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How does Mike Trout get so much WAR?

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  • #16
    Two unpopular points have to be made over Trout and WAR. First, I will admit that Trout is an alltime player and very likely HoFer, but not to the point of being superior to Mays. Just about the only development which would keep Trout out of the Hall now would be verifiable PED use news.

    First, I suspect that a lot of fans with an analytical view do not fully appreciate the impact of league-wide acceptance of high K rates. When the stigma of striking out subsided, a tsunami of whiffs resulted and, IMHO, it has skewed the league stats. Since WAR is by definition a league-based stat, this would have an impact on anyone. While a rising sea would lift all boats, so will an ebbed tide lower all boats. IMO, should Trout have played in prior eras..... and especially in Mays' era when the difference in eras would have been obnoxiously apparent, then we wouldn't have much discussion of Trout being on par with Mays.

    Second, again I view WAR as being a league-based stat by definition. So..... we need a widely-agreed upon clarification over how to calculate WAR. When the stat leads to WAR varying for the same player in the same season by 1/3 or even 1/2 of a win, it makes one scratch one's head. Bill James preached regularly that he advocated stats which did not appear to be used as if anyone had an axe to grind. He used his stats to find his points and then make them, not to embellish or to defend his views already held. How in the world can WAR vary as much as it does from one website to another without rounding error? Here on this site, I have seen countless occasions of such, and the practice makes the use of WAR far from the starting and ending point of any player's discussion.

    WAR is just another number on the screen or page. Since I grew up in Missouri as a NL and Cardinal fan, Show-Me why I am supposed to bow to the alter of WAR.
    Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

    A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill. (Please take note that I've recently become aware of how this quote applies to a certain US president. This is a coincidence, and the quote was first added to this signature too far back to remember when).

    Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by SavoyBG View Post
      Trout only has 117 PA this season with RISP, and 18% of the time he gets walked intentionally in those spots. His slash is .328/.578/.597 in those spots, with 54 runs and 33 RBIs.
      Ssshhhh...you're spoiling the narrative.
      My top 10 players:

      1. Babe Ruth
      2. Barry Bonds
      3. Ty Cobb
      4. Ted Williams
      5. Willie Mays
      6. Alex Rodriguez
      7. Hank Aaron
      8. Honus Wagner
      9. Lou Gehrig
      10. Mickey Mantle

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by abolishthedh View Post
        Two unpopular points have to be made over Trout and WAR. First, I will admit that Trout is an alltime player and very likely HoFer, but not to the point of being superior to Mays. Just about the only development which would keep Trout out of the Hall now would be verifiable PED use news.

        First, I suspect that a lot of fans with an analytical view do not fully appreciate the impact of league-wide acceptance of high K rates. When the stigma of striking out subsided, a tsunami of whiffs resulted and, IMHO, it has skewed the league stats. Since WAR is by definition a league-based stat, this would have an impact on anyone. While a rising sea would lift all boats, so will an ebbed tide lower all boats. IMO, should Trout have played in prior eras..... and especially in Mays' era when the difference in eras would have been obnoxiously apparent, then we wouldn't have much discussion of Trout being on par with Mays.

        Second, again I view WAR as being a league-based stat by definition. So..... we need a widely-agreed upon clarification over how to calculate WAR. When the stat leads to WAR varying for the same player in the same season by 1/3 or even 1/2 of a win, it makes one scratch one's head. Bill James preached regularly that he advocated stats which did not appear to be used as if anyone had an axe to grind. He used his stats to find his points and then make them, not to embellish or to defend his views already held. How in the world can WAR vary as much as it does from one website to another without rounding error? Here on this site, I have seen countless occasions of such, and the practice makes the use of WAR far from the starting and ending point of any player's discussion.

