The HyperTexts

Is Mike Trout the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all Time)?
Mike Trout Records & Projections
Mike Trout WAR WATCH: How many Hall-of-Famers will he pass this year?

Is it time to start calling Mike Trout baseball's "WAR Lord" ... the "God of WAR" ... and perhaps "The GOAT"? After all, Trout seems to have a realistic chance to break Babe Ruth's all-time record for WAR and become the GOAT (the Greatest of All Time). These are our top ten Mike Trout nicknames:

The Millville Meteor
The Natural
The Franchise
The Phenom
The Kid and Kiiiiid (as he spelled it on a jersey when he was allowed to pick his own nickname)
The Archangel
Halo Man and Lights Out Trout
Steelhead, Rainbow and Cutthroat (three superior athletes among the trout family)
The War God and The War Lord

If you're looking for more Mike Trout nicknames, we have quite a collection here. You can use CTRL-F to find the keyword "nicknames" or use your browser's search function. Or if you're more interested in baseball stats, records and history, please keep reading ...

Mike Trout was the GOAT at Age 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24!

As Neil Paine pointed out, "Through every single age in which he played a full season, Mike Trout has been the all-time career leader in [cumulative] WAR for position players. It was true through age 20, age 21, age 22, age 23 and ó after posting 10.6 WAR in 2016, a performance that basically matched his previous single-season peak ó age 24. No player has ever started his career on this kind of tear ó not Ruth, not Cobb, not Mantle, nobody!"

In other words, nearly 20,000 men have played major league baseball and not a single one of them was as good as Trout at any age he has reached so far!

Only three players in MLB history have had six seasons of WAR 5.0 or higher, by age 25. One is Mike Trout. The other two are Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle. They also rank 1-2-3 in cumulative WAR by age 24 and age 25.

And as crazy as it sounds, Trout is still getting better! For instance, in 2017 his OBP soared to .442, his slugging percentage to .630, and his OPS+ to 187. Those are crazy heights, Ruthian heights.

Only three things in life are certain: death, taxes and Mike Trout leading all MLB in WAR.  

Or as one analyst put it recently: "It gets said all the time, but Trout simply has no peers in the game today." Perhaps even more amazingly, Trout has very few peers in the past, and he could eclipse them! We are seeing something completely unprecedented: a player with a chance to be better than Mickey Mantle, better than Ty Cobb, even better than Babe Ruth ... if he can keep it up. Trout is much faster than Ruth, much stronger than Cobb, and (as far as we know) much cleaner-living than Mantle. While Trout could slow down, there is also the possibility that he may continue to improve (which seems to be the case so far).

However, because he missed nearly a third of the 2017 season, Trout fell just short of Cobb's age-25 cumulative WAR of 55.8. As of October 1, 2017, Trout was sitting on 55.2 with the season over. But it took Cobb around 600 more at-bats to earn that extra .6 WAR. That's nearly a full season of at-bats, so the WAR bonnet still goes to Trout because with 600 more at-bats it wouldn't even be close!

Or take the active players Trout is closest to in WAR: Joey Votto (54.7) and Ian Kinsler (55.0). Neck-and-neck! Too close to call, huh? Not really. Votto has played 4 more seasons that Trout, and Kinsler has played 5 more years. Trout is averaging 9.2 WAR per full season. So he would nearly double Kinsler's WAR if he just keeps up his current pace for 5 more seasons. Yes, Votto and Kinsler have been great players, but Trout is playing in another league. If you think about it, the mind boggles. Joey Votto has played at an all-star level for 11 years, averaging nearly 5.0 WAR per season. But if Trout had played 11 seasons, at 9.2 WAR per season, he would have 101.2 WAR, or nearly double Votto's total. Now the players with 100 WAR for their careers are rare indeed. We are talking about legendary players like Joe Morgan, Mike Schmidt, Frank Robinson and Mel Ott. But it took them 18 to 22 years to reach that exalted level. If Trout just maintains what he's been doing, he will reach that same exalted level in around half the time. That's how good ó no, truly great ó he is.

Trout finished the 2017 season tied with Jeff Kent at 55.2 WAR. How good was Kent? Pretty damn good. He was a five-time all-star, a four-time Silver Slugger winner, and the NL MVP in 2000, when he hit .334 with 33 homers and 125 RBI. Kent had eight seasons with 100 or more RBI, and three seasons with 120 or more RBI. He finished his career with 1,518 RBI, which is more than Mickey Mantle, Eddie Matthews, Jim Rice and Mark McGwire. Kent slugged a stellar .500 for his career, tied with Tris Speaker, Goose Goslin, Roy Campanella and Ernie Banks. Kent looks like a legitimate candidate for the Hall of Fame. So how close is the race between Kent and Trout? Not close at all, because Trout accumulated his WAR in six seasons, while Kent played seventeen years, or nearly three times as long.

To understand how much more WAR he's been producing than the average baseball star (while that may sound like an oxymoron, Trout really does make other stars seem average by comparison), please consider that in 2017, despite missing nearly nearly a third of the season due to injuries, when he returned to action Trout was still ahead of studs like Butch Posey, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Cody Bellinger. And within a few weeks Trout was catching and passing superstars who were having outstanding seasons, such as Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts, Carlos Correa, Jose Ramirez, Charlie Blackmon, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rendon and Justin Turner. Are you impressed with the power of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge? Well, Trout was in a virtual three-way tie with them for MLB's highest slugging percentage, with .630. (BTW, Judge and Trout are the same age, both finishing their age 25 seasons. Judge has 7.6 career WAR and Trout has 55.2. Are they really comparable?) Do you think Bryce Harper will be one of the all-time greats? Well, Trout has more than double Harper's career WAR. Do you think Jose Altuve is the second coming of Joe Morgan? Well maybe, but Trout seems to be the second coming of Mickey Mantle ... or perhaps even better.

According to Fangraphs, if the world stopped today, this is how Mike Trout would rank among the greatest center fielders of all time: #1 in wRC+ (tied with Mickey Mantle), #2 in slugging (behind only Joe DiMaggio), #6 in OBP, #7 in BABIP, #9 in wOBA.

The reality is that it's not really even all that close. Yes, Bryce Harper and Joey Votto are great players, by historical standards. But, no, they are not close to Mike Trout in WAR per season played. Miguel Cabrera is not all that close to Trout, nor is Albert Pujols. Do you think A-Rod is a great player, except that he cheated? Well, guess again, because A-Rod's steroid-infused OPS+ of 140 falls far short of Trout's 173. Giancarlo Stanton's career OPS+ is 146. But this year Trout's OPS+ was in the 200-215 range, before his injury. A-Rod never had an OPS+ higher than 176. Votto never had an OPS+ higher than 177. Cabrera never had an OPS+ higher than 190. Pujols never had an OPS+ higher than 192. Mike Trout is flying in a far more elevated stratosphere. The only players who rival Trout's career OPS+ of 172 are Mickey Mantle, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds, Ted Williams and Babe Ruth. However, Trout's OPS+ continues to climb. If he keeps it up, his only rival will be Babe Ruth. But Trout started accumulating major WAR at age 20, while Ruth had his first huge WAR year at age 24. So Trout has a YUGE head start. Unless Trout slows down, it seems he has the advantage over everyone, including the Bambino!

So far, in 2017 five players have made the "20-20 Club" with 20 homers and 20 stolen bases: Jose Altuve, Mookie Betts, Elvis Andrus, Tommy Pham and Mike Trout. But Trout did it in 98 games! The great Willie Mays did it six times in his storied career. Trout has done it four times already, and he's just now reaching his prime years.

As for rumors of the Philadelphia Phillies acquiring Mike Trout in a trade ... well, they would have to trade their entire major league roster ... all their best prospects (if they have any left) ... the busts of Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts ... and the freakin' Mint and the Liberty Bell!

Hall-of-Fame Players Mike Trout has Already Passed

Note: The ages below are Trout's at the beginning of the season in question.

Mike Trout age 20 career WAR 11.5 passed: Charlie Comiskey, Connie Mack, Leo Durocher

Not much to crow about here; these are players who are much better known as managers.

Mike Trout age 21 career WAR 20.8 passed: Casey Stengel, Ned Hanlon, Al Lopez, Tommy McCarthy, Bucky Harris, Wilbert Robinson

Still not much to crow about here: more managers and otherwise dubious members of the HOF.

Mike Trout age 22 career WAR 28.8 passed: Ray Schalk, Freddie Lindstrom, High Pockets Kelly, Lloyd Waner, George Wright, Monte Irvin, Billy Southworth

Lloyd "Little Poison" Waner is the first "big" name here, but perhaps mainly because his brother Paul "Big Poison" Waner played beside him (there may be some coat-tail riding involved). "Little Poison" did hit .316 with 2,459 hits, but his OPS+ is a plebian 99. Monte Irvin was a victim of racial discrimination who would have ranked higher if he had been able to play longer, because his 125 OPS+ is around the median for the HOF. But there's still not a lot to crow about here, since 867 players had more than 28.8 career WAR at the time I wrote this.

Mike Trout age 23 career WAR 38.1 passed: George Kell, Bill Mazeroski, Pie Traynor, John Ward, Miller Huggins, Jim Bottomley, Roy Campanella, Ross Youngs, Chick Hafey, Rick Ferrell

In one of the great ironies, Rick Ferrell's brother Wes was a pitcher, and his OPS, OPS+ and slugging percentages were markedly better than the HOF batter's! How can that happen? But there are some impressive names here. Pie Traynor hit .320 and was one of the best third basemen of baseball's early years. Jim Bottomley hit .310, slugged .500 and drove in 1,422 runs. Roy Campanella was one of the greatest catchers ever: a three-time MVP who slugged .500 for his career (second all-time at his position). In his youth he was a victim of racial discrimination; later in life he was injured. As result, he had only had six superior seasons. But when he was in his prime, Campanella was really something. I have him second only to Johnny Bench in my personal catcher rankings, and that is mainly because Bench was so good defensively with 10 consecutive Gold Gloves, home run power, and that cannon arm.

Mike Trout age 24 career WAR 48.5 passed: Dave Bancroft, Earl Averill, Johnny Evers, Buck Ewing, Jim Rice, Kiki Cuyler, Ernie Lombardi, Heinie Manush, Frank Chance, John McGraw, Deacon White, Lou Brock, Edd Roush, King Kelly, Sam Thompson, Travis Jackson, Chuck Klein, Hugh Duffy, Rabbit Maranville, Earle Combs, Hughie Jennings, Red Schoendienst, Roger Bresnahan, Phil Rizzuto, Hack Wilson 

There are more outstanding names here. Earl Averill hit .318 and slugged .534. Jim Rice slugged .502 with 382 homers and 1,451 RBI. Kiki Cuyler hit .321 and scored 1,305 runs. Ernie Lombardi was one of the better slugging catchers. John McGraw had an utterly stellar career OBP of .466 (third all-time after Ted Williams and Babe Ruth), but was so lacking in power that he somehow managed to only slug .410! Lou Brock was one of the greatest base-stealers of all time with 938 and he scored an impressive 1,610 runs. Sam Thompson hit .331 and slugged .505 with a healthy 147 OPS+. Chuck Klein hit .320 and slugged .543. Hack Wilson slugged .545 with a 144 OPS+ and he holds the all-time single season RBI mark at 190.

Mike Trout age 25 career WAR 55.2 as of October 1, 2017 passed: Enos Slaughter, Billy Herman, Bill Terry, Max Carey, Wee Willie Keeler, Tony Perez, Joe Sewell, Gabby Hartnett, Harry Hooper, Joe Tinker, Jimmy Collins, Elmer Flick, Sam Rice, Bid McPhee, Mickey Cochrane, Jim O'Rourke, Bobby Doerr, Kirby Puckett, Joe Kelley, Orlando Cepeda, Tony Lazzeri, Larry Doby, Ralph Kiner, Nellie Fox

Mike Trout has now passed 75 HOF position players!

Enos Slaughter had one of the all-time great baseball names and was an all-star for ten consecutive seasons (124 OPS+). Billy Herman was a defensive star at second who hit .304 (112 OPS+). Bill Terry, the last NL player to hit .400, had a career .341 batting average (136 OPS+). Max Carey hit .285 (108 OPS+) with 738 steals and 1,545 runs. Wee Willie Keeler was famous for "hittin' it where they ain't." Tony Perez, known as "Mr. Clutch," was one of the greatest RBI men of all time, with 1,652 (more than Rogers Hornsby, Joe DiMaggio, Ernie Banks, George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Harmon Killebrew, Willie McCovey and Willie Stargell). Joe Sewell was a good-hitting shortstop (.312, 108 OPS+) who holds the records for the lowest strikeout rate in major league history (once every 63 at-bats). Gabby Hartnett was a slugging catcher (.297, .489 SP, 126 OPS+) known for his strong, accurate throwing arm. Hartnett was the first catcher to hit 20 homers, and he was considered to be the greatest NL catcher before Johnny Bench. By passing Joe Tinker, our young WarLord has now passed the entire Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance double-play trio! Elmer Flick had a stellar 149 OPS+. Sam Rice hit .322 with 1,514 runs. Bid McPhee (1,684) and Jim O'Rourke (1,729) are in the top 30 all-time in runs scored. Mickey Cochrane was an all-world catcher in his day; he hit .320 with a marvelous .419 OBP that remains in the all-time top 20; in fact, the immortal Jimmie Foxx had to change positions because he couldn't dislodge Cochrane at catcher! Kirby Puckett was a ten-time all-star who won six Gold Gloves and six Silver Sluggers. Ralph Kiner slugged .548 with a 149 OPS+ and led the NL in homers for seven consecutive years, starting as a freakin' rookie! Nellie Fox was an MVP and 15-time all-star.

Hall of Fame players Mike Trout will be passing early in the 2018 season ...

