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Angelsjunky

27 for Number 27: 27 Amazing Trout Stats

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Last year I was playing with the idea of an article series that collected 27 amazing Trout stats that I was going to publish on the blog throughout the offseason. Obviously that didn't happen, but I started it and thought I'd share them over the next month or two, as we face a delayed season of indeterminate length.

Caveat: I'll try to release at least one per day, but don't hold me to it. Some days I might release two or three, some none. But I'll try to be consistent. Feel free to comment in-between posts.

Also, let's make this a "corona-free zone." There are plenty of places to discuss the coronavirus and its implications, but let's give ourselves a break here and focus on THE GREATNESS OF TROUT.

Finally, there is no rhyme or reason. I have a list of 17 or 18 of them so far, and will have to scramble for more. There is also some overlap, especially as--I'm sure you'll guess--a lot of this is focused on WAR and related supernerd stats.

That says, here goes....

#1: CENTER FIELD JAWS LEADERS

JAWS (or Jaffe WAR Score system) is a nifty stat designed by Jay Jaffe that averages out a players career rWAR (Baseball Reference version) with the total of their seven best seasons, and is used primarily as a predictor of whether that player will reach the Hall of Fame. What is nice about it is that it balances career and peak numbers, thus avoiding the often deceiving cumulative-heavy nature of straight-up WAR.

Through 2019, Trout is now, just turned 28-years old, 5th all-time among center fielders, having just passed Ken Griffey Jr. Let me put that another way: Mike Trout has, through his age 27 season, the 5th best Hall of Fame resume among all center fielders in major league history. The impressive nature of that feat is when you look at who is on the list, centerfield being perhaps the most hallowed position on the baseball field, at least in terms of "Hall of Fame density."

The average of 19 Hall of Fame center fielders is 58.0 JAWS; Trout is at 69.2. Here are the above average center fielders, with their number of years played:

  1. Willie Mays 114.9 (22  years)
  2. Ty Cobb 110.0 (24 years)
  3. Tris Speaker 98.4 (22  years)
  4. Mickey Mantle 87.4 (18 years)
  5. MIKE TROUT 69.2 (9 years)
  6. Ken Griffey Jr 68.9 (22 years)
  7. Joe DiMaggio 65.7 (13 years)

Duke Snider, Carlos Beltran, Kenny Lofton, Andruw Jones, Richie Ashburn, Andre Dawson, Billy Hamilton and Jim Edmonds round out CFers with 50+ JAWs.

As you can see, there is a big gap between Trout and those above him, all of whom are all inner circle greats who at least twice as many years. If he maintains a modest (for him) 8 WAR pace, his JAWS should go up by about 4 per year, so he should be passing Mantle by the end of 2024, his age 32 season. If he averages 6 WAR over the course of his 11-year contract, he'll join Mays and Cobb in the 100+ JAWS club.

More JAWS to come...

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This is the type of content I'm looking for during these weird times. 

Thank you, @Angelsjunky.

I'm going to promote this one to the Blog. For the rest of your series can you submit them via the Blog? It creates a thread on the forum here for discussion and to the homepage automatically.

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I very much enjoy the 7-year-peak aspect of the JAWS system, for the reason you mentioned. It gives a good look at how good a guy was in his prime. 

For instance, Derek Jeter has (slightly) higher WAR than the average Hall of Fame shortstop, but he played 20 seasons. His "7 year peak" was 42.4 WAR, while the average Hall of Fame shortstop's was 43.1 WAR. The average HOF shortstop had a better prime than Jeter. 

Mike Trout's 7 year peak as a center fielder is 65.6 WAR.

The average HOF center fielder's 7 year peak? 44.7 WAR. 

Staggering. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Chuckster70 said:

This is the type of content I'm looking for during these weird times. 

Thank you, @Angelsjunky.

I'm going to promote this one to the Blog. For the rest of your series can you submit them via the Blog? It creates a thread on the forum here for discussion and to the homepage automatically.