        WAR is just another number on the screen or page. Since I grew up in Missouri as a NL and Cardinal fan, Show-Me why I am supposed to bow to the alter of WAR.
        Do you think Trout would have struck out nearly as much playing in the 1950's and 60's? Would Mays not have struck out alot more in today's conditions? Pitchers on average throw much harder today and with better movement, and starters only stay in the game for 5-6 innings before the ball is handed off to more flamethrowers with fresh arms. The game has changed substantially in the last 25 years, let alone the last 60.
        My top 10 players:

        1. Babe Ruth
        2. Barry Bonds
        3. Ty Cobb
        4. Ted Williams
        5. Willie Mays
        6. Alex Rodriguez
        7. Hank Aaron
        8. Honus Wagner
        9. Lou Gehrig
        10. Mickey Mantle

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by willshad View Post
          It seems every year Mike Trout has 11-12 WAR per 162 games
          It doesn’t help to begin a post with an assertion easily shown to be false. Trout’ rookie year was the only time he averaged 11-12 WAR/162 games. For his career, the average is less than 10.

          and I don't see how it is possible. Without getting into the numbers, just in the general sense,
          That’s like saying, NASA can launch a rocket that goes to the moon, and without getting into the numbers, I don’t think that’s possible. If you really want to know how Trout’s WAR is determined, FG and BBRef give you all the tools you need to calculate it yourself. If all you want to do is imply that he’s been overrated, then criticize those tools, which are the same ones applied to everyone else. Despite the analogy I used, it’s not rocket science.

          Also, there appears to be a widely-shared misunderstanding that WAR can be used (or is used, by sabers) to compare players of different generations. It can't. By WAR, Trout is the best player of this generation. WAR has nothing to say about whether he's better than Mays. One can say, at best, that maybe Trout dominates his generation more than Mays dominated his. Or not. But without being able to evaluate accurately league quality, we can't make direct comparisons. If someone wants to argue that if Trout played in Mays's era, he wouldn't have put up numbers as good as Mays, WAR can't be used to disprove that. If Trout ended up averaging 1 WAR more per season than Mays, that does not establish Trout was better than Mays. It just indicates he was better relative to his generation than Mays was to his. I myself believe Trout would have been a better hitter than Mays, about as good at baserunning, and somewhat poorer defensively. But this is just educated speculation, i can't prove it with the data we have available.

          All that said, WAR is still the best approach we have to such comparisons. If you want to compare Trout to Mays, you begin by noting that he is at least as good relative to his peers as Mays was to his. That is a solid if not ocmpelling argument, and at that point, it's up to critics to make the case that his peers are not as good as those Mays played with. The argument about Ks is an example, but as GJ points out, it's not a very strong one, because there are other factors that are more likely to account for the rise in Ks than just poorer LQ.
          Last edited by Stolensingle; 09-14-2018, 09:24 AM.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by abolishthedh View Post
            Two unpopular points have to be made over Trout and WAR. First, I will admit that Trout is an alltime player and very likely HoFer, but not to the point of being superior to Mays. Just about the only development which would keep Trout out of the Hall now would be verifiable PED use news.

            First, I suspect that a lot of fans with an analytical view do not fully appreciate the impact of league-wide acceptance of high K rates. When the stigma of striking out subsided, a tsunami of whiffs resulted and, IMHO, it has skewed the league stats. Since WAR is by definition a league-based stat, this would have an impact on anyone. While a rising sea would lift all boats, so will an ebbed tide lower all boats. IMO, should Trout have played in prior eras..... and especially in Mays' era when the difference in eras would have been obnoxiously apparent, then we wouldn't have much discussion of Trout being on par with Mays.

            Second, again I view WAR as being a league-based stat by definition. So..... we need a widely-agreed upon clarification over how to calculate WAR. When the stat leads to WAR varying for the same player in the same season by 1/3 or even 1/2 of a win, it makes one scratch one's head. Bill James preached regularly that he advocated stats which did not appear to be used as if anyone had an axe to grind. He used his stats to find his points and then make them, not to embellish or to defend his views already held. How in the world can WAR vary as much as it does from one website to another without rounding error? Here on this site, I have seen countless occasions of such, and the practice makes the use of WAR far from the starting and ending point of any player's discussion.