Joe Medwick (55.6) was a premier slugger in his day (134 OPS+).
Luis Aparicio (55.7) won 9 gold gloves and stole 506 bases.
Bill Dickey (55.8) was an all-time top ten catcher (127 OPS+).
George Sisler (57.0) had a career .340 batting average (125 OPS+) and hit .400 twice.
Willie McCovey (57.5) hit 475 homers and had 1,540 RBI (147 OPS+).
Hank Greenberg (57.5) slugged an otherworldly .605, sixth on the all-time list (158 OPS+).

There are some very impressive names on the lists above, and Mike Trout is just entering his prime playing years ...

When Mike Trout passed Mickey Cochrane (52.2 WAR), he also became the all-time Angels WARrior by passing pitcher Charles Finley, who amassed 52.2 WAR as an Angel in 14 seasons from 1986-1999. Trout had already passed all Angels position players, including Vladimir Guerrero, Garrett Anderson, Tim Salmon, Jim Fregosi, Brian Downing, Rod Carew and Bobby Grich.

The WAR-7-WAR Screen

Here's a screen I developed to compare Trout to the greatest position players of all time. The screen I chose is players with over 100 career WAR with an average seasonal WAR for their peak seven years (i.e., WAR7 divided by 7) of 8.0 or higher (i.e., MVP-caliber numbers). In other words, each player had to appear in the highest ranks for career achievement (total WAR), plus in the MVP category for at least seven years. Needless to say, anyone who appears in this list is an all-time great of the highest magnitude. For the "starting date" (which will prove very important below), I used the age at which the player had either his first year 10+ WAR season, or his highest WAR season. Since Trout has not played seven full seasons yet, I used his total WAR for the five full seasons he has played, divided by five. Here are the results:

Babe Ruth 163.1 WAR with a peak average of 12.1 starting at age 25
Willie Mays 156.2 WAR with a peak average of 10.5 starting at age 23
Rogers Hornsby 127.0 WAR with a peak average of 10.5 starting at age 25
Barry Bonds 162.4 WAR with a peak average of 10.4 starting at age 36 (*)
Ty Cobb 151.0 WAR with a peak average of 9.9 starting at age 23
Ted Williams 123.1 WAR with a peak average of 9.9 starting at age 22
Mike Trout 48.4 WAR with a peak average of 9.7 starting at age 20 (he had an amazing 10.8 WAR in his first full season)
Lou Gehrig 112.4 WAR with a peak average of 9.7 starting at age 24
Honus Wagner 131.0 WAR with a peak average of 9.3 starting at age 31
Mickey Mantle 109.7 WAR with a peak average of 9.2 starting at age 24
Stan Musial 128.1 WAR with a peak average of 9.2 starting at age 27
Alex Rodriguez 117.7 WAR with a peak average of 9.2 starting at age 24 (***)
Eddie Collins 123.9 WAR with a peak average of 9.1 starting at age 23 (when he had his first and only 10+ WAR season)
Tris Speaker 133.7 WAR with a peak average of 8.9 starting at age 24 (when he had his first and only 10+ WAR season)
Barry Bonds 111.1 WAR with a peak average of 8.9 starting at age 36 (**)
Albert Pujols 100.2 WAR with a peak average of 8.8 starting at age 29 (when he had his highest WAR season at 9.7)
Hank Aaron 142.6 WAR with a peak average of 8.6 starting at age 27 (when he had his highest WAR season at 9.4)
Nap Lajoie 107.4 WAR with a peak average of 8.6 starting at age 31 (when he had his first and only 10+ WAR season)
Joe Morgan 100.3 WAR with a peak average of 8.4 starting at age 31 (when he had his first and only 10+ WAR season)
Mike Schmidt 106.5 WAR with a peak average of 8.4 starting at age 24 (when he had his highest WAR season at 9.7)
Alex Rodriguez 102.4 WAR with a peak average of 8.0 starting at age 24 (****)

(*) Barry Bonds didn't have his first 10+ WAR season until he was 36. That is obviously very unusual, and the Occam's Razor answer to the question raised is that Bonds would be much lower on this list if not for PEDs. From age 21-35, Bonds amassed 111.1 WAR in 15 seasons, for an average of 7.4, which is a bit below MVP level. He averaged 7.3 WAR from age 29-35, after having reached the 9.0-9.9 level three times from age 25-28. His WAR looks pretty "normal" for an MVP-caliber player: he started off a bit slow, then played "lights out" for a short period of time in his prime years (when he won three MVP awards), then his WAR started to slide a bit as he got older, although he continued to play at an "almost MVP" level. But if we look at his WAR just before it zoomed up to unprecedented heights, it had dropped to 5.75 in his age 34-35 years. That's still an all-star level, but nothing like what came next. The next two seasons, age 36-37, his WAR soared to the 11.8-11.9 range. No other player in baseball history had WAR that high at those ages even once, much less twice!

(**) My "educated guess" is that if Bonds hadn't cheated and kept playing, his peak average WAR would have been 8.9 (the average of his seven best WAR years prior to age 36, since his WAR had peaked years before and was starting to slip considerably, as noted above). The 111.1 WAR estimated is the WAR he had accumulated prior to what seems like obvious cheating. I have no idea what his performance would have been like without PEDs, so I will stick with the last known good number. I think this little chart demonstrates that Bonds was still an all-time greatranking close to sluggers like Aaron, Pujols and Schmidt―but without PEDs he was not playing at the same exalted level as Ruth, Mays, Hornsby, Cobb, Williams, Trout, Gehrig, Wagner, Mantle, Musial and Collins.

(***) Alex Rodriguez seems to be a somewhat different case, because apparently he used PEDs all his career, or nearly all his career. It does seem interesting that A-Rod's WAR soared in 2000, which is around the time that Bonds' WAR also started to soar. So let's assume that A-Rod started cheating in 2000, which I believe he admitted (although his story has changed more than once).

(****) Prior to the 2000 season, Rodriguez had averaged 7.1 WAR per season, which would keep him off this list. But he was young and could have been expected to improve in his prime without cheating. To estimate some sort of reasonable WAR without PEDs, I took his actual average WAR (7.1) for his first four seasons, figured a jump up to MVP class for the next seven seasons (8.0 average), then estimated 18.0 WAR for his declining years. That makes my "wild guess" estimate 102.4.

I think the chart above tells us two very interesting things about Mike Trout:

(1) The average "peak period starting age" above is nearly 26 years old. Trout started younger than anyone else, at age 20, while the second-youngest starter, Ted Williams, missed five prime years due to military service. One of the 23-year-olds starters Willie Mays, also missed substantial playing time due to military service. Another, Eddie Collins, was a great player but never had another 10+ WAR season, and Mike Trout has already has two, and was well on his way to another in 2017, before he was injured. Babe Ruth was a slow starter because he was primarily a pitcher in his younger years. So Trout has quite a "jump" on everyone in the pack, and the statistics that follow on this page will bear that out.

(2) The data above suggests that superstars generally enter their "super prime" years around age 26, so it's very possible that we have yet to see the best of Mike Trout. Before he was injured (notes below), he was on pace for a 12-WAR season in 2017. That is Ruthian territory, as the chart above confirms. Ruth was the only player in baseball history who averaged 12 WAR for his seven best seasons. If Trout matches that, with the huge "jump" he has on the Bambino, he seems destined to become the GOAT, barring injuries or burnout. But even if Trout drops to the lowest "WAR rate" above, 8.4, because he accumulated more than 50 WAR so quickly, he would only have to play 13 more years to break Ruth's record. Of course averaging "only" 8.4 WAR is beyond most mortals, but it may not be beyond our newest baseball demigod. However, a more likely scenario is that Trout will average around 10 WAR for around seven seasons, then start to gradually slip at some point in his thirties. Could he still break Ruth's WAR record? Absolutely. If we add 70 WAR to Trout's estimated 56.5 career WAR at the end of the 2017 season, that gives him around 127, or about the same as Rogers Hornsby, at the still-young age of 32. That leaves Trout only 36 WAR short of breaking the record. If he played until age 40, he would only have to average 4 WAR per season, and that seems very do-able as long as he stays reasonably healthy. But what if Trout reaches his prime in his late twenties or early thirties, as did Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Albert Pujols, Honus Wagner, Nap Lajoie and Joe Morgan? Then all bets are off, and Ruth's record could fall much faster.

Injury and Reactivation Notes

NOTE: Mike Trout was injured while sliding into second base on May 28, 2017. We adjusted his projected WAR for the 2017 season and have resumed our Trout "WAR Watch" now that he is back in action. The information on this page is kept up to date for anyone who has an interest in Trout's career and his meteoric climb on the WAR charts. It truly is something to behold, like watching Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays at the height of their powers!

INJURY UPDATE: As of the All-Star break, Mike Trout had played in only 47 games, yet still led the Angels in home runs (16), triples (2), intentional walks (10), batting average (.337), OBP (.461), slugging (.742), OPS (1.203), OPS+ (219), oWAR (3.4) and WAA (2.7). Trout was second in WAR (3.4) and walks (36), third in stolen bases (10), and fourth in doubles (14), runs (36), RBI (36) and total bases (121). For a full 162-game season, that would translate into 55 homers, 35 steals, 124 runs, 124 RBI and 417 total bases!

TROUT'S RETURN: When Mike Trout returned to action after the all-star game, despite having missed nearly half the season, he still had higher WAR for the 2017 season than stars like Buster Posey, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Cody Bellinger, Giancarlo Stanton, Manny Machado, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman. As of July 23, 2017, Trout ranked eighth in WAR in the AL, despite having 133 to 209 fewer at-bats than the players above him.

TROUT'S 2017 WAR PROJECTION: Incredibly, despite missing 47 games, Mike Trout still projects to have around 8.0 WAR for the 2017 season, and that is an MVP-caliber number! Granted, it will be hard for him to catch Jose Altuve or Aaron Judge, who are having phenomenal seasons. But would they even be in the running, if they had missed 47 games? The question is, of course, rhetorical. Only Mike Trout is playing at that exalted level. But at least one number-cruncher thinks they will end up with around the same WAR by season's end. Perhaps most amazingly, Trout has already passed Bryce Harper, his main current rival for the mantle of baseball's WAR-Lord! How is that possible? Well, since returning to action, Mike Trout has once again been on fire, and is currently (as of August 3, 2017) leading all MLB by vast margins in slugging percentage (.700), OBP (.459), OPS (1.160) and OPS+ (206). Trout recently became a member of a very exclusive club, when he became only the fourth American League player to hit at least 20 home runs six times before his age 26 season, joining Alex Rodriguez, Tony Conigliaro and Mickey Mantle. For younger fans who may not recognize Conigliaro's name, he was a budding superstar for the Boston Red Sox, and at age 20 the youngest player ever to lead the AL in home runs, until he suffered a severe beaning and retired at age 26 with damaged eyesight.

On August 7, 2017, Mike Trout celebrated his 26th birthday by getting his 1,000th hit and hitting a home run. It's the fourth time that he's hit a home run on his birthday.

According to Fangraphs fWAR, as of August 9, 2017, despite missing nearly a third of the season, Mike Trout has already passed Mookie Betts, Joey Votto, Justin Turner, Corey Seager and Bryce Harper and is now tied for fifth in MLB (both leagues) behind only Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rendon, Jose Altuve and Aaron Judge! Trout is only .1 behind Goldschmidt and Rendon, and gaining fast.

According to Fangraphs fWAR, as of August 13, 2017, Mike Trout has also passed Paul Goldschmidt and Anthony Rendon, and now trails only Jose Altuve and Aaron Judge! And he's gaining fast on them. It seem increasingly likely that he will catch them, barring another injury. With Trout back in the lineup and leading the way, the Angels have won eleven of their last fifteen games (73.3%) and are suddenly in contention for a wild card spot in the playoffs. Is Mike Trout an MVP candidate? Hold on to your baseball caps, because it may be a really wild ride on the Trout Train!

According to Fangraphs fWAR, as of August 19, 2017, Mike Trout now trails only Jose Altuve and Aaron Judge, and is only fractions of a "WAR point" behind them. As impressive as Judge has been, Trout is slugging a hundred points higher. If Altuve blinks, Trout will catch him, and he may well catch him even if Altuve continues to excel. 

After missing two more games with a stiff neck, Mike Trout returned on August 30, 2017 to go four-for-four with a walk, homer, triple, four runs and an RBI! The exit velocity of all four hits was over 100 MPH. According to Fangraphs, Trout accumulated .4 fWAR in a single game. That's crazy ... crazy good. But Trout has had six other .4 fWAR games in his career, and one .5 fWAR game.

As of September 16, 2017, according to ESPN and, Mike Trout is now second only to Jose Altuve in WAR among position players. This, despite Trout having nearly 200 fewer at-bats than Altuve! Trout now has a healthy WAR lead on the rest of the MLB top ten: Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Votto, Aaron Judge, Kris Bryant, Jose Ramirez, Paul Goldschmidt, Charlie Blackmon and Jonathan Schoop.

As Henry Druschel noted: "If thereís one lesson from this exercise, itís this: donít bet against Trout. In the month of August, heís had a 276 wRC+. He has done more for the Angels lineup over that time than Altuve and Judge combined, and not by a small margin. Thatís how you accumulate a full win in less than two weeks. And we should acknowledge another reason Troutís 2017 is remarkable: when heís been healthy, heís been good, almost without exception. After his insane July, Altuve has joined Judge on the six-WAR plateau, and unless one (or both) of them regain their form from earlier in the season, Trout is going to catch them in a matter of days. (I seem to remember someone else pointing out that Trout's worst week this season resulted in an OPS of .865... it is really crazy to be that consistently good!)

