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Yet More Trout Porn


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Because you just can't get enough and we all need something to perk ourselves up with.

 

His projected numbers for 2013, in 160 games played:

.324/.400/.564

206 hits

46 2b, 13, 3b, 27 HR

103 RBI, 108 Runs

78-127 walks-strikeouts

35-6 SB

 

Not bad, eh? Now of course he's unlikely to actually play 160 games - he'll probably sit in September, once the Angels are mathematically eliminated. And we don't know whether he'll continue gradually improving or tire like he did last year. My guess is that he continues to go up a bit more and then falls a bit, and finishes with something like:

 

155 games - .320/.400/.550; 40 2b, 10 3b, 25 HR; 100 RBI, 100 Runs; 75 walks, 125 strikeouts; 35-5 Sb-Cs

 

Place on the All-Time Leader Boards (Among Players with 1000+ PA):

wRC+: 158 (11th, tied with Jimmie Foxx and Stan Musial)

 

wRC+ is basically a better version of OPS that takes into account baserunning and is one of the best advanced metrics for offense around. To put the above another way, Trout has been as good an offensive player over his short career as Stan Musial and Jimmie Foxx. In other words, an average Mike Trout season through almost two full years of play is about as good as Foxx or Musial, and this doesn't take into account defense.

 

Players above Trout on all-time wRC+, in ascending order: Pujols, Jackson, Cobb, Mantle, Bonds, Hornsby, Gehrig, Williams, Ruth.

Select players below Trout on the all-time wRC+ list: Ott, Mays, Robinson, Speaker, McGwire, Greenberg, Aaron, DiMaggio, Cabrera, M Ramirez, F Thomas

 

An interesting factoid: the Angels currently have two of the 11 greatest offensive players in the history of the game in their lineup. I know, Pujols is much diminished - but how often do you see that? Ruth and Gehrig

 

Conclusion:

Even if Mike Trout is as good as he'll ever be, and assuming he can hold this level at least through his 20s and with normal decline in his 30s, he's going to finish his career as one of the twenty greatest offensive players in history. Couple that with his excellent defense, and you've got one of the ten all-time greatest players.

 

This, of course, assumes no major injury, and no major hiccups or decline. It also assumes that he doesn't get better, and I think you can make an argument that his hitting numbers will actually improve a bit. The short version is this: Trout has improved his strikeout rate significantly this year, from 21.8% last year to 17.3% this year. That has allowed him to put up the exact same triple-slash numbers as last year despite a lowered BABIP. Also consider that his SLG is exactly the same as last year, despite a drop in HR rate - he's made up for that in more doubles and triples. We don't know yet, but it may be that some of those 2B/3B turn into HR in future years.

 

The point being, he's actually improved his overall approach in order to stabilize his offensive numbers.  I don't think we'll necessarily see a huge spike in numbers or a Cabrera-esque triple-slash, but we could see incremental gains, which will in turn make up for the inevitable decline in base-running and fielding. In other words, while we can't expect Trout to produce a 10 WAR every year, he very well could produce an 8+ WAR in most years over the next decade plus.

 

Now the tricky part is that if I know this, then Jerry Dipoto knows this, and certainly Trout's agent knows this. Signing him to an extension may be trickier than we might think, but the sooner (and longer) it happens the better. As I've said before, a 10/$200M contract might be reasonable, or at least 8/$150M. That breaks down as follows:

 

2014 (22, last pre-arb): $2M (let's throw him a bone, here, Jerry)

2015 (23, arb-1): $10M

2016 (24, arb-2): $13M

2017 (25, arb-3): $15M

2018 (26): $20M

2019 (27): $25M

2020 (28): $25M

2021 (29): $30M

2022 (30): $30M

2023 (31): $30M

 

The 8/$150M contract would take away 2022-23 and add $5M in 2018 and $5M in 2020.

 

Make it happen, Jerry.

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