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Play Ball

by M.G. Siegler


The Best Player in Baseball Doesn’t Want to Be a Superstar

Of all the great athletes these days, Mike Trout may be the one who interests me the most. Not because I'm an Angels fan -- I'm not -- but because by basically all metrics and statistics, he's so much better than every other ballplayer. Here's Michael Baumann on him:

Since arriving in the majors, Trout has played five full seasons, and he’s won five Silver Slugger awards and made five All-Star teams. He’s led the American League in WAR five times, and finished no worse than second in AL MVP voting, including two wins. Since 1901, nobody except Williams has produced more WAR than Trout in his first six seasons, though Williams played an extra 81 games, and five of those seasons were pre-integration. Trout has the sixth-highest OPS+ (minimum 2,500 plate appearances) for a player in his first six years, though everyone ahead of him except Ty Cobb was older and played in a less valuable corner position. Trout has two 10-win seasons, a feat only five players (Trout, Bonds, and three Hall of Famers) have ever achieved. At his current pace, Trout will close in on 60 career WAR — the modern sabermetric floor for a Hall of Fame career — in early 2018, when he’s 26 years old, and with less than seven years of service time. He’ll have Hall of Fame numbers three years before he’s played long enough to be eligible for the Hall of Fame.

I mean, it's absolutely insane. He should be the game's biggest superstar and highest paid player. Yet he's stuck on the Angels (who struck a genius deal a few years back to lock him in). Free Mike Trout!


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