Mike Trout did have a bit of a slump at the end of the 2017 season, but still finished seventh in WAR (6.7), ahead of Jose Ramirez, Mookie Betts, Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Charlie Blackmon, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rendon and Justin Turner. Trout finished second only to Joey Votto in OBP, at .442. He finished in a virtual three-way tie with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in slugging percentage, at .630. And if he had played a full season, it wouldn't have been a close race for the WAR title. Trout would have won it in a landslide. His projections for 162 games: 180 hits, 137 walks, 134 runs, 36 doubles, 4 triples, 48 home runs and 32 steals!

The Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips Trades

What a difference a trade (or two) can make! The Angels now have three of the AL's top five position players, according to WAR, in Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton. They also have two of the AL's top RBI men with Upton third and Pujols fifth. (And of course Trout would probably be in the top ten if he hadn't missed so many games.) Left field has suddenly gone from a minus to a big plus. And the Brandon Phillips trade fills the second of two "black holes" in the Angels lineup.

How does the Just-in-Time Upton trade affect Mike Trout and the Angels? Of course only time will tell, but it could be YUGE. As discussed in the "Supporting Casts" section, throughout his career Trout has suffered from offensive support that has wavered from less-than-great to woeful. Most great hitters have had much better supporting casts: Ruth had Gehrig, Mays had McCovey, Aaron had Mathews, etc. As Albert Pujols has aged and lost effectiveness, Trout has increasingly suffered from a lack of protection in the batting order. Justin Upton, a former number one overall draft pick, a four-time All-Star leftfielder and a two-time Silver Slugger recipient, could change that very quickly. In 2017 at the time of the trade Upton had slashed .279/.362/.542/.904 with 37 doubles, 28 home runs, 94 RBI, 10 steals, 5.2 WAR, a 136 OPS+, and a 138 wRC+ (38% above average at the plate). Upton's 65 extra-base hits ranked third in the AL. His 249 total bases were just 11 fewer than Aaron Judge's. His getting an extra base hit every 12.5 plate appearances leads the AL. And Upton was in the AL top ten in runs, RBI, WAR, OPS, OPS+, SLG, wOBA, wRC+, RC, RC27, PPA, ISO, SEC and BABIP. Upton also had 10 defensive runs saved to go along with a 2.4 UZR.

Even better for Angels fans, Upton had been blistering the ball in the second half of the season, slugging .631 with 13 homers. As reported by USA Today, "Dating back to July 1 of last year, Upton has raked at a .273/.351/.551 pace with 51 homers in 831 plate appearances. That line includes an even more magnificent .282/.368/.578 slash over the past calendar year. Over his past 631 plate appearances, Upton has clubbed 41 home runs." Upton's at-bats per homer rate of 16.4 in 2017 is comparable to Nolan Arenado, Jake Lamb and Chris Davis. That .578 slugging percentage puts him in the same class as Aaron Judge, Joey Votto and Arenado.

With the addition of Upton, the Angels now have three of the top twelve MLB players in WAR: Trout, Simmons and Upton. As a consequence of the trade, Trout should see more hittable pitches and have more chances to score. For instance, Upton grounds into double plays much less frequently than Pujols, by a factor of 6 to 21. And Sports Illustrated has already called the acquisition of Upton one of the top ten August waiver trades in MLB history, comparing this trade to ones involving David Ortiz, Larry Walker, Jeff Bagwell and David Cone. Angels fans certainly hope SI proves correct!

Brandon Phillips and his .291/.329/.423 slash line with 11 homers and 10 steals will be another marked upgrade, since the Angels' second baseman have slashed a dismal .196/.271/.318 for the 2017 season. Phillips is a three-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove winner, and the recipient of a Silver Slugger. Also, he is "perfectly symmetrical" in speed-power, with 208 career homers and 208 career steals. Among all MLB second basemen, he ranks #6 in hits, #7 in average, #8 in doubles, #9 in runs, #10 in at-bats, and in the top 15 in homers, steals, RBI, OBP, SLG and OPS.

Where do the Angels go from here?

The new Angels batter "power ranking" should look something like this: CF Trout (#1), LF Upton (#2), SS Simmons (#3), 1B Cron (#4), 2B Phillips (#5), RF Calhoun (#6), 3B Escobar/Valbuena (#7), Maldonado (#8), Pujols (#9). And while the slash line for Pujols looks awful, he continues to drive in runs at around a 100 RBI pace. It will be interesting to see if he drops in the lineup: probably not. Since Trout, Upton, Simmons and Phillips all can run, it would be interesting to see a batting order something like this: Trout, Upton, Simmons, Phillips, Pujols, Cron, Calhoun, Escobar, Maldonado. That would cut down on double plays, and get the two best hitters the most at-bats. The bench would consist of Graterol (C), Perez (C), Valbuena (1B/3B), Cowart (2B), Fontana (SS), Pennington (2B/3B), Eric Young Jr. (OF), Revere (OF). The biggest question would be who to give the most innings at third: Escobar, Valbuena, Cowart or Pennington?

In their first game together, on September 1, 2017, the Angels' revamped batting order was: Phillips, Trout, Upton, Pujols, Simmons, Calhoun, Cron, Maldonado, Pennington. So far things are working out splendidly! In the first inning, Phillips and Trout walked, Upton advanced them to 2nd and 3rd with an infield grounder, then Pujols drove in both runners with a double! So far the new Angels lineup seems heavenly! (Well, except for Angels pitchers giving up 10 runs!)

With two major upgrades at left field and second base, and pitchers like Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney coming back online and hopefully performing well, the Angels should have a chance to make the playoffs. With four-fifths of the potential starting rotation having been injured and unable to play for much of the season, it's a minor miracle that the Angels remain in contention for a wild card spot, especially considering their offensive woes.

Angels Injury List

As of September 1, 2017: Garret Richards has reportedly been throwing 98 mph heaters and is ready to return to the starting rotation. Andrew Heaney struck out 10 batters in 6 innings in his first start after returning from the IL. Tyler Skaggs is pitching again. Bud Norris is on the 10-day IL with right knee inflammation. Yunnel Escobar has been rehabbing, but had a setback on August 31 and may be day-to-day. Reliever Huston Street has been rehabbing in the minors and may be able to return for the season's final weeks. Alex Meyer may return sometime in late September. Matt Shoemaker, Andrew Bailey, J. C. Ramirez and Nick Tropeano will hopefully be back for the 2018 season.

Where does Mike Trout go from here?

A writer recently noted that Trout had a "terrible" OPS of .922 in July, which I found amusing. Trout's worst month would be heaven for nearly anyone else, so it's very appropriate that he plays for the Angels!

Ironically, if Trout is to become baseball's "WARleader," the last active player he will pass on his "WARpath" will be his Angels teammate, Albert Pujols. From age 21-30, Pujols amassed 81.1 WAR, averaging a stellar 8.11 WAR per season, with a high of 9.7. But the new would-be "WAR King" has averaged an even-more-stunning 9.6 WAR for each of his first five full seasons. If he keeps up that insane pace, Trout could pass Pujols before his 30th birthday. If so, he will have accumulated the same WAR as Pujols, in seven fewer seasons. That is truly remarkable, considering how great Pujols has been, and for so many years. But if you check out the "WAR Chart" at the bottom of this page, you will see that Trout has already zoomed past a host of all-time stars, surpassing what they accomplished in half the playing time, or less!

Before he was injured, Trout had a real chance for a 12 WAR season. How rare is that? Very rare indeed. In fact, only three players have accomplished the feat: Babe Ruth (three times), Carl Yastrzemski (when he won the AL triple crown in 1967), and Rogers Hornsby (when he hit .424 in 1924). Was there a chance that Mike Trout could have won the AL triple crown in 2017? Yes, although Trout may have had trouble leading the league in RBI because his supporting cast is so weak. This dire situation is discussed in the "Supporting Cast" section later on this page. Here was the situation as of May 27, 2017 just before Trout was injured:

Mike Trout #1 in batting average: .342
Mike Trout #1 in home runs: 16
Mike Trout #4 in RBI: 36 (just 4 behind the league leader at the time, Nelson Cruz)

This, despite the fact that Trout had already walked 35 times and pitchers would rather not pitch to a player with a monstrous .752 slugging percentage, when the players hitting behind him are Albert Pujols (slugging an anemic .381) and Luis Valbuena (slugging a microscopic .271). There was already talk going around that Trout might eventually get the "Barry Bonds treatment," which means being intentionally walked with the bases loaded. But if anyone can win the triple crown on a team with no protection in the lineup, it's Mike Trout. If his teammates began to offer Trout some decent hitting support, it might be an upset if he doesn't win the triple crown someday very soon.

Cumulative WAR through Completion of Age 24 Season

The names of active players appear in bold text.

(1) Mike Trout 48.5 (Already more than the career WAR of Hall-of-Famer superstars like Kiki Cuyler, Earle Combs, Chuck Klein, Hack Wilson, Jim Rice and Lou Brock!)
(2) Ty Cobb 46.7 (Cobb had 522 plate appearances by the end of his age 19 season, compared to only 135 for Trout, but Trout "leapfrogged" Cobb by being better sooner.)
Willie Mays (*) could have appeared here with 44.8 projected WAR if he hadn't missed nearly two years due to military service.
Ted Williams (*) could have appeared here with 44.8 projected WAR if he hadn't missed a year due to military service.
(3) Mickey Mantle 40.9 (Mantle is the player most like Trout in skills, and even in looks, but so far Trout is essentially an MVP season ahead in WAR.)    
(4) Alex Rodriguez 38.0    
(5) Ken Griffey Jr. 37.0
(6) Mel Ott 36.8
(7) Rogers Hornsby 36.1
(8) Jimmie Foxx 36.0
Jackie Robinson (*) may have appeared here with 35.3 projected WAR if he hadn't been a rookie at age 28, but this is the wildest of guesses.
(9) Arky Vaughn 34.3
(10) Ted Williams 34.2 (*)
(11) Al Kaline 33.3
Stan Musial (*) could have appeared here with 32.9 projected WAR if he hadn't missed a year due to military service.
Bryce Harper 32.9 (Projected at the end of his age 24 season, if Harper keeps up his torrid 2017 pace.)
(12) Eddie Matthews 31.5
(13) Johnny Bench 30.7
(14) Tris Speaker 30.1
(15) Hank Aaron 29.9
(16) Frank Robinson 29.7
(17) Albert Pujols 29.2
(18) Rickey Henderson and Eddie Collins 28.1
(19) Cal Ripken 27.9
(20) Joe DiMaggio 26.3 (**)
Babe Ruth 20.1 (***)

According to the stats above, Mike Trout is off to the fastest start in baseball history! He also has the highest OPS among active major league baseball players, ahead of superstars like Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt and Ryan Braun. Trout's career OPS+, which is still climbing, is already higher than that of legendary Hall-of-Famers such as Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Al Simmons, Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

(*) Ted Williams did not play his age 24 season because he was serving in the U.S. military during WWII. If he had played and matched his 10.6 WAR of the two previous seasons, he would have 44.8 WAR to rank third, after Trout and Cobb. Stan Musial and Willie Mays also missed years prior to age 25, due to military service. Mays missed one full year and most of another. In an interesting synchronicity, Mays also had a 10.6 WAR season (his when he returned), and when I did my projections, I came up with exactly the same WAR for Williams and Mays! Then when I did projections for Musial and Bryce Harper, I again came up with exactly the same projected WAR! Kinda eerie, in a good way. Jackie Robinson got a very late start, due to racial discrimination that made him a rookie at age 28. For Robinson, I used his actual WAR for his first five seasons.

(**) Joe DiMaggio missed three years in his prime, due to military service during WWII. But his service years were after his age 24 season and do not affect the table above.

(***) Babe Ruth was a "slow starter" in terms of WAR because he was a pitcher through his age 22 season, then split his time between pitching, first and the outfield during his age 23 season. He did not become a full-time hitter until his age 24 season, when he immediately went on the "WARpath."

As great as Joey Votto, Ryan Braun and Buster Posey have been, Mike Trout has already passed them in career WAR. And if 2017 is a typical "Troutian" year, by season's end, at age 25, Trout will have passed Hall-of-Fame legends like Yogi Berra, Hank Greenberg, George Sisler, Bill Terry, Joe Medwick ... and, at opposite ends of the size spectrum, Wee Willie Keeler and hulking Willie Stargell! If you want to keep an eye on things, please refer to the TROUT WATCH at the bottom of this page. It shows each "leap" Trout makes over the big fish in the "WAR Pond."

Cumulative WAR through Completion of Age 25 Season

Mike Trout has been so good at such a young age that he recently joined an elite club: players with 50 or more career WAR in their age 25 season.

Mike Trout 56.5 (projected; see the "WAR Chart" toward the bottom of this page for year-by-year projections)
Ty Cobb 55.8
Ted Williams 55.4 (projected because he missed two seasons serving in the military during WWII)
Mike Trout 52.9 (actual, after returning from an injury during the 2017 season; barring another injury he seems likely to rise to the top of this list)
Willie Mays 52.4 (projected because he had not missed nearly two seasons serving in the military during WWII)
Mickey Mantle 52.1

WAR Comparisons, Peak Years, Ranked by "WAR Floor" (Lowest Seasonal WAR During Peak Period)

How consistently great has Mike Trout been? Well, since he became a full-time player, in his "worst season" he had 115 runs, 111 RBI, 39 doubles, 9 triples, 36 homers, 83 walks, 338 total bases, 16 stolen bases with an 89% success rate, and slugged .561 with a .938 OPS! That is a career year for virtually anyone else!

