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Angelsjunky last won the day on March 12 2019

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  1. We’re not quite done with WAR yet. In previous installments, the focus has been on Mike Trout in terms of all-time WAR and single season WAR. What about peak era? Specifically, how does Trout match up against his peers over his career, and how does his full-time span of eight years match up against all-time greats? #12: Dominance Over Peers (2012-19 WAR) Trout has been a full-time player since 2012, a span of eight years. The first Amazing Trout Stat in this installment is 2012-19 WAR. Here are the WAR leaders during Trout’s full-time career: Top Ten WAR Leaders: 2012-19 Mike Trout 72.7 Buster Posey 47.1 Josh Donaldson 41.8 Paul Goldschmidt 38.6 Andrew McCutchen 37.7 Mookie Betts 37.2 Bryce Harper 35.1 Joey Votto 34.9 Jose Altuve 34.8 Robinson Cano 34.7 Now consider what that means: Not only has he contribute +25.6 WAR above everyone else, or +3.2 per year, but he has contributed more WAR value than any two players ranked #6 or lower. Meaning, add #6 (Betts) to anyone below him, and Trout has contributed more value than both players combined. Let’s look at this visually: I think that image speaks for itself. While Posey is solidly above the rest of the field, everyone else evenly tapers off. Trout is a giant among lesser men. But to add one more number to the mix, Trout’s 72.7 WAR is 154% better than #2 during that same time-span, Buster Posey. Meaning, he’s more than one-and-half times the value of the second most productive player of his era. #13: Eight-Year Spans (1871-2019) How does Trout’s eight-year span compare to other all-time greats? Well, I calculated every eight-year span in the history of baseball going back to 1871, and came up with the following list (note that I only included the very best span of each player): Best Eight-Year Spans (1871-2019) Babe Ruth 89.7 (1920-27) Ted Williams 77.1 (1939-42, 46-49*) Rogers Hornsby 76.9 (1920-27) Honus Wagner 76.0 (1902-09) Barry Bonds 75.6 (1997-2004) Willie Mays 75.3 (1958-65) Lou Gehrig 74.1 (1927-34) Mike Trout 72.7 (2012-19) Mickey Mantle 72.1 (1954-61) Ty Cobb 72.0 (1910-17) *For Williams I didn’t include the absent or partial years lost to WWII. As you can see, the only comparable players in the post-WWII era are Mays, Mantle, and Bonds. Every one else played in the first half of the century, in a very different context (e.g. eight-team leagues, no black players, fewer relief pitchers). In other words, Trout truly is the modern era version of Mays or Mantle, and doing so while playing in a more difficult context. As a side note, if you’re wondering where Bonds would rank with only pre-1998 spans, his best “untainted” eight-year span is 1990-97, when he accumulated 69.5 WAR—still good enough to be #10. One final note: While this is an exciting statistic to contemplate, it is highly unlikely that Trout will ever do better. His first two years are also his highest WAR totals at 10.1 and 10.2, in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Still, I think he looks just fine as the eighth-best eight-year span in major league history (or 32nd best if you count every span of every player), or the second best of the post-WWII era.
  2. Yep. Williams belongs in the inner circle. He and Mantle were as good as anyone, but both lost time for different reasons: Williams to war, Mantle to boozing.
