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Trout's May 2018 OPS


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Something I have been watching is Trout's BABIP this year. For much of this year, it has been far below his standard clip, dipping down into the .280s. As a result, his batting average has hovered around .300. Well, its now back and just about right on his career average: .353 as of today (career .355). And, what-do-you-know, his batting average has soared up to .336. This is a little lower than I had predicted before the season, and that is largely because his k rate has bounced back up a little, where as I had expected it to continue trending downwards (26.1% in 2014, 23.2% in 2015, 20.1% in 2016, 17.8% in 2017, 18.1% in 2018). Even with his k% bouncing a little, as far as I can tell, his slash line on the year seems about in line with what you'd expect from him, with the adjustments he's been making. There is a little more power this year, but that has also been trending up over the last 3-4 years, so that's not shocking either. The gap between his batting average and OBP is almost exactly in line with his career gap between those figures, so its totally reasonable to expect it to hover around .450. I'm sure he will go through slumps, but...man. This is incredible.

Trout is the real f*cking deal. Everyone else is trying to catch up, but Trout is more concerned with finding new ways to be the best. On top of all this, his defense appears to have bounced back to his rookie levels this year. Fangraphs projects out Def, which is similar to baseball references dWAR (in this case, they call it "Defense - Fielding and Positional Adjustment combined (above average)"). The most generous projections had him at 1.1 Def. He has already hit that at 34 games played.

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18 minutes ago, krAbs said:

. This is a little lower than I had predicted before the season, and that is largely because his k rate has bounced back up a little, where as I had expected it to continue trending downwards (26.1% in 2014, 23.2% in 2015, 20.1% in 2016, 17.8% in 2017, 18.1% in 2018). Even with his k% bouncing a little, as far as I can tell, his slash line on the year seems about in line with what you'd expect from him, with the adjustments he's been making.
 

There is no meaningful difference between an 18.1% K rate and a 17.8% one.  Over the course of 650 plate appearances, that's a difference of 2 strikeouts.  It's just noise, especially this early in a season.

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If Trout stays healthy, and doesn't dip too much at the end of the year, he'll finish with a .320+/.450+/.650+, 10+ fWAR line...maybe even threaten 11 fWAR if the defensive improvement is real. As @krAbs pointed out, his BABIP has returned closer to career norms so we're seeing relatively sustainable performance. In fact, last year his triple-slash was lower than it should have been due to a low BABIP.

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If Trout puts up .3 WAR (baseball ref) this week he will pass 4 Hall of Famers including Willie Stargel, Joe Torre, and Hank Greenberg. He'll pass them when he gets .3 WAR, it could be this week is what I mean.

If he gets to 65.0 wins by the end of the season he'll pass 40 HOFers and some active/recently retired future Hall of Famers. It would require about a 10 win season for him to do it. It's possible.

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6 minutes ago, jsnpritchett said:

There is no meaningful difference between an 18.1% K rate and a 17.8% one.  Over the course of 650 plate appearances, that's a difference of 2 strikeouts.  It's just noise, especially this early in a season.

That's true - I more meant that part of me expected his K rate to drop again. Obviously that's still possible (it IS early), but part of my point is that its not really necessary for it to drop anymore. Also, I mean...i'm 70% sure that Trout is technically human, so it seems like he can only linearly improve a number like that for so long...

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21 minutes ago, Lou said:

How on earth can he be getting better? 

His ability to make adjustments is better than anyone I've seen. I remember during the 2014 season, pitchers figured out he was susceptible to a firm fastball elevated and in. He's figured out not only how to hit that pitch but lay off of it.

 

I think it was @Dochalo that said it best in another thread...he just sees things at the plate that nobody else does. The ball probably looks really big and easy to hit to him at this point

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3 minutes ago, Sherlock31 said:

Tell me something I don't know.....

Trout had bad months of May, by his standards, in 2014 and 2015. In 2014, I remember that he started off horribly. Batted like .100 in his first 30 at bats, what!? Crazy but I thought he loves hitting in the month of May!

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