Mike Trout, age 20-24, 7.9 to 10.8 (with ~ 12.1 projected at Trout's 2017 pace before being injured)
Willie Mays, age 23-35, 7.6 to 11.2
Lou Gehrig, age 23-34, 6.8 to 11.8
Eddie Collins, age 22-29, 6.5 to 10.5
Babe Ruth, age 24-29, 6.3 to 14.1 (**)
Mickey Mantle, age 22-29, 6.3 to 11.3
Barry Bonds, age 23-33, 6.2 to 9.9 (here again, Bonds was great but not in the highest stratosphere until he began using PEDs around age 34)
Mike Schmidt, age 24-34, 6.2 to 9.7
Hank Aaron, age 21-35, 6.2 to 9.4
Wade Boggs, age 25-31, 6.2 to 9.1
Tris Speaker, age 21-29, 6.1 to 10.1
Rickey Henderson, age 21-27, 6.0 to 9.9
Honus Wagner, age 25-35, 5.8 to 11.5
Ty Cobb, age 20-31, 5.6 to 11.3
Albert Pujols, age 21-30, 5.5 to 9.7
Met Ott, age 20-29, 5.5 to 8.9
Rogers Hornsby, age 21-29, 5.4 to 12.1
Alex Rodriguez, age 20-32, 4.7 to 10.4 (if he hadn't used PEDs most or all his career, Rodriguez might not appear in this list)
Stan Musial, age 22-36, 4.6 to 11.1
Jimmie Foxx, age 21-27, 4.6 to 10.5
Frank Robinson, age 20-30, 4.3 to 8.7
Ken Griffey Jr., age 21-28, 3.3 to 9.7

According to the stats above, Mike Trout has a higher "floor" than these all-time greats because his lowest full-year WAR was MVP-class at 7.9. A season with WAR 8.0 or higher is generally considered to be an MVP-candidate season, and Trout has had 7.9 WAR or higher in every full season he's played. (To confirm the WAR Level, Trout has finished first or second in the MVP voting for every full season he's played.) Trout has been consistently great. One writer described Trout's career so far as "consistent excellence" compared to the ups and downs of Bryce Harper, his closest active peer. Another writer described Trout as "ruthlessly excellent" with echoes of Babe Ruth. Trout has also been called "freakishly good." The closest player in year-to-year consistency to Trout was Willie Mays, but his prime began three years later than Trout's, age-wise. In MLB history, there has never been a player who had five straight MVP-caliber years, who started as young as Mike Trout and was as consistently great.

(**) Babe Ruth only played 110 games in 1922, due to a suspension for barnstorming and did not have one of his best seasons when he returned to action, ending up with 6.3 WAR. Ruth's weight ballooned to 255 pounds in 1925, and he only played 98 games during his "bellyache" season, which interrupted a string of superlative seasons from 1923-1932. If not for those two sub-par years, Ruth would top this chart. If we ignored his "real war" years, Ted Williams would top this chart with a "WAR floor" of 8.5 from age 22 to 30.

So far, in every full season he's played, Trout's OPS+ has never dropped below third in MLB. That is truly remarkable "consistency of excellence."

Trout is a member of a very exclusive list of players who won two MVP awards before their 25th birthdays. The others are Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle and Johnny Bench.

By the end of the 2017 season, barring injuries, Trout should head a very rare list of players with 50+ WAR by their 25th birthdays. Second and third on the list would be Ty Cobb (55.8 WAR) and Mickey Mantle (52.1 WAR). Ted Williams would undoubtedly be on this list, if not for his military service during WWII.

Mike Trout is the only MLB player to have a 10.8 or higher WAR season at age 20. His closest competitors in this regard are Mantle and Lou Gehrig, who both did it at age 24.

Active Players Ranked by OPS+

How does Mike Trout compare to the best active players (those in the Top 100 of all time), ranked by OPS+?

(#96) Andrew McCutcheon and Freddie Freeman (137 OPS+) comparable to Ken Griffey Jr., George Brett
(#89) Buster Posey (138 OPS+) comparable to Bill Terry, Home Run Baker
(#83) Josh Donaldson (139 OPS+) comparable to Reggie Jackson, Norm Cash
(#75) Bryce Harper and Ryan Braun (140 OPS+) comparable to Duke Snider, Alex Rogriguez
(#69) David Ortiz (141 OPS+) comparable to Babe Herman, Chipper Jones, Larry Walker
(#61) Giancarlo Stanton (142 OPS+) comparable to Cap Anson, Eddie Collins, Mike Piazza
(#41) Paul Goldschmidt (148 OPS+) comparable to Harry Heilmann, Mike Schmidt, Willie Stargell
(#26) Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera (154 OPS+) comparable to Honus Wagner, Frank Robinson
(#18) Joey Votto (157 OPS+) comparable to Tris Speaker, Mel Ott, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron
(#6) Mike Trout (172) comparable to Mickey Mantle and Rogers Hornsby; higher than Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, et al.

The only players who rank above Mike Trout in career OPS+ are Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby. Now of course some of the active players above may slip in the all-time rankings as they age, especially if they play several seasons with diminished skills. But on the other hand, some players may improve their stats before they start slipping. So far, Mike Trout's OPS+ has been going up, approaching the Ruthian regions.

Will Mike Trout Finish as the Greatest Centerfielder of All Time ... or is he ALREADY the GREATEST?

If Mike Trout keeps up his torrid 2017 "WARpath," he should end his age 25 season with around 60-62 career WAR. If he has another "average" Trout season in 2018, by the end of his age 26 season, he will have passed EVERY hall-of-fame centerfielder in major league baseball history, except for the following immortals: Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Mickey Mantle, Ken Griffey Jr., and Joe DiMaggio. But how long can they avoid Trout's relentless "WAR-slought"? In any case, at the still-tender age of 25, Trout will already be one of the seven greatest centerfielders of all time, according to WAR. But according to OPS+, Trout is already number one, at 172, tied with Mickey Mantle. A plus sign indicates a hall-of-fame centerfielder. Names in bold are active players.

Player (years) WAR

Mike Trout (15) 158 (projected after 15 seasons; see the WAR Chart for more details)
Willie Mays+ (22) 156.3 Mike Trout should pass his 20th hall-of-fame centerfielder around age 34. Willie Mays, the "Say Hey Kid," was the ultimate phenom ... before Mike Trout.
Ty Cobb+ (24) 151.1 Mike Trout should pass his 19th hall-of-fame centerfielder around age 32. Ty Cobb's .366 career batting average is the highest of all time.
Tris Speaker+ (22) 133.9 Mike Trout should pass his 18th hall-of-fame centerfielder around age 32. Tris Speaker may be the "old-timer" closest to Mike Trout in all-around skills.
Mickey Mantle+ (18) 110.2 ---------------------  Mike Trout should pass his 17th hall-of-fame centerfielder around age 30. Mickey Mantle hit 536 homers with a stellar 177 OPS+.
Ken Griffey Jr.+ (22) 83.6 Mike Trout should pass his 16th hall-of-fame centerfielder around age 27. Ken Griffey Jr. was a phenom like Trout, and hit 630 homers with 1,836 RBI.
Joe DiMaggio+ (13) 78.1 Mike Trout should pass his 15th hall-of-fame centerfielder around age 27. Joe DiMaggio, one of the immortals, slugged .579 with a 155 OPS+.
Carlos Beltran (20) 69.9 Carlos Beltran has been damn good, but he averaged 3.5 WAR per year, while Mike Trout may be averaging triple that by age 26-27.
Duke Snider+ (18) 66.5 Mike Trout should pass his 14th hall-of-fame centerfielder around age 26. Duke Snider slugged .540 for his career with a 140 OPS+.
Andre Dawson+ (21) 64.5 Mike Trout should pass his 13th hall-of-fame centerfielder around age 26. Andre Dawson hit 438 homers with 1,591 RBI, slugging .482.
Richie Ashburn+ (15) 63.6 Mike Trout should pass his 12th hall-of-fame centerfielder around age 26. Richie Ashburn hit .308 with 2,574 hits.
Billy Hamilton+ (14) 63.3 Mike Trout should pass his 11th hall-of-fame centerfielder around age 26. Billy Hamilton hit .344 with a 141 OPS+ and 914 stolen bases.
Max Carey+ (20) 53.9 Mike Trout should pass his tenth hall-of-fame centerfielder at age 25. Max Carey led the NL in stolen bases ten times and scored 1,545 runs.
Mike Trout (6) 51.9 actual as of May 25, 2017
Kirby Puckett+ (12) 50.9 Mike Trout passes his ninth hall-of-fame centerfielder at age 25. Kirby Puckett hit .318 for his career and played in ten consecutive All-Star games.
Larry Doby+ (13) 49.5 Mike Trout passes his eighth hall-of-fame centerfielder at age 25. Larry Doby had a stellar 136 OPS+ for his career.
Earl Averill+ (13) 48.0 Mike Trout passes his seventh hall-of-fame centerfielder at age 24. Earl Averill slugged .534 with a 133 OPS+ for his career.
Edd Roush+ (18) 45.2 Mike Trout passes his sixth hall-of-fame centerfielder at age 24. Edd Roush was a career .323 hitter.  
Curtis Granderson (14) 43.8 Curtis Granderson has had a nice career, but at age 36 his WAR is negative.
Hugh Duffy+ (17) 42.9 Mike Trout passes his fifth hall-of-fame centerfielder at age 24. Hugh Duffy was a career .326 hitter.  
Earle Combs+ (12) 42.5 Mike Trout passes his fourth hall-of-fame centerfielder at age 24. Earle Combs was a career .325 hitter.  
Hack Wilson+ (12) 38.8 Mike Trout passes his third hall-of-fame centerfielder at age 24. Hack Wilson set the all-time record with 191 RBI in 1930, when he smashed 56 homers.
Andrew McCutcheon (9) 36.8 Andrew McCutcheon was the NL MVP in 2013 and finished in the top five three other times, but his WAR is currently negative at age 30.
Lloyd Waner+ (18) 24.1 Mike Trout passes his second hall-of-fame centerfielder at age 22. Waner hit .316 for his career, with 2,459 hits.
Ned Hanlon+ (13) 18.0 Mike Trout passes his first hall-of-fame centerfielder at age 21.

Player OPS+

Mike Trout 173
Mickey Mantle+ 172
Ty Cobb+ 168
Tris Speaker+ 157
Willie Mays+ 156
Joe DiMaggio+ 155
Hack Wilson+ 144
Billy Hamilton+ 141
Duke Snider+ 140
Ken Griffy Jr.+ 136
Larry Doby+ 136
Andrew McCutcheon 135
Earl Averill+ 133
Josh Hamilton 129
Edd Roush+ 126
Earle Combs+ 125
Matt Kemp 125
Kirby Puckett+ 124
Hugh Duffy+ 123
Carlos Beltran 120

Centerfielders ranked by WAR7 (peak WAR for a player's top 7 seasons): Mike Trout is already number 6, despite the handicap of not yet having played 7 full seasons! Once Trout has played 7 full seasons, he will probably be at the top of this ranking, or very close. Right now he trails only Griffey, Speaker, Mantle, Cobb and Mays (#1). Trout is already ahead of 15 of 20 hall-of-fame centerfielders, including Joe DiMaggio and Duke Snider.

Centerfielders ranked by JAWS (which also factors in a player's top 7 seasons): Mike Trout is already number 15, despite the same handicap described above. By the end of the 2017 season, Trout will probably be in the top 7 with DiMaggio, Griffey, Speaker, Mantle, Cobb and Mays.

Centerfielders ranked by OBP: Mike Trout is already number 4, at .408. But his OBP is going up (currently .466 in 2017), and he is likely to make up ground on Mickey Mantle, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb and Billy Hamilton.

Centerfielders ranked by Slugging Percentage: Mike Trout is number 2 at .567, behind only DiMaggio at .579.

Centerfielders ranked by OPS: Mike Trout is currently number 3 at .975, but is in a virtual tie with Mantle and DiMaggio at .977.

Top 20 All-Time OPS+ Regardless of Position (not including players prior to 1900) ...

Babe Ruth+ 206
Ted Williams+ 190
Barry Bonds 182 ---------- Inflated by cheating?
Lou Gehrig+ 179
Rogers Hornsby+ 175
Mike Trout 173
Mickey Mantle+ 172
Shoeless Joe Jackson 170
Ty Cobb+ 168
Jimmie Foxx+ 163
Mark McGwire 163 ---------- Inflated by cheating?
Stan Musial+ 159
Hank Greenberg+ 158
Johnny Mize+ 158
Tris Speaker+ 157
Joey Votto 157
Dick Allen 156 ---------- Dick Allen has the OPS+ to be in the Hall of Fame, but he only played 140+ games in six seasons, so his other stats (runs, RBI, homers, etc.) fall short.
Willie Mays+ 156
Frank Thomas+ 156
Hank Aaron+ 155
Joe DiMaggio+ 155
Mel Ott+ 155
Miguel Cabrera 155
Albert Pujols 155

Top 20 All-Time OPS Regardless of Position (not including players prior to 1900) ...

Babe Ruth 1.1636 ------------- Trout's OPS in 2017 is 1.171, higher than Ruth's career average.
Ted Williams 1.1155
Lou Gehrig 1.0798
Barry Bonds 1.0512 ----------- Bonds' OPS shot up at age 36, when we expect it to be going down.
Jimmie Foxx 1.0376
Hank Greenberg 1.0169
Rogers Hornsby 1.0103
Manny Ramirez .9960 ---------- Ramirez was suspended for using PEDs.
Mark McGwire .9823 ---------- McGwire admitted using PEDs for a decade.
Mark Trout .9776 --------------- Trout's OPS is still going up; will he rival the top seven in this list soon?
Mickey Mantle .9773
Joe DiMaggio .9771
Stan Musial .9757
Frank Thomas .9740
Larry Walker .9654 ---------- Aided by Colorado's thinner air?
Joey Votto .9645
Johnny Mize .9591
Jim Thome .9560
Todd Helton .9531 ---------- Aided by Colorado's thinner air?
Albert Pujols .9527 ---------- Miguel Cabrera is just a few points behind Pujols as they duel to see who finishes highest in the eternal ranks.