  3. Thanks. Could you change the threat title to #7-11? Just a minor detail.
  4. #7-11: 8, 9, and 10 WAR SEASONS For this installment we'll combine several variations on the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric with regards 8, 9, and 10 WAR seasons, each of which deserves its own entry as Amazing Trout Stats. But first, some context. If you want to skip to the five Amazing Trout Stats, they're summarized at the end. 8+ WAR And What It Means Historically One of the things I like about WAR, and probably why it has become so ubiquitous in baseball discussion, is that it is a statistic that factors in everything a player does, and represents it with a single number that has representational meaning. As a general rule, a 2-3 WAR player is an average regular. Or more exactly, the median among all qualifying players in a given year is around 2.7 WAR. 3-4 are good players, 4-5 are borderline stars, 5-6 all-star caliber, and somewhere between 6 and 7 WAR transitions into superstars, with 7 WAR and above being bonafide MVP candidates. If a player has an 8 WAR or above, he’s a candidate for the best player in the majors. But 9 WAR is where we get to truly special seasons, and 10 WAR is historic. From 1871 through 2019—a span of 149 years of recorded data—there have been 15,444 qualifying player seasons. Of those, only 54 have been 10 WAR or higher; 140 have been 9 WAR or higher and 277 8 WAR or higher. Meaning, historically speaking, there’s been about one 10 WAR season every three years, one 9 WAR season per year, and two 8+ WAR seasons a year. But what about recently? Over the last decade, 2010-19, there have been four 10 WAR seasons, nine 9+ WAR seasons, and twenty-two 8+ WAR seasons. Or to sum up: A 9 WAR season happens usually only about once per year, or a bit less. There are two, occasionally three, 8 WAR seasons in a given year. For the sake of context, here are the numbers for the last decade, including all 4,466 player seasons with at least 100 PA: WAR Distribution 2010-19 (100+ PA) 10 WAR: 4 (one every 0.4 years) 9 WAR: 9 (one every 0.9 years) 8 WAR: 22 (2.2 every year) 7 WAR: 53 (5.3 per year) 6 WAR: 115 (11.5 per year) 5 WAR: 238 (23.8 per year) 4 WAR: 440 (44 per year) 3 WAR: 764 (76.4 per year) 2 WAR: 1320 (132 per year) 1 WAR: 2160 (216 per year) 0 WAR: 3400 (340 per year) Negative WAR: 1066 (106.7 per year) Why 100 PA? Because that cuts out just about every NL pitcher, and it also is a solid, if arbitrary, number to represent any player who spent significant time in the major leagues. Of those 4466 player seasons, only 1429—about a third—are qualifying (502 PA), but 100 PA is as good a number as any to represent “major leaguer,” whether full or part time, injured or healthy. To put that in context, 8 WAR seasons represent just under half a percent (0.49%) of all player seasons with at least 100 PA—or one out of every 200 major leaguers (100+ PA). Among qualifiers, it is 1.54%. 9 WAR seasons are even more rarified: 0.2% of 100 PA seasons, or 0.63% of qualifiers. 10 WAR? 0.09% of 100 PA, 0.28% of qualifers. So we’re in rare company, indeed, when we get to 8 WAR. 10 WAR has a certain magic to it, but the vast majority of those were distributed in the first half of major league history, as single season WAR has tightened up, probably due to higher quality of competition (meaning, there are fewer outliers). Remember that Babe Ruth only faced seven different pitching staffs in every year of his career, staffs that relied on starters pitching most or all of the game, without fresh relievers and specialists coming in later in the game. Or let's look at it visually: Ruth is the only player to surpass 13 WAR, which he did four times, including a ridiculous 15.0 in 1923 (that lone green box way up above everything else). He has two more 12 WAR seasons, with Barry Bonds (twice), Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby filling out the ranks of the ten 12 WAR seasons. What about 11 WAR? There have been 25 in all, but from 1949 to the present--the last 71 years--there have been only seven such seasons: two by Mickey Mantle in the 1950s, one by Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, one by Joe Morgan in 1975, and three by Barry Bonds in the early 2000s. The point being, aside from Bonds’ asterisked later years, there hasn’t been an 11 WAR season since 1975—that’s 45 years ago. This, again, is likely due to the wider distribution of talent. As I said earlier, there’s been about one 9 WAR per season historically, although in the latter half the rate has gone down to about one every year. In other words, 9 WAR is quite special. If you reached 9 WAR, chances are you were the best player that year. If you reach 8 WAR, you're one of the two or three best. If you reach 7 WAR, you're great--an MVP candidate--but probably not the best player in the game. What About Trout? But this series is about Mike Trout, right? All of the above is context to, once again, highlight just how amazing #27 is. Trout has played eight full years, although in one (2017) he missed significant playing time, appearing in only 114 games, but just enough to qualify (507 PA). In seven of those eight seasons, he surpassed 8 WAR. In five seasons, 9 WAR, and in two seasons, 10 WAR (Baseball Reference is slightly different, giving him six, four, and three, respectively). What that means brings us to this amazing statistic, the first of our Amazing Trout Statistics: #7a - Share of Great Seasons (1901-2019): Mike Trout accounts for two (or 3.7%) of the 54 10 WAR