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)
- Babe Ruth 1.164
- Ted Williams 1.116
- Lou Gehrig 1.080
- Barry Bonds 1.051
- Jimmie Foxx 1.038
- Hank Greenberg 1.010
- 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:
- Babe Ruth 206
- Ted Williams 190
- Barry Bonds 182
- Lou Gehrig 179
- 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)
- Mike Trout 44.17
- Albert Pujols 39.78
- Tim Raines 31.88
- Alex Rodriguez 29.73
- 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.