Other Age 24 Comparisons to the All-Time Greats

(#1) Mike Trout 48.5 WAR ~ Ty Cobb 46.7
(#1) Mike Trout 784 strikeouts ~ Alex Rodriguez 616
(#2) Mike Trout 154.5 power/speed ~ Alex Rodriguez 156.1
(#2) Mike Trout  29.6 adjusted batting wins ~ Ty Cobb 33.6 / Ted Williams 29.2
(#2) Mike Trout 30.5 adjusted batting runs  ~ Ted Williams 30.7
(#3) Mike Trout 731 runs created  ~ Jimmie Foxx 734
(#3) Mike Trout 36 sacrifice flies ~ Johnny Bench 41
(#4) Mike Trout 170 OPS+ ~ Lou Gehrig 171
(#4) Mike Trout 1,442 times on base ~ Mickey Mantle 1,436
(#5) Mike Trout 380 extra base hits  ~ Ken Griffey Jr. 385
(#5) Mike Trout 477 walks ~ Eddie Matthews 471
(#6) Mike Trout 1,670 total base ~ Cobb 1,687 / Mantle 1,648
(#7) Mike Trout 168 home runs ~ Griffey 172 / Mantle 173 / Foxx 174 / Ott 176
(#8) Mike Trout 784 offensive win percentage ~ Rogers Hornsby .770
(#9) Mike Trout 600 runs ~ Foxx 612 / Cobb 618
(#9) Mike Trout .963 OPS ~ Stan Musial .962
(#9) Mike Trout 3,558 plate appearance ~ Ken Griffey Jr. 3,606

Hey, this Mike Trout fellow is pretty damned special, and in very good (nay, exalted) company! Look at the team we could put together: (C) Johnny Bench, (1B) Lou Gehrig, (2B) Rogers Hornsby, (SS) Alex Rodriguez, (3B) Jimmie Foxx, (RF) Mike Trout, (CF) Mickey Mantle, (LF) Ted Williams, (DH) Stan Musial!

Is Mike Trout Still Improving?

One might suggest that Trout will have a hard time matching the highest WAR seasons of his all-time peers, and thus may drop off in comparisons. But in 2017 after 25 games, Trout already had 2.1 WAR. If he keeps that up, he would end the year with 13.6 WAR. Only Babe Ruth topped 13 WAR for a season, and then only once, in 1923. So Mike Trout is approaching the heavenly realms, if he can keep up his current pace. And even if Trout keeps having "average" years (for him) of 8-11 WAR, he will still have a chance to break Babe Ruth's record for career WAR if he stays healthy and productive through age 34. Of course there is a LONG way to go, but it certainly seems possible that Trout will be the G.O.A.T. when all is said and done.

Update: As of May 25, 2017, Trout had a .347/.466/.760/.1.226 slash line with the fourth-highest OPS+ (233) since World War II. This is a stratospheric level only reached since 1900 by Barry Bonds (but with a big asterisk), Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. And really, c'mon folks, we know that Barry Bonds used human growth hormone (HGH) and steroids to the extent that in his thirties his head GREW BIGGER and he needed larger baseball cap as a result. His shoe size also increased. So those four "unbelievable" seasons by Bonds from age 36-39 were, indeed, too good to be true. If Trout keeps it up, he will be in the highest baseball clouds, along with Ruth and Williams.

Can Trout keep it up? Can he stay healthy? Only time will tell, but it does seem that Mike Trout is still improving as he enters his prime years. For instance, after 50 games of the 2017 season, Mike Trout was leading the AL in batting average, home runs, walks, intentional walks, slugging percentage, OBP, OPS, OPS+, WAR and total bases. He was second in the AL in runs, fourth in steals and RBI, fifth in doubles and triples, and tenth in hits, despite being walked so much. In other words, he was in the top five of every major offensive category other than hits, and there is very good reason for his hits being slightly down. Trout was on pace to hit .344 with around 50  homers, 30 steals, 100 walks, 110 runs and 115 RBI. And that is with a very weak supporting cast, as I discuss below ...

Supporting Casts

Please note that this section was written before the Angels acquired Justin Upton at the end of August 2017. There is an "update" at the end of this section, as things had improved a bit by August 2017, even before the big trade.

Heaven knows what Trout could do if the hitters behind him struck fear in pitchers' hearts, as Lou Gehrig did for Babe Ruth, as Willie McCovey did for Willie Mays, and as Eddie Mathews did for Hank Aaron. 

I think it is interesting and important to note the supporting casts of the greatest hitters of all time, with the names of hall-of-famers bolded below. Ted Williams was normally surrounded by superior hitters. The Yankees fell out of first place in 1924 and actually had a losing season in 1925, with Babe Ruth hitting an all-too-mortal .290 and slugging well below his standards at .543. The Yankees did not become "Murderers' Row" until they were joined by future hall-of-famers Lou Gehrig, Earle Combs and Tony Lazzeri. In 1955, when Yogi Berra and Bill Skowron had sub-par years, Mickey Mantle's offensive output also dropped. In 1960 when the Yankees added Roger Maris and Skowron had a better year, Mantle's numbers went back up into the stratosphere. Mantle's best years coincided with Roger Maris's best years. When Maris had his season for the ages, hitting 61 homers in 1961, Mantle had his best year. And it obviously helped that Elston Howard raised his OPS to 153 that same year. 

So supporting casts really do matter. Runners on base ahead of a batter and formidable bats following make a star hitter more productive. What Trout has accomplished on a team of "challenged" hitters is all the more remarkable, when we consider the rosters below ...

Babe Ruth played with Lou Gehrig, Home Run Baker, Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Tony Lazzeri, Leo Durocher, Joe Sewell, Bob Meusel, Mark Koenig, Ben Chapman, Frankie Crossetti, Wally Pipp
Ted Williams
played with Jimmie Foxx, Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Vern Stephens, George Kell, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, Birdie Tebbetts, Jackie Jensen, Frank Malzone, Pete Runnels, Jimmy Piersall
Mickey Mantle played with Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Johnny Mize, Phil Rizzuto, Enos Slaughter, Bill Skowron, Elston Howard, Billy Martin, Bobby Richardson, Tony Kubek, Hank Bauer, Gil McDougald
Willie Mays played with Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Monte Irvin, Al Dark, Jim Ray Hart, Hank Thompson, Bobby Thompson, Bobby Bonds, Felipe Alou, Matty Alou, Jesus Alou, Hank Sauer
Mike Trout has played with an aging Albert Pujols, a largely ineffective Josh Hamilton, Kole Calhoun, C. J. Cron, Mark Trumbo, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar, Torri Hunter, David Freese, Yunnel Escobar

As bad as Trout's supporting cast has been, some of the less-bad names only played with him for a season or two: for instance, Hamilton, Trumbo, Hunter and Freese. Trumbo had only one 100 RBI season for the Angels, and Hunter drove in 92 in his one season as Trout's teammate. Other than Pujols, the Angels have not had a consistent RBI man, and Pujols has been slipping, with his batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS heading south. To illustrate the problem, here are the highest OPS+ and RBI of Trout's best supporting hitters during their time together, compared to other supporting casts ...

Albert Pujols (138/119), Torri Hunter (129/92), Kole Calhoun (123/83), Howie Kendrick (118/75), Josh Hamilton (115/79), C. J. Cron (115/69), Mark Trumbo (109/100), David Freese (109/56), Erick Aybar (107/68)
Lou Gehrig (220/185), Home Run Baker (173/130), Tony Lazzeri (159/121), Bill Dickey (158/133), Earle Combs (158/82), Joe Sewell (146/109), Bob Meusel (135/134), Ben Chapman (135/122), Wally Pipp (127/110)
Jimmie Foxx (207/175), Bobby Doerr (165/120), Jackie Jensen (148/122), Vern Stephens (141/159), Joe Cronin (138/126), George Kell (136/101), Dom DiMaggio (123/87), Frank Malzone (105/103)
Joe DiMaggio (184/167), Johnny Mize (178/138), Roger Maris (167/141), Enos Slaughter (156/130), Elston Howard (153/91), Bill Skowron (145/91), Yogi Berra (142/125), Hank Bauer (132/84), Phil Rizzuto (122/66)
Willie McCovey (209/126), Orlando Cepeda (165/142), Monte Irvin (147/121)
, Jim Ray Hart (151/99), Hank Thompson (146/86), Bobby Bonds (144/102), Felipe Alou (132/98), Hank Sauer (125/76)

The figures above represent the best offensive seasons by Trout's teammates, not the typical results. Take, for example, the Angels who played on 5/16/2017. At that point in time, the average OPS for all MLB was .734. Other than Trout, not a single Angel qualified as above average, or even as average. In fact, most of the Angel starters were around 100 points below average. To illustrate just how weak the rest of the Angels have been in 2017 offensively, if we removed Trout from the team as of 5/16/2017 they would have:

Yunel Escobar, 74th in batting average (.272)
Martin Maldonado, 85th in WAR (.8)
Cameron Maybin, 97th in OBP (.328)
Yunel Escobar, 106th in slugging percentage (.411)
Yunel Escobar, 111th in OPS (.735)

Those are stunning bad offensive statistics! The only major offensive "positive" that I can see for the Angels, other than Trout's phenomenal output in the midst of so much mediocrity, is Albert Pujols' preternatural ability to drive in runs without hitting well otherwise. Somehow, Pujols is on track to drive in 100+ runs again despite slashing .238/.276/.363/.639. I'm not sure how he does it, but the man does have a knack for driving in runs, rain or shine. But other than Trout's overall excellence and Pujols knocking in runs, the Angels have been extremely "challenged" offensively. This hardly seems fair to Mike Trout, and one can only hope that he will get more support from his teammates in the near future. If he does, his numbers could be even better. Has there ever been a truly great hitter who had a weaker supporting cast? If there was, I haven't found him yet. That makes Trout's offensive production seem all the more amazing.

In mid-May 2017, here is how the Angels ranked (or failed to rank) in OPS, other than Mike Trout ...

Angels: Trout #1 (no other Angels player in the top 100)
Braves: Freeman #2, Kemp #13, Markaris #86, Inciarte #92, Phillips #100
Nationals: Zimmerman #3, Harper #4, Murphy #21, Werth #36, Rendon #70
Yankees: Judge #5, Castro #7, Holiday #30, Gardner #31, Ellsbury #83
Brewers: Thames #6, Shaw #47, Perez #61, Santana #63, Broxton #87
Mets: Conforto #7, Cespedes #16, Bruce #49, Duda #73, Walker #99
Twins: Sano #8, Mauer #87, Kepler #94, Dozier #104
Reds: Cozart #9, Votto #14, Suarez #28, Schebler #37, Duvall #74, Hamilton #92
Giants: Posey #10, Belt #54, Crawford #96
Rockies: Reynolds #11, Arenado #18, Blackmon #19, LeMahieu #92
Diamondbacks: Goldschmidt #12, Lamb #24, Peralta #39, Owings #45, Drury #52, Tomas #56, Pollock #78
Athletics: Alonso #15, Davis #78, Lowrie #89, Healy #97, Plouffe #101
Phillies: Altherr #15, Hernandez #80, Joseph #86, Galvis #99
Rays: Dickerson #16, Morrison #46, Souza #32, Longoria #106
Cardinals:  Gyorko #17, Carpenter #40, Fowler #58, Wong #68, Molina #88, Diaz #89
Mariners: Cruz #20, Cano #29, Segura #32
Dodgers: Turner #22, Seager #41, Grandal #59, Puig #102
Marlins: Ozuna #23, Bour #38, Stanton #50, Realmuto #76, Yelich #95
White Sox: Garcia #25, Abreu #64, Garcia #67
Cubs: Bryant #26, Rizzo #95, Baez #100, Zobrist #105
Pirates: Frazier #30, Bell #43, Freese #61, Harrison #66
Astros: Altuve #33, Correa #48, Rddick #68, Springer #84
Padres: Myers #34, Cordoba #60, Margot #82
Blue Jays: Smoak #35, Pillar #49, Bautista #96, Morales #102
Orioles: Davis #37, Schoop #75, Mochado #99, Jones #103
Royals: Perez #38, Hosmer #69, Moustaka #82
Red Sox: Betts #39, Bogaerts #55, Ramirez #75, Moreland #77
Indians: Lindor #42, Ramirez #51, Brantley #60
Tigers: Upton #44, Martinez #76, Cabrera #76
Rangers: Gallo #63, Mazara #86, Choo #92, Andrus #95, Gomez #98

The figures above tell the sad tale for the Angels, aside from the excellence of Mike Trout. The second-best hitter on the Angels, according to OPS, is Yunnel Escobar, at a distant #107 and a mediocre .735. No other team in MLB has such a disparity between its best and second-best hitters. All other MLB teams have at least three hitters in the top 100. There is a bit of "crossover" in the figures above, as I "merged" two sets of figures from the month of May. But I think my main point is valid: every team other than the Angels had three of more hitters who were in the top 100 for OPS, at some time in May 2017. The Angels had Mike Trout, followed by eight below-average hitters, no matter which other players they fielded. Try to imagine what sort of stats Mike Trout could generate, if he were being protected in the lineup by Mike Kemp, Bryce Harper, Joey Votto, Butch Posey, Aaron Judge, Eric Thames, Michael Conforto, et al. But he obviously isn't. And that makes his offensive production all the more impressive, because he is largely doing it on his own.

Update: As of May 25, 2017, Mike Trout has mostly batted third for the Angels. The Angels' cleanup hitters are slashing .202/.269/.337, the majors' worst OPS for that spot in the lineup. The Angels' No. 5 hitters are slashing .217/.309/.311, the worst in the American League, and their No. 6 hitters are slashing .191/.265/.279, worst in the majors.