Alright, Chuck. If you insist ;). The reason  I didn't initially do that is that I didn't want to create 27 different threads over the next month. Seems excessive.

Edited by Angelsjunky

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1 minute ago, Angelsjunky said:

Alright, Chuck. If you insist ;). The reason  I didn't initially do that is that I didn't want to create 27 different threads over the next month. Seems excessive.

AJ, I see that. 

That's fair. 

Just continue posting in this thread then and I'll extract each one and post it to the Blog. 

Thanks again! 

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#2. POSITION PLAYER JAWS LEADERS

So the above compared Trout to center fielders. How does he match up against all position players? Here is where Trout currently resides on the JAWS list for all position players:

  1. Babe Ruth 123.5 (22 years)
  2. Barry Bonds 117.7 (22 years)
  3. Willie Mays 114.9 (22  years)
  4. Ty Cobb 110.0 (24 years)
  5. Hank Aaron 101.7 (23 years)
  6. Rogers Hornsby 100.4 (23 years)
  7. Tris Speaker 98.4 (22  years)
  8. Honus Wagner 98.1 (21 years)
  9. Stan Musial 96.3 (22 years)
  10. Ted Williams 94.9 (19 years)
  11. Eddie Collins 94.1 (25 years)
  12. Lou Gehrig 91.1 (17 years)
  13. Alex Rodriguez 90.9 (22 years)
  14. Mickey Mantle 87.4 (18 years)
  15. Rickey Henderson 84.4 (25 years)
  16. Nap Lajoie 83.8 (21 years)
  17. Mike Schmidt 82.8 (18 years)
  18. Mel Ott 82.4 (22 years)
  19. Albert Pujols 81.0 (19 years)
  20. Frank Robinson 80.1 (21 years)
  21. Joe Morgan 79.9 (22 years)
  22. Cal Ripken Jr 76.1 (21 years)
  23. Carl Yastrzemski 76.0 (23 years)
  24. Jimmie Foxx 75.8 (20 years)
  25. Eddie Mathews 75.1 (17 years)
  26. Roberto Clemente 74.6 (18 years)
  27. Wade Boggs 73.9 (18 years)
  28. Adrian Beltre 71.2 (21 years)
  29. George Brett 71.0 (21 years)
  30. Al Kaline 70.8 (22 years)
  31. MIKE TROUT 69.2 (9 years)

On first blush you might think that any list that Trout is #31 on isn’t that impressive. But the thing I like about this list is that it is comprised of the very best players in baseball history: this is the 70 JAWS club (which Trout will officially join a month or two into the season), and there are only 30 position players on it (and 23 pitchers). Note, again, that he’s only played in 9 seasons, 8 of them as a full-time player. The next fewer seasons on this list are Gehrig and Mathews at 17. 

Mike Trout will probably be in the top 20 by the end of the 2022 season. Barring something catastrophic,  he'll be in the top 10 by the end of his career, with a good chance of nudging past Hank Aaron and Rogers Hornsby to be in the hallowed top 5.

 

#3. WAR7 FOR CENTER FIELDERS and ALL POSITION PLAYERS

Related to the two stats above, but worthy of its own entry, Mike Trout’s WAR7—or seven best seasons of rWAR, according to Baseball Reference—is 65.6, behind only Mays (73.5) and Cobb (69.0) among center fielders. He’s surpassed Mantle (64.7) and Speaker (62.5). In other words, his seven best seasons are only behind Mays and Cobb among all center fielders in major league history.

Here are the above Hall of Fame average (which is 44.7) center fielders by WAR7:

  1. Willie Mays 73.5
  2. Ty Cobb 69.0
  3. MIKE TROUT 65.6
  4. Mickey Mantle 64.7
  5. Tris Speaker 62.5
  6. Ken Griffey Jr 54.0
  7. Joe DiMaggio 52.4
  8. Duke Snider 49.5
  9. Andruw Jones 46.4

Can he pass Cobb or Mays? Maybe Cobb but probably not Mays. As things stand right now, his seven best years according to rWAR are: 10.5, 10.5, 10.2, 9.6, 8.9, 8.2, 7.7. Let’s say he eventually replaces those bottom three with three 10 WAR seasons; that would get him to around 70 WAR7: ahead of Cobb, but still well behind Mays. The only way he beats Mays is if he has another performance spike.

