall statistic for pure hitting value. 

There are two ways to assess Trout's greatness via wRC+: career and through age 27. Career-wise, he's 6th all-time. Think about that: Trout's offensive out-put so far has been better, pound for pound, than every player in major league history except five: Ruth, Williams, Hornsby, Gehrig, and Bonds. 

Considering that Trout hasn't yet declined, it is more fair to compare him to other greats through age 27Attached is a chart that depicts both. 

#23: Win Probability Added

WPA, or Win Probability Added, isn't a well-known statistic beyond the inner sanctum of sabermetrics, but it offers another useful angle on Trout's greatness. Fangraphs describes it as a statistic that measures how much a player's action increased their team's odds of winning. Meaning, it takes into account the specific context of the plate appearance. It is based on a statistics called Win Expectancy ad unfortunately there is only data going back to 1974, but that's a large enough time-span to be relevant. As it is--like WAR--a cumulative stat, I'm only including through age 27 (he ranks #30 for all players 1974-present).

WPA Through Age 27 (1974-present)

  1. Mike Trout 44.17
  2. Albert Pujols 39.78
  3. Tim Raines 31.88
  4. Alex Rodriguez 29.73
  5. Frank Thomas 29.16

Meaning, Trout--through age 27--has added more to his team's chances of winning than any other player in the last 46 years.



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