Mike Trout really does appear to be on an island, offensively, which explains why he leads the AL in both walks and intentional walks. To further demonstrate the problem, I took a random day (May 26, 2017) and created a simple "litmus test" using the OPS of the second-best hitter on the Angels, which happened to be .725 (below the MLB average and dropping). How many players who project to have 200 or more at-bats on each team are better than the second-best Angels hitter? Here's what I came up with:

Angels (1) Trout
Giants (3) Posey, Belt, Crawford
Cards, Mets, Padres, Phillies, Rays, Tigers, Twins (4)
Athletics, Braves, Mariners, Marlins, Orioles, Rangers, White Sox (5)
Astros, Brewers, Blue Jays, Nationals, Pirates, Reds, Red Sox, Rockies, Royals (6)
Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Indians, Yankees (7)

In other words, every other major league baseball star has at least two above-average hitters to support him ... except Mike Trout. That is why he is walking so much―he lacks support and protection. If he had more support and protection, what could he do? One can only hope and pray that we get to see what Mike Trout can do with some above-average bats to back him up.

Update: As of August 13, 2017, things have improved somewhat for Trout's supporting cast. Trout has a stratospheric 214 OPS+ that is the best in the big leagues by a YUGE margin. Andrelton Simmons is having a fantastic overall season and now has a commendable 123 OPS+, slashing .305/.359/.464/.823 with 28 doubles, 12 homers and 199 total bases. Yunel Escobar is around the MLB average with a 99 OPS+. Albert Pujols has a dismal 75 OPS+ but has managed to hit 17 homers and produce a team-leading 70 RBI. Cameron Maybin has 52 runs and is 25-5 on steals. Kole Calhoun has a not-so-good OPS+ of 88, but at least has 13 homers, 52 runs and 47 RBI. But WAR tells us that things are less than angelic in halo land. Trout and Simmons are superstars, according to WAR. Martin Maldonado and Cameron Maybin could reach the "starter" level by the end of the year (i.e., 2.0 WAR or higher). For everyone else, so far it looks like a "nothing burger."

Update: As of August 31, 2017, things are looking up a wee bit (at least considering the prior dismal depths). C. J. Cron has clawed his way to a slightly-above-average .771 OPS and 106 OPS+. But Andrelton Simmons has slipped a bit, to a .787 OPS and 111 OPS+. Still, considering his exceptional defense, one cannot complain. The really BIG news, of course, is the acquisition of all-star left fielder Justin Upton via trade. Upton is a top-15-caliber slugger, comparable in WAR to Aaron Judge, Charlie Blackmon, Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rizzo and Mookie Betts. Pitchers will have to think twice about pitching around Trout, with Upton hitting behind him.


Is Mike Trout on course to become the G.O.A.T.? He already has two MVP awards, and has led the AL in WAR for five consecutive years. Hell, he has already surpassed 30+ members of the Hall of Fame in career WAR, including Lou Brock, Roy Campanella, Orlando Cepeda, Earle Combs, Kiki Cuyler, Dizzy Dean, Lary Doby, Nellie Fox, Ralph Kiner, Chuck Klein, Sandy Koufax, Tony Lazzeri, Bob Lemon, Jim Rice, Red Schoendienst, Sam Thompson, Pie Traynor and Hack Wilson. And sometime in 2017, Trout will have surpassed the career WAR of each the Hall-of-Fame double-play combination of Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance.

Mike Trout is currently in a very select group of major league baseball immortals with career slugging percentages between .5591 and .5545. They include Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron.

Is Mike Trout the new Mickey Mantle, or is he potentially even better? Here are parallels between Trout and Mantle:

They both turned pro at age 17.
The both debuted as major league players as teenagers, at age 19.
They both played shortstop, then switched to center field.
They both shared a rare combination of speed, power, athleticism and defensive ability.
They were both all-stars in five of their first six seasons.
They both had their first 100 RBI season in their fourth years.
They both led the AL in runs scored for three consecutive years, a rare feat only matched by immortals Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins and Ted Williams.
Their age 20-24 stats for batting average/homers/runs are almost identical: Trout .310/163/580 and Mantle .313/160/581. Mantle batted three points higher; Trout had three more homers. It's a dead heat.
Through age 24, Mickey Mantle had 1,648 total bases and Mike Trout had 1,622.
Through age 24, Mickey Mantle had 710 runs created and Mike Trout had 721.
Through age 24, Mike Trout had a .559 career slugging percentage; Mickey Mantle had a career .557 slugging percentage.
OPS+ helps compare hitters from different eras. At age 25, Trout has a career 172 OPS+, which exactly matches Mantle's career 172 OPS+. That puts them both in the top ten of all time, in another dead heat.
In his age 25 season, Mickey Mantle hit .365 with a 221 OPS+. So far in his age 25 season, as of March 29, 2017, Mike Trout is hitting .355 with a 220 OPS+.
Mickey Mantle was named after Hall-of-Fame catcher Mickey Cochrane, who was called "Mike" by his family and friends.
Mickey Mantle was called "The Commerce Comet" and Mike Trout is called "The Millville Meteor."
Hell, they even look like twins!

Mike Trout compared to Mickey Mantle, through their first six seasons:

              G       AB         R      H      2B    3B     HR    RBI    BA    OB%    SLG%   OPS+    SB     SB%    FLD%   MVP   WAR
Trout      811   2,997   600   917   175    37    168    497    .306   .405     .557        170       143     .836     .992            2     48.5
Mantle    808   2,944   642   907   136    43    173    575    .308   .412     .570        166         43     .729     .980            1     40.9

Mantle has an edge in power and run production, while Trout has a decided edge in stolen bases and fielding percentage. However, Mantle's edge in run production can be at least partially attributed to his playing with teammates who were better offensively than Trout's.

There are reasons to believe that Mike Trout could exceed Mickey Mantle's accomplishments: (1) Trout is a more productive and efficient base stealer. (2) Trout's career fielding percentage is considerably higher than Mantle's. (3) Trout has accomplished as much playing on lesser teams than Mantle's Yankees; if Trout's teammates improve that will give him a boost. (4) Mantle did not have to contend with the quantity and quality of modern relief pitchers; he was able to feast on weakening starters in the later innings. (5) Trout is facing better competition due to the presence of more black and Hispanic players. (6) Mantle had injury and drinking problems that shortened his career; his last superior season was at age 32. If Trout can remain productive longer than Mantle, the sky seems to be the limit for him.

Mike Trout Chronology/Timeline

1991 - Mike Trout is born on August 7, 1991
2008 - Mike Trout fires a no-hitter as a high school junior; Angels scout Greg Morhardt says Trout is the fastest and strongest 17-year-old he has ever seen
2009 - Mike Trout sets a New Jersey high school record with 18 home runs as a senior
2009 - Mike Trout graduates from Millville High School, where he earned five letters in baseball and basketball
2009 - Mike Trout is drafted in the first round by the Angels and signs for $1.2 million (money very well spent!)
2009 - Mike Trout reaches base six times in his first pro game and hits .352 at age 17
2010 - Mike Trout hits .341 with 56 steals and is named the Topps Minor League Player of the Year (the youngest to win the award)
2011 - Mike Trout makes his major league debut on July 8, 2011 as a teenager, shortly before turning 20
2011 - Mike Trout has his first two-homer game on August 30, 2011
2012 - Mike Trout breaks the AL record for consecutive games with a run scored, with 14 on June 22, 2012
2012 - Mike Trout has his first four-hit game on June 30, 2012
2012 - Mike Trout hits .326 with 30 homers and 49 steals, winning the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award on Nov. 12, 2012
2012 - Mike Trout finishes second in the AL MVP voting, as a rookie! He leads the AL in runs (129), steals (49) and OPS+ (168)
2013 - Mike Trout becomes the youngest AL player to hit for the cycle on May 21, 2013
2013 - Mike Trout finishes second in the AL MVP voting, as a sophomore, leading the AL in runs (109) and walks (110)
2014 - Mike Trout hits his first walk-off home run on May 15, 2014
2014 - Mike Trout hits the longest home run of the season on June 27, 2014
2014 - Mike Trout is the All-Star MVP
2014 - Mike Trout is named AL MVP, leading the AL in runs (115), RBI (111) and total bases (338)
2014 - Mike Trout wins the AL Hank Aaron Award
2015 - Mike Trout becomes the youngest MLB player with 100 homers and 100 steals, on April 17, 2015
2015 - Mike Trout is the All-Star MVP for the second time
2015 - Mike Trout hits his 40th home run on Sept. 22, 2015
2015 - Mike Trout finishes second in the AL MVP voting, leading the AL in slugging (.590), OPS (.991) and OPS+ (176)
2016 - Mike Trout is named AL MVP for the second time, leading the AL in runs (123), walks (116), OBP (.441) and OPS+ (173)
2016 - Mike Trout wins his fifth consecutive Silver Slugger (2012-2016)
2016 - Mike Trout leads the AL in WAR for the fifth consecutive year (2012-2016)
2017 - Mike Trout is an All-Star for the sixth consecutive year (2012-2017)

Mike Trout Awards, Records & Milestones

Mike Trout became the youngest MLB player ever to hit at least 20 home runs and steal at least 40 bases in a season, in 2012, his rookie season.
Mike Trout became the youngest member of the 30-30 club when he hit his 30th home run of the 2012 season.
Mike Trout in his rookie season became the first player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs, steal 45 bases and score 125 runs in one season.
Mike Trout, as a rookie, led the AL with 129 runs, 49 steals and a 168 OPS+.
Mike Trout was the unanimous AL Rookie of the Year in his first full season, 2012. He was the youngest AL Rookie of the Year ever, and finished 2nd in the MVP voting.
Mike Trout was also the Wilson AL Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, as a rookie.
Mike Trout won the AL MVP Award in 2014 and 2016, finishing second in 2012, 2013 and 2015. He has been either first or second in the MVP voting in all five of his full seasons so far.
The only other major league player to finish in the top two of the MVP voting for five consecutive years was Barry Bonds, but he cheated!
Mike Trout joins Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench, Stan Musial, and Jimmie Foxx as the only position players to win two MVP awards by age 25.
Mike Trout has been an all-star in each of his five full seasons played.
Mike Trout has has won a Silver Slugger in each of his five full seasons played.
Mike Trout led the AL in WAR in each of his five full seasons played. The last player to lead the AL in WAR for five years in a row was Babe Ruth.
Mike Trout has led the AL in run scored in 4 of his 5 full seasons, 3 times in OPS+ and 2 times in walks. 
Mike Trout is the only player in MLB history to have five seasons with 25 homers and 100 runs through his age-24 season.
Mike Trout had the highest OPS (168) for any qualified batter in his age-20 season, leading Ty Cobb (167), Mel Ott (165), Mickey Mantle (162), Al Kaline (162), Alex Rodriguez (161) and Ted Williams (160).
Mike Trout had the highest OPS (179) for any qualified batter in his age-21 season, leading Jimmie Foxx (173), Eddie Matthews (171), Ty Cobb (169), Rogers Hornsby (169) and Ted Williams (161).
Mike Trout had the most times on base (309) of any player in his age-21 season.
Mike Trout has produced 300 or more total bases in each of his five full seasons.
Mike Trout is a two-time All Star game MVP.
Mike Trout was the youngest player in MLB history to reach 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases.
Mike Trout is the only player in MLB history to have 150 home runs and 150 steals before his 26th birthday.
Mike Trout is only the third player to hit 25 homers six times before his year-26 season; the others are Eddie Matthews and Frank Robinson.
Mike Trout led the AL in WAR in each of his first five full seasons. He joins Walter Johnson and Babe Ruth as the only players in MLB history to lead their leagues in WAR for five consecutive seasons.
Since 1970, Mike Trout is one of only three players to produce 45 fWAR in a five-year span; the others were Joe Morgan and Barry Bonds in their primes.
Of the approximately 19,000 players to participate in the majors, only 89 of them have hit more home runs and stolen more bases than the 25-year-old Trout. And he's just getting started!
Mike Trout's career OPS+ of 172 has only been matched or bettered by Mickey Mantle, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds, Ted Williams and Babe Ruth.
Mike Trout, because of his rare combination of power, speed and defense in center field, has been compared to Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.
Mike Trout is a natural at golf too, recording a hole-in-one in 2017. He can also dunk a basketball and once beat Draymond Green in a game of "horse."

Mike Trout Nicknames

The Millville Meteor (patterned after "The Commerce Comet" because Mike Trout appears to be the next Mickey Mantle)
The Franchise
The Natural
The Phenom
"Lights Out" Trout (coined by Michael R. Burch)

The Kid
KIIIIID (the nickname Trout selected for a special uniform)
Number 27

God's Gift
The Archangel (well, he does play for the Angels, his name is Michael, and he is number one!)
Michelangelo (another great artist who was named after the Archangel Michael)
Halo Man
The Anointed One

Coastal Cutthroat (well, L.A. is on the coast!)
Golden (the Golden Trout is worth its weight in gold!)
Bull (the Bull Trout brooks no bull from small fry!)
Brook (the Brook Trout is a great athlete among fish!)
The Sea-Run Brook Trout has been seen scoring a lot of runs!
Prince Fish
King Fish 2.0 (Tim Salmon, another Angel, was the original "King Fish")
Leviathan (the biggest fish of them all!)
Moby Trout
JAWS (there is a baseball statistic called JAWS, hence the capitals)

The WAR Lord and The WARlord (coined by Michael R. Burch for this article)
The WAR King (ditto)
The WAR Leader (ditto)
The WAR God (ditto)
The God of War (ditto)
Ares (ditto)
Mars (ditto)
The WAR Monger (ditto, because Trout "hoards" all the WAR)
The WAR Star (pun on "Star Wars")

Mike Clout
Baby Ruth

Mike Trout Coinages

Troutian (n.) beyond the pale; outrageously great; unparalleled; Ruthian
Trouted (v) routed on a ball field by a vastly superior talent
Trout Treatment (n) similar to "Bonds Treatment" (for instance, when a pitcher intentionally walks a hitter with the bases loaded)

Mike Trout Projections: Is He Getting Better?