But that's a tall order, especially now that 2020 will be abbreviated. That said, he does have a good chance of adding a few points to his WAR7.  Just one 9 WAR season gets him up to around 67.

How does Trout stack up against all position players?

  1. Babe Ruth 84.8
  2. Rogers Hornsby 73.7
  3. Willie Mays 73.5
  4. Barry Bonds 72.7
  5. Ty  Cobb 69.0
  6. Lou Gehrig 68.1
  7. Ted Williams 67.9
  8. MIKE TROUT 65.6

Meaning, considering how many of the all-time best players are center fielders, he  only slides to 8th. And he has a very good chance of passing Williams and Gehrig.

So let me say this one more way: Mike Trout has already had one of the eight or so best peaks in major league history. Let that sink in.

One final note on WAR7: this number won't go away or get lower. In other words, he's got this locked up for years to come and will forever be among the greatest peak players in major league history, no matter how he performs in the second half of his career.

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#4. WAR THROUGH AGE 27 SEASON

The next stat is one of my favorites, but also one that has been talked about extensively: WAR leaders through age 27, Trout’s official age for the 2019 season (the age threshold is June 30 to July 1). For the next three installments, we’ll be using Fangraphs’ version of WAR (aka ‘fWAR’).

WAR Leaders Through Age 27

  1. Mike Trout 73.4
  2. Ty Cobb 68.8
  3. Mickey Mantle 67.9
  4. Rogers Hornsby 64.6
  5. Jimmie Foxx 64.6
  6. Alex Rodriguez 62.0
  7. Mel Ott 61.5
  8. Ken Griffey Jr 57.0
  9. Tris Speaker 54.4
  10. Eddie Collins 53.7

If you want to know why some consider Trout to be the best player in baseball history, and why that idea isn’t as ludicrous as it might sound, you can start by looking at this statistic. What it tells us is this: Trout has been the best position player in major league history through his current age.

Now certainly it is probable that eventually he’ll fall behind, especially as Babe Ruth—who  didn’t become a full-time position player until his age 24 season (1919), and thus Trout has a four-year head start on--catches up. And of course Bonds’ spike in his late 30s led him to be only one of two players, along  with Ruth, to have surpassed 150 WAR for his career.

With that in mind, what lies ahead? What does Trout need to do to keep the pace?

#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.

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#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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Most amazing stat is the fact that Trout only had 79 RBI's in 2018, which I consider his best season with the bat of his Major League career. That's would be like Gerrit Cole winning just 12 games last season despite having an elite ERA of 2.50.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, JustATroutFan said:

Most amazing stat is the fact that Trout only had 79 RBI's in 2018, which I consider his best season with the bat of his Major League career. That's would be like Gerrit Cole winning just 12 games last season despite having an elite ERA of 2.50.

It reminds me a bit of Barry Bonds in 2003, when hit .341/.529/.749 with 45 HR in 130 games, but only 90 RBI. I think it was the lowest RBI total for a season with 45+ HR. 

Fewest RBI with HR totals:

50+: 110, Brady Anderson (1996)

45+: 90, Barry Bonds (2003)

40+: 80, Joey Gallo (2017)

35+: 74, Joc Pederson (2019)

30+: 59, Curtis Granderson (2016), Jedd Gyorko (2016), Kyle Schwarber (2017)

 

Edited by Angelsjunky

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1 hour ago, Angelsjunky said:

@Chuckster70, given that I'm mostly posting these in pairs, maybe posting to the blog isn't such a bad thing to share the love. I imagine there are many Angels fans out there that could use some Trout love. What do you think?

yes, let's do it. 

 

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