Saturday, September 3, 2016

Mike Trout - the Greatest Young Player of All Time

With several weeks still to go in his age-24 season, Mike Trout has passed Ty Cobb for most career Wins Above Replacement through age 24:

Rk Player WAR/pos From To HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG
1 Mike Trout 46.9 2011 2016 165 484 134 .306 .404 .560
2 Ty Cobb 46.7 1905 1911 36 601 341 .359 .407 .501
3 Mickey Mantle 40.9 1951 1956 173 575 43 .308 .412 .560
4 Alex Rodriguez 38.0 1994 2000 189 595 133 .309 .374 .561
5 Ken Griffey 37.0 1989 1994 172 543 88 .306 .379 .541
6 Mel Ott 36.8 1926 1933 176 711 38 .315 .412 .548
7 Rogers Hornsby 36.1 1915 1920 36 360 71 .323 .384 .467
8 Jimmie Foxx 36.0 1925 1932 174 667 29 .336 .432 .625
9 Arky Vaughan 34.3 1932 1936 53 429 33 .336 .429 .496
10 Ted Williams 34.2 1939 1942 127 515 11 .356 .481 .642
11 Al Kaline 33.5 1953 1959 125 544 51 .311 .374 .489
12 Eddie Mathews 31.5 1952 1956 190 492 26 .279 .388 .559
13 Andruw Jones 31.0 1996 2001 150 465 106 .268 .337 .487
14 Vada Pinson 30.9 1958 1963 102 446 131 .309 .355 .492
15 Johnny Bench 30.7 1967 1972 154 512 20 .271 .334 .488
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/3/2016.

The best player in the game might be having his best year yet - he's already at +9 WAR (more than a full win better than anybody else), with a .320 average, 26 HR, 103 runs, 87 RBI, 21 SB, and a league-leading .438 OBP.

The best young player who didn't go on to have a Hall of Fame career? Vada Pinson is the highest ranking player in the above list who is eligible for the Hall of Fame but isn't inducted, although Andruw Jones will probably join him when he becomes eligible in a couple years.

6 comments:

  1. Vada Pinson a nobody, well I mean that in the sense that I bet it's a great story that I've never heard

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    1. My dad's favorite player when as a kid.
      The Reds came up with Pinson and Frank Robinson in the '50s, and both were starters at age 20. Notice you don't see Robinson in the above list, which should tell you that Vada was at least as promising as Frank as a young player. But Pinson receded to average in the late '60s, while Robinson went to Baltimore, won the Triple Crown, and had the second half of a Hall of Fame career.

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    2. FYI: The author only listed the top 15. Frank Robinson wasn't far behind, he was #18 on that list.

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  2. Williams would be much higher on that list if not for WWII. He was in military service in his age 24 season. The value listed for Williams is actually his year 23 WAR, which stayed flat till he returned to MLB at age 27.

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    1. Yep. If Williams had played a full season in 1943, he would rank at least 4th on that list, and probably 3rd (behind only Trout and Cobb).

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  3. The differences in games played are not shown here, some of these men were regulars before age 20 and some were not. As noted, Ted Williams missed his age 24 season.
    Vada Pinson should not be listed. While many sources have him playing regularly at age 20, he had lied about his birth year. He was actually 22 years old that season

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