In 2016, Mike Trout led the AL in runs (123), runs created (148), walks (116), times on base (300), OBP (.441), WAR (10.5), Offensive WAR (9.9), OPS+ (174), WPA (6.5), offensive win percentage (.800), adjusted batting runs (65), adjusted batting wins (6.2), power-speed (29.5), base-out runs added (73.16), base-out wins added (7.2), and situational wins added (6.6). He was second in OPS (.991) and steals (30), third in intentional walks (12), fourth in slugging (.550), fifth in batting average (.315), ninth in stolen base percentage (.8108), and tenth in triples (5). His batting average, OBP, OPS, OPS+ and WAR were all higher in 2016 than his six-year career averages. If Trout

Early in 2017, Mike Trout's batting average (.355), slugging percentage (.710), OPS (1.134) and OPS+ (220) are all career highs. So it seems safe to say that Trout is still improving, and he is building on the greatest "base" in the history of major league baseball!

Mike Trout averaged 116 runs per season over his first five full years. If he keeps that up for 20 years, he would have 2,320 runs, passing Rickey Henderson (2,295) for first all-time.
Mike Trout averaged 178 hits per season over his first five full years.  If he keeps that up for 20 years, he would have 3,560 hits, which would rank fifth all-time after Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron and Stan Musial.
If Mike Trout were to play the same number of years as Pete Rose (24), and kept up the same pace, he would finish with 4,272 hits, breaking Rose's hit record (4,256).
Mike Trout averaged 32.6 home runs per season over his first five full years. If he keeps that up for 20 years, he would have 652 home runs, sixth on the all-time list.
If Mike Trout were to play 24 years, and kept up the same pace, he would finish with 782 home runs, breaking Barry Bonds' home run record (762).
Mike Trout averaged 324 total bases per season over his first five full years. If he keeps that up for 20 years, he would have 6,480 total bases runs, second on the all-time list after Hank Aaron (6,856).
If Mike Trout were to play 24 years, and kept up the same pace, he would finish with 7,776 total bases, breaking Aaron's record.
Mike Trout averaged 143.4 runs created per season over his first five full years. If he keeps that up for 20 years, he would have 2,868 runs created, second only to Barry Bonds (2,892).
If Mike Trout were to play 24 years, and kept up the same pace, he would finish with 3,442 runs created, breaking Bonds' record.

While it's true that we can expect Mike Trout's numbers to decline in his later years, we may see a surge as he enters his prime years (normally a player's mid-twenties to mid-thirties). And great players do tend to remain productive much longer than average players. Hank Aaron hit 40 home runs at age 39, with 96 RBI. Stan Musial hit .351 and led the NL in batting average at age 36. Willie Mays led the NL in OBP with .425 at age 40. Barry Bonds hit 28 homers at age 42 and led the NL in OBP with a stellar .480 (well above his career average). Ty Cobb hit .323 at age 41. Alex Rodriguez hit 33 home runs at age 39. Babe Ruth had an OPS+ of 160 at age 39. Pete Rose led the NL in OBP at age 38, and nearly a decade later, at age 44, had an OBP of .395 in 501 plate appearances. Ted Williams hit .388 and slugged .731 at age 38, producing 9.5 WAR. The next year at age 39 he led the AL in batting average (.328), OBP (.458) and OPS (1.042). At age 41 he hit .316 with 29 home runs and slugged .645. The greatest players excelled into their late thirties and/or early forties. Mike Trout seems to be as talented as any of them, and a better athlete than most, if not all. So if he stays healthy, there is no reason to believe that he cannot do the same.

Here are some observations about WAR as great players age ...

Babe Ruth's prime WAR years were from age 24-36, but at age 38 he had 6.4 WAR and at age 39 he had 5.1 WAR.
Ted Williams' prime WAR years were from age 22-38, but at age 39 he still had 4.0 WAR.
Barry Bonds' prime WAR years were from age 23-39, but at age 41 he still had 4.0 WAR and at age 42 he had 4.3 WAR.

So great players can remain productive into their late 30s and early 40s. If Trout plays 22 years, like Babe Ruth, and averages more than 8.341 WAR per year, he can break Ruth's all-time record.


A plus sign (+) indicates a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame (HOF). The names of active players are in italics. Only position players are included. Players without a plus sign are included arbitrarily for purposes of comparison. The figure in parentheses is the number of years in the player's career. If you want to see the baseball legends that Mike Trout has already passed, and those he is about to zoom past in the near future, you may want to start at the bottom of the list and scroll up.

These sort of projections are, of course, highly speculative. However, Mike Trout certainly seems capable of averaging around 10 WAR per season up to his early or mid thirties. One would expect some sort of gradual decline starting around age 35, although the greatest stars sometimes perform remarkably well into their late thirties or early forties (Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Pete Rose, David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre, et al).

At age 38, Ted Williams hit .388 with 9.7 WAR.
At age 40, Willie Mays led the NL in walks (112) and OBP (.425), while stealing 23 bases (!!!) with a crazy-good 89% success rate.
At age 41, Stan Musial hit .330/.416/.508, just below his career marks of .331/.417/.559. 
From age 35 to 38, Babe Ruth averaged 8.8 WAR.
From age 35 to 38, Ty Cobb averaged 5.9 WAR.
From age 35 to 39, Hank Aaron averaged 5.8 WAR and averaged 40 home runs per year!
From age 35 to 40, Willie Mays averaged 5.7 WAR.
Cap Anson played six seasons in his forties, racking up a .317/.399/.404 line (112 OPS+).
Pete Rose also played six seasons in his forties, getting 699 hits with a .355 OBP.
From age 35 to retirement, Rose had 1,816 hits, more than 41 Hall-of-Fame position players in their entire careers!
In his forties, Rickey Henderson racked up 109 steals (!!!) and had a .381 OBP.

This is my all-time team of WARlords: (C) Johnny Bench 75.0, (1B) Stan Musial 128.1, (2B) Rogers Hornsby 127.0, (SS) Honus Wagner 130.8, (3B) Mike Schmidt 106.5, (RF) Ty Cobb 151.1, (CF) Willie Mays 156.3, (LF) Ted Williams 167.6*, (P) Babe Ruth 183.5, (UT: C-1B-SS-3B-RF-LF) Jimmie Foxx 97.3, (UT: 1B-2B-3B-RF-CF-LF-PLAYER/MANAGER) Pete Rose 79.1

(*) What would Ted Williams' career WAR have been if he hadn't served five years in the US military? Baseball historian Dean Hybl took the average of Williams's three seasons before and after military service. As it was, Williams finished with a .344 average, 2,654 hits, 521 home runs and 1,839 RBIs. Those are great numbers, Hall-of-Fame numbers. But using Hybl's formula, Williams would have batted .342 with 3,452 hits (moving up to seventh), 663 home runs (fifth, just ahead of Willie Mays) and 2,380 RBIs (first, moving ahead of Hank Aaron). I did something similar with WAR. Prior to and immediately after his first tour of duty, Williams had been very consistent, recording WAR of 10.6, 10.6 and 10.9. So it makes prefect sense to estimate that Williams would have earned around 10.6 WAR for each of those three lost years. In the seasons immediately before and after his second tour of duty, Williams averaged 7.5 WAR. During his second tour he did play a bit, accumulating 2.3 WAR. So to estimate his career WAR, I took 123.1, added 10.6 * 3, added 7.5 * 2, then subtracted 2.3, yielding 167.6. That would put him second only to Babe Ruth in the career WAR rankings.

Which real-world team put the most career WAR on the field at the same time? I haven't seen anyone else crunch the numbers and I'm not sure how crunch them myself, but I suspect that it would be the 1975-1976 Cincinnati Reds team known as the Big Red Machine: (C) Johnny Bench 75.0, (1B) Tony Perez 53.9, (2B) Joe Morgan 100.3, (SS) Dave Concepcion 39.9, (3B) Pete Rose 79.1, (RF) Ken Griffey Sr. 34.4, (CF) Cesar Geronimo 13.0, (LF) George Foster 43.9. If the topic interests you, I have a page that explains why I think the 1976 Reds were the greatest team of all time.

In the projections below, I have built in a "curve," with Trout's WAR tapering off as he gets older. But it seems entirely possible that he could have seasons of more than 10 WAR, and that his prime years could last longer, if he stays healthy. So I could be underestimating, and only time will tell. Again, it may be more interesting and fun to start at the bottom and scroll up ...

Mike Trout (22) age 40 projected 3.0 WAR ~ 184.0
Babe Ruth+ (22) 183.5 Babe Ruth is the undisputed WAR LORD ... for now.
Mike Trout (21) age 39 projected 4.0 WAR ~ 181.0
Mike Trout (20) age 38 projected 6.0 WAR ~ 177.0
Mike Trout (19) age 37 projected 7.0 WAR ~ 171.0
Mike Trout (18) age 36 projected 8.0 WAR ~ 164.0