seasons, five of the 140 9 WAR seasons (3.6%), and eight of 277 8 WAR seasons (2.9%). In other words, Trout alone has contributed one out of every 29 or so truly great seasons in major league history, plus or minus a few, depending upon which benchmark you use. #7b - Share of Great Seasons (1970-2019): If we narrow to the last half century, when the outliers diminished greatly, Trout's accomplishments are even more impressive: Two of 13 10 WAR seasons (15.4%), five of 48 9 WAR seasons (10.4%), and eight of 110 8 WAR seasons (7.3%). There are many ways to slice the cake, all of which very favorable for Trout. How many players in major league history have a similar resume of great seasons? Well, this brings us to three more Amazing Trout Stats: #8 - Players with seven 8 WAR seasons: Ruth and Willie Mays 11 each, Bonds 10, Honus Wagner, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, and Ted Williams 8, Eddie Collins and Mike Trout 7 each. #9 - Players with five 9 WAR seasons: Ruth 10, Hornsby and Bonds 8 each, Mays 7, Wagner, Williams, and Alex Rodriguez 6 each, Collins, Ty Cobb, and Trout 5 each. #10 - Players with two 10 WAR seasons: Ruth 9, Hornsby 6, Bonds 5, Mays and Williams 4 each, Cobb and Mantle 3 each, Wagner, Gehrig and Trout 2 each. Look at that list—every single one of them (in bold-face)--except for Trout--are in the top 14 of career WAR: Babe Ruth 168.4 Barry Bonds 164.4 Willie Mays 149.9 Ty Cobb 149.3 Honus Wagner 138.1 Hank Aaron 136.2 Tris Speaker 130.4 Ted Williams 130.4 Rogers Hornsby 130.3 Stan Musial 126.8 Eddie Collins 120.5 Lou Gehrig 116.3 Alex Rodriguez 113.7 Mickey Mantle 112.3 47. Mike Trout 73.4 And now for the fifth in this installment: #11 - The Sacred Seven: Trout is one of only seven players in baseball history who reached all three benchmarks -- along with Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, and Barry Bonds Meaning, Trout is one of seven players--arguably the seven greatest in baseball history--to reach all three benchmarks. Collins, Cobb, Gehrig, and Rodriguez miss the cut in at least one category.Perhaps even more impressive is who is notably absent from any of the three benchmarks, inner circle Hall of Famers such as Hank Aaron, Tris Speaker, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Mike Schmidt, Rickey Henderson, Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan, Jimmie Foxx, and everyone else. In other words, in terms of the number of MVP caliber or better seasons, Trout has—through only his age 27 season—established himself among the very best of the best. And at 28 this year, he’s far from finished. Among other feats of prowess, he has a good chance of becoming only the fourth player with double-digit 8 WAR seasons (along with Ruth, Bonds, and Mays). SUMMARY OF AMAZING TROUT STATS #7-11: #7a - Share of Great Seasons (MLB History): Among 12,991 qualifying seaons from 1901 to 2019, or 119 years, Mike Trout accounts for two of the 54 10 WAR seasons (3.7%), five of the 140 9 WAR seasons (3.6%), and eight of 277 8 WAR seasons (2.9%). In other words, Trout alone has contributed one out of every 29 or so truly great seasons in major league history, plus or minus a few, depending upon which benchmark you use. #7b - Share of Great Seasons (Modern Era): Among 6,988 qualifying seasons from 1970-2019, or 50 years, Trout has contributed two of 13 10 WAR seasons (15.4%), five of 48 9 WAR seasons (10.4%), and eight of 110 8 WAR seasons (7.3%). #8 - 8 WAR Seasons: He's one of only nine players with seven 8 WAR seasons. #9 -9 WAR Seasons: He's one of only ten players with five 9 WAR seasons. #10 - 10 WAR Seasons: He's one of only ten players with 10 WAR seasons. #11 - Combination of 8-9-10 WAR Seasons: He's one of only seven players with least seven 8 WAR seasons, five 9 WAR seasons, and two 10 WAR seasons.
  5. More impressively, he'll have a career OBP well over .400, and a SLG in the high .500s. If Trout had played in the inflated offense era of 93-09, he'd probably have a career BA around .320.
  6. I'll do some math. He's got 11 years left on his contract. He might play a year two after that, so let's say he plays 12 more seasons--that's through 2031 age 39. Let's say he averages 120 games for those 12 years, which accounts for injury and maybe reduced playing time in his later years. In his 1199 games played he's average 3.6 at bats per game. 1400 x 3.6 = 5040 at bats to go. 5040 + 4340 (his current total) = a career final 9380 at bats. It might be more, it might be less - but that sounds about right. To hit .300 (or .2995) in 9380 at bats, he needs 2810 hits. Assuming 5040 remaining at bats, in order to hit different career batting averages he'd need to hit the following for the rest of his career: CAREER BA: Rest of year BA needed .310: .314 .300: .295 .298: .291 .295: .286 .290: .276 .285: .267 .280: .258 For a shorter career, those numbers would need to go up a bit, for a longer career, down. My guess is that he hits about .290 for the rest of his career, maybe a bit lower as I suspect his BA will start going down in a few years, so ends his career in the mid to upper .290s. Just a guess, obviously.
  7. I doubt he stays in the .300s. He'll probably finish somewhere in the .290s.
  8. I voted "calm" but really it should be "concerned," between calm and worried. I also could pick numerous of the last poll - spending time with family, writing, watching movies, a bit of work.
  9. Come one, that's just not true. I mean there's no difference here...
  10. 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)