Bobby Bonds (22) 162.4 Would Barry Bonds be this high if he hadn't cheated?
Mike Trout (17) age 35 projected 9.0 WAR ~ 156.0
Willie Mays+ (22) 156.3 Trout passes his 20th HOF centerfielder.
Ty Cobb+ (24) 151.1 Trout passes his 19th HOF centerfielder.
Mike Trout (16) age 34 projected 10.0 WAR ~ 147.0
Hank Aaron+ (23) 142.8
Mike Trout (15) age 33 projected 10.0 WAR ~ 137.0
Tris Speaker+ (22) 133.9 Trout passes his 18th HOF centerfielder. 
Honus Wagner+ (21) 130.8
Stan Musial+ (22) 128.1
Mike Trout (14) age 32 projected 10.0 WAR ~ 127.0
Rogers Hornsby+ (23) 127.0
Eddie Collins+ (25) 123.8
Ted Williams+ (19) 123.1 Ted Williams was probably the best pure hitter of all time.
Alex Rodriguez (22) 117.5
Mike Trout (13) age 31 projected 10.0 WAR ~ 117.0
Lou Gehrig+ (17) 112.4
Rickey Henderson+ (25) 110.8
Mickey Mantle+ (18) 110.2 Trout passes his 17th HOF centerfielder. 
Mel Ott+ (22) 107.8
Nap Lajoie+ (21) 107.4
Frank Robinson+ (21) 107.2
Mike Trout (12) age 30 projected 10.0 WAR ~ 107.0
Mike Schmidt+ (18) 106.5
Joe Morgan+ (22) 100.3
Albert Pujols (17) 100.1 Mike Trout passes the last active player, his teammate.
Mike Trout has now entered very rarefied air: the 100 WAR stratosphere! Only 21
position players have reached this exalted level!
Jimmie Foxx+ (20) 97.3
Mike Trout (11) age 29 projected 10.0 WAR ~ 97.0
Cal Ripken+ (21) 95.5
Roberto Clemente+ (18) 94.5
Adrian Beltre (19) 92.2  Trout now has only Pujols to top among active players. 
Wade Boggs+ (18) 91.1
George Brett+ (21) 88.4
Mike Trout (10) age 28 projected 10.0 WAR ~ 87.0
Ken Griffey Jr.+ (22) 83.6 Trout passes his 16th HOF centerfielder.
Rod Carew+ (19) 81.1
Charlie Gehringer+ (19) 80.7
Pete Rose (24) 79.1 Rose is the all-time leader in games, wins and hits.
Joe DiMaggio+ (13) 78.1 Trout passes his 15th HOF centerfielder.
Mike Trout (9) age 27 projected 10.0 WAR ~ 77.0
Johnny Bench+ (17) 75.0 Bench was probably the greatest catcher of all time.
Reggie Jackson+ (21) 73.8
Harry Heilmann+ (17) 72.1
Derek Jeter (20) 71.9 Trout passes a modern superstar in less than 1/2 the playing time.
Johnny Mize+ (15) 70.9
Carlos Beltran (20) 70.6 Trout now has only two more active players to catch!
Barry Larkin+ (19) 70.2
The average career WAR of a HOF centerfielder is 70. Any player above this line
certainly qualifies as an immortal superstar: DiMaggio, Griffey, Mantle, Cobb, Mays.
Gary Carter+ (19) 69.9
Miguel Cabrera (15) 69.7  Trout zooms past another active superstar.
Al Simmons+ (20) 68.7
Eddie Murray+ (21) 68.3
Ernie Banks+ (19) 67.4
Mike Trout (8) age 26 projected 11.8 WAR ~ 67.0
Duke Snider+ (18) 66.5 Trout passes his 14th HOF centerfielder.
Goose Goslin+ (18) 66.1
Chase Utley (15) 65.1 Trout passes an active star in 1/2 the playing time.
Robinson Cano (13) 64.7 Trout flashes past a still-productive superstar.
Andre Dawson+ (21) 64.5 Trout passes his 13th HOF centerfielder.
Richie Ashburn+ (15) 63.6 Trout passes his 12th HOF centerfielder. (111 OPS+)
Billy Hamilton+ (14) 63.3 Trout passes his 11th HOF centerfielder.
Home Run Baker+ (13) 62.7
Shoeless Joe Jackson (13) 62.2
Mark McGwire (16) 62.0
Jackie Robinson+ (10) 61.4
Harmon Killebrew+ (22) 60.4
At 60 WAR, we are passing from one level of greatness to another, with immortal names
like Jackie Robinson, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Home Run Baker and Al Simmons ahead.
Ichiro Suzuki (17) 59.5 Trout matches Ichiro's career WAR in 1/3 the playing time!
Yogi Berra+ (19) 59.5 Berra was a three-time MVP and fifteen-time All-Star (125 OPS+).
Mike Piazza+ (16) 59.4 Piazza was an offensive force at catcher (142 OPS+) but average defensively.
Joe Torre+ (18) 57.6 Torre was a gold glove winner at catcher, an MVP and 9-time all-star (129 OPS+).
Hank Greenberg+ (13) 57.5 Hank Greenberg slugged .605, sixth on the all-time list (158 OPS+).
Willie Stargell+ (21) 57.5 Stargell hit 475 homers and had 1,540 RBI (147 OPS+).
Joe Gordon+ (11) 57.1 Gordon was an MVP and 9-time all-star (120 OPS+).
Bill Dickey+ (17) 55.8 Dickey was an all-time top ten catcher (127 OPS+).
Luis Aparicio+ (18) 55.7 Aparicio was not a great hitter (82 OPS+), but won 9 gold gloves and stole 506 bases.
Joe Medwick+ (17) 55.6 Joe "Ducky" Medwick was a premier slugger in his day (134 OPS+).
Justin Verlander (13) 55.4 Verlander is running neck-and-neck with Trout, but he's played twice as long!
Mike Trout (6) age 25 actual career WAR 55.2; he has already passed 75 hall-of-famers! (172 OPS+)
Enos Slaughter+ (19) 55.1 Slaughter was an all-star ten consecutive seasons (124 OPS+).
Ian Kinsler (12) 55.0 Trout surges past an active star in 1/2 the playing time (110 OPS+).
Joey Votto will be one of the all-time greats. How on earth did Trout pass him this fast?
Joey Votto (11) 54.7 Trout passes one of baseball's active superstars in half the playing time. (157 OPS+)
Billy Herman+ (15) 54.7 Herman was a defensive star at second who hit .304 (112 OPS+).
George Sisler+ (15) 54.5 Sisler had a career .340 batting average (125 OPS+) and hit .400 twice.
Bill Terry+ (14) 54.2 Terry, the last NL player to hit .400, had a career .341 batting average (136 OPS+).
Max Carey+ (20) 54.2 Trout passes his 10th HOF centerfielder at age 25. (108 OPS+)
Willie Keeler+ (19) 54.0 Wee Willie Keeler had a career .341 batting average (127 OPS+).
Tony Perez+ (23) 53.9 [HOF-70] Perez had 1,652 RBI, in the all-time top thirty, more than Hornsby, DiMaggio, Banks, Schmidt, et al.
Joe Sewell+ (14) 53.7 [HOF-69] Sewell was a good-hitting shortstop (.312, 108 OPS+)
Gabby Hartnett+ (20) 53.4 [HOF-68] Hartnett was a slugging catcher (.297, 126 OPS+)
Joe Tinker+ (15) 53.2 [HOF-67] Trout leaves the entire Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance trio in his dust!
Harry Hooper+ (17) 53.2 [HOF-66] Hooper scored 1,429 runs (114 OPS+).
Jimmy Collins+ (14) 53.2 {HOF-65] Collins hit .294 (113 OPS+).
Elmer Flick+ (13) 53.2 [HOF-64] Elmer Flick had a gaudy 149 OPS+ but only played ten full seasons.
Sam Rice+ (20) 52.8 [HOF-63] Trout passes a sometimes-centerfielder (.322, 112 OPS+).
Cesar Cedeno (17) 52.7 Trout passes one of the most gifted non-HOF centerfielders in 1/3 the playing time (123 OPS+).
Dustin Pedroia (12) 52.5 Trout passes a still-productive star in half the playing time (114 OPS+).
Bid McPhee+ (18) 52.4 [HOF-62] Trout passes another HOFer in 1/3 the playing time! (107 OPS+).
Mickey Cochrane+ (13) 52.1 [HOF-61] Mickey Cochrane was a two-time MVP (129 OPS+).
Jim O'Rourke+ (23) 51.5 [HOF-60] Trout passes a HOFer in 1/4 the playing time! (1,729 runs, 134 OPS+).
Bobby Doerr+ (14) 51.2 [HOF-59] Bobby Doerr was a nine-time All-Star and a slugging second baseman (115 OPS+).
Kirby Puckett+ (12) 50.9 [HOF-58, CF-9] Trout passes his 9th HOF centerfielder (.318, 124 OPS+) at age 25.
Joe Kelley+ (17) 50.5 [HOF-57] Kelley scored 1,421 runs and hit .317 (134 OPS+).
Orlando Cepeda+ (17) 50.2 [HOF-56] "The Baby Bull" terrorized NL pitchers in his day (133 OPS+).
At 50 WAR, we see fewer and fewer questionable names, and increasing greatness.
Tony Lazzeri+ (14) 49.9 [HOF-55] Lazzeri hid his epilepsy from the public his entire career (121 OPS+).
Larry Doby+ (13) 49.5 [HOF-54, CF-8] Trout passes his 8th HOF centerfielder at age 25 (136 OPS+).
Ralph Kiner+ (10) 49.4 [HOF-53] Ralph Kiner led the NL in homers seven times (149 OPS+).
Nellie Fox+ (19) 48.9 [HOF-52] Nellie Fox was a twelve-time All-Star.
Mike Trout (5) age 24 actual career WAR 48.5; he has already passed 51 hall-of-famers!
Dave Bancroft+ (16) 48.5 [HOF-51] Bancroft had one of the more unusual nicknames, "Beauty" (98 OPS+).
Earl Averill+ (13) 48.0 [HOF-50, CF-7] Trout passes his 7th HOF centerfielder at age 24 (.318, 133 OPS+).
Johnny Evers+ (18) 47.8 [HOF-49] Trout passes the second of the Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance trio (106 OPS+).
Buck Ewing+ (18) 47.7 [HOF-48] Ewing was one of the first good-hitting catchers (.303, 129 OPS+).
Jim Rice+ (16) 47.4 [HOF-47] Rice slugged .502 with 382 homers and 1,451 RBI (128 OPS+).
Kiki Cuyler+ (18) 46.7 [HOF-46] Cuyler was a .321 hitter (125 OPS+).
Ernie Lombardi+ (17) 45.9 [HOF-45] Lombardi was a slugging catcher (.306, 126 OPS+).
Heinie Manush+ (17) 45.8 [HOF-44] Manush had 2,524 hits (.330, 121 OPS+).
Frank Chance+ (17) 45.6 [HOF-43] Trout passes the first of the famous Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance trio.
John McGraw+ (17) 45.6 [HOF-42] McGraw played three positions (.334, 135 OPS+).
Deacon White+ (20) 45.5 [HOF-41] The Deacon played three positions (.312, 127 OPS+).
Lou Brock+ (19) 45.2 [HOF-40] Brock stole 968 bases (.293, 109 OPS+); Trout passes him like he's standing still!
Edd Roush+ (18) 45.2 [HOF-39, CF-6] Trout passes his 6th HOF centerfielder (.323, 126 OPS+) at age 24.
King Kelly+ (16) 44.3 [HOF-38] A forgotten name, but a kingly player (.307, 1,357 runs, 138 OPS+).
Sam Thompson+ (15) 44.3 [HOF-37] Consistent greatness (.331, .505 SP, 1,306 RBI, 147 OPS+).
Travis Jackson+ (15) 44.0 [HOF-36] A good-hitting shortstop (.291, 102 OPS+) with 7 superior seasons.
Chuck Klein+ (17) 43.6 [HOF-35] Chuck Klein had 400+ total bases three times (.320, 137 OPS+).
Hugh Duffy+ (17) 42.9 [HOF-34, CF-5] Trout passes his 5th HOF centerfielder (.326, 123 OPS+) at age 24.
Rabbit Maranville+ (23) 42.8 [HOF-33] Maranville was, as his nickname suggests, small (5'5") and speedy (82 OPS+).
Earle Combs+ (12) 42.5 [HOF-32, CF-4] Trout passes his 4th HOF centerfielder (125 OPS+) at age 24.
Hughie Jennings+ (18) 42.2 [HOF-31] A shortstop who hit .312 (118 OPS+) but had only 5 superior seasons.
Red Schoendienst+ (19) 42.2 [HOF-30] Seems a bit iffy to me (.289, 94 OPS+).
Roger Bresnahan+ (17) 41.0 [HOF-29] Another head-scratcher, he never drove in more than 56 runs.
Phil Rizzuto+ (13) 40.8 [HOF-28] Yet another light-hitting shortstop (.273, 93 OPS+).
Hack Wilson+ (12) 38.8 [HOF-27, CF-3] Trout passes his 3rd HOF centerfielder (144 OPS+) at age 24.
Mike Trout (4) age 23 actual career WAR 38.1 at the end of the 2015 season
George Kell+ (15) 37.4 [HOF-26] "Killer" Kell was a ten-time All-Star who hit .306 (112 OPS+) but only had 100 RBI once. 
Bill Mazeroski+ (17) 36.2 [HOF-25] Mazeroski was a great defensive second baseman but not much of a hitter (84 OPS+).
Pie Traynor+ (17) 36.2 [HOF-24] Pie Traynor hit .320 (107 OPS+) and was one of the first star third basemen.
John Ward+ (17) 35.6 [HOF-23] Ward had 1,410 runs and 540 steals, playing short.
Miller Huggins+ (13) 35.4 [HOF-22] Huggins hit .265 (107 OPS+) and slugged a woeful .312, but walked a lot.
Jim Bottomley+ (16) 35.3 [HOF-21] A real star who hit .322 (125 OPS+, .500 SP) with 1,422 RBI.
Roy Campanella+ (10) 34.1 [HOF-20] Roy Campanella was a three-time NL MVP, a real star.
Ross Youngs+ (10) 32.2 [HOF-19] Youngs hit .322 (130 OPS+), but had only 5 superior seasons.
Chick Hafey+ (13) 30.1 [HOF-18] Hafey hit .317 (133 OPS+, .526 SP), but had only 4 superior seasons.
Rick Ferrell+ (18) 29.8 [HOF-17] Ferrell's brother Wes, a pitcher, was the better hitter with a higher OPS+!
Mike Trout (3) age 22 actual career WAR 28.8 at the end of the 2014 season
Ray Schalk+ (18) 28.5 [HOF-16] Schalk hit .253 (83 OPS+) and slugged an anemic .316 (ouch!)
I have "drawn a line" here because I question whether the players below are really HOF caliber. Above this line, we will find many
players who were true superstars. Not all of them, but with increasing WAR, more and more so. Freddie Lindstrom is the first HOF
member to crack the list of the top 1,000 players in WAR. From this point up we will begin to see true stars begin to emerge, but
there are still some questionable names (not because they weren't good player, but because other players who accomplished more
are not in the HOF.
Freddie Lindstrom+ (13) 28.3 [HOF-15] Lindstrom hit .311 (110 OPS+), good but still not great.
High Pockets Kelly+ (16) 25.2 [HOF-14] Kelly hit .297 (109 OPS+) with 1,020 RBI (good but not great).
Lloyd Waner+ (18) 24.1  [HOF-13, CF-2] Trout passes his second HOF centerfielder, "Little Poison" at age 22.
George Wright+ (12) 23.2 [HOF-12] A good-hitting shortsop (.301, 125 OPS+) but not much run production.
Monte Irvin+ (8) 21.3 [HOF-11] A rookie at age 30 due to racial discrimination; not elected for his stats but a star briefly.
Billy Southworth+ (13) 21.0  [HOF-10] A .297 hitter (111 OPS+) with a handful of good seasons; better as a manager.
Mike Trout (2) age 21 actual career WAR 20.8 at the end of the 2013 season (easy pickings so far!)
Casey Stengel+ (14) 20.1 [HOF-9] A .284 hitter who never scored or drove in 75 runs, and .500 as a manager?
Ned Hanlon+ (13) 18.0  [HOF-8, CF-1] Trout passes his first HOF centerfielder, but a .259 hitter (102 OPS+).
Al Lopez (19)+ 16.6 [HOF-7] A .261 hitter (83 OPS+) who never drove in more than 57 runs?
Tommy McCarthy+ (13) 16.1 [HOF-6] A .292 hitter (102 OPS+) with perhaps five above-average years?
Bucky Harris (12)+ 15.1 [HOF-5] A .274 hitter (86 OPS+) with a losing record as a manager?
Wilbert Robinson+ (17) 13.9 [HOF-4] No idea, really. He hit .273 (83 OPS+) and was .500 as a manager.
Mike Trout (1) age 20 actual career WAR 11.5 at the end of the 2012 season (easy pickings so far!)
Charlie Comiskey+ (13) 7.7 [HOF-3] Comiskey hit .264 and had a ballpark named after himself? (Well, he did build it!)
Connie Mack (11)+ 5.5 [HOF-2] Mack hit an abysmal .244 (72 OPS+), but is better known as a manager.
Leo Durocher (17)+ 5.1 [HOF-1] Durocher hit a lowly .247 (66 OPS+), but is better known as a manager.

According to Ross Carey, the average Hall of Fame batter played 18 years and collected 2,411 hits with 1,329 runs scored and 1,218 RBI, hitting .303 with an on-base percentage (OBP) of .376, a slugging percentage (SP) of .461, an OPS of .837 and an OPS+ of 128. I have focused on OPS+ because it helps us compare hitters from different eras. An OPS+ of 100 is an average major league hitter. As we can see in the rankings above, not all Hall of Fame players were great hitters, or even good hitters. A few were well below average.

Related Pages: The Greatest Baseball Team of All Time, The Greatest Baseball Infields of All Time, Is Mike Trout the GOAT?, Best Baseball Nicknames, Weird Baseball Facts and Trivia, All-Time Cincinnati Reds Baseball Team, Cincinnati Reds Trivia

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