            WAR is just another number on the screen or page. Since I grew up in Missouri as a NL and Cardinal fan, Show-Me why I am supposed to bow to the alter of WAR.
            I think that there is a good question as to whether "3 outcomes" baseball with a low strike zone and small parks has bottlenecked the talent getting into the game by eliminating many of the ways that a player could contribute value. Small parks enable slower sluggers. Small strike zones select for low ball hitters with just enough power to drive the ball to the wall, and eliminate potential talent in the form of players who can hit the high strike, or put bad pitches into play, or run both on offense and defense.


            It's important to recognize though that bottlenecking of talent and possible decrease in competitiveness does not necessarily coincide with a low run environment. In fact, we would certainly have lower offense today if parks and strike zones were larger. Pitchers would have more ways to get out the low strike guys and some guys who can hit the high strike might make it to the majors and steal some value. I also think that in terms of average velocity and movement, the average pitch being thrown today is basically equivalent to Sandy Koufax (if not in sequencing and timing). Some past stars would do better today and some would do worse. Mays was a pretty decent high ball hitter. So was Aaron. Take away their edge on the league on high strikes and give them modern pitching "stuff" and I can't say that their stats go up, especially if they are facing a specialized reliever once a game. Infield defense robs more hits today, but the average batted ball is hit harder, so BABIPs don't change that much.

            Last edited by brett; 09-14-2018, 11:07 AM.

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            • #21
              Nevermind......
              1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

              1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

              1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


              The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
              The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

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              • #22
                Great post as usual, Brett.

                For what it's worth, Willie had a .962 OPS vs. Koufax in 122 PA's, which is beyond impressive. If we extrapolate his totals against Koufax to a full season (650 PA's) we end up with 27 home runs, 42 doubles, and 133 walks. Granted, some of those PA's occurred before Koufax hit his stride, but still...
                My top 10 players:

                1. Babe Ruth
                2. Barry Bonds
                3. Ty Cobb
                4. Ted Williams
                5. Willie Mays
                6. Alex Rodriguez
                7. Hank Aaron
                8. Honus Wagner
                9. Lou Gehrig
                10. Mickey Mantle

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
                  Great post as usual, Brett.

                  For what it's worth, Willie had a .962 OPS vs. Koufax in 122 PA's, which is beyond impressive. If we extrapolate his totals against Koufax to a full season (650 PA's) we end up with 27 home runs, 42 doubles, and 133 walks. Granted, some of those PA's occurred before Koufax hit his stride, but still...
                  And one of them occurred right after Marichal conked Roseboro with his bat. Mays hit a HR that basically won the game right after that.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    https://www.baseball-reference.com/l...g_career.shtml

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by willshad View Post

                      The all time greats should put up amazing stats DESPITE their park. Guys like Dimaggio and Piazza were KILLED by their home parks throughout their careers, but still put up much better raw numbers than Trout. It's not just a fluke off year...he consistently drives in far less runs than you imagine he should. The guy has all of 68 RBI this year, and people act like he should win the MVP. Piazza averaged per 162 games 36 116 .308 for his CAREER, despite playing catcher ,in a horrible hitter's stadium, in generally bad lineups. In his prime, 1993-2000, it was an astounding 41 130 .330 per 162. Trout probably can't do that even playing all of his games in Colorado.

                      Nothing anyone says can convince me that Trout is the hitter that Dimaggio or Piazza was. He is a great hitter relative to a lot of not so good hitters.
                      https://www.baseball-reference.com/l...g_career.shtml

                      Trout is 9th in OPS and 6th in OPS+ in a poor hitters park, and tops Mays, Piazza and DiMaggio in both stats. Ergo it comes back to the due credit for walks, NOT the quality of competition nor positional value. He gets a small boost for playing in a DH league.


                      Now, if you want to argue that Clean hitters lost OPS+ to PED users, I think that is valid.
                      Last edited by brett; 09-14-2018, 05:02 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by willshad View Post

                        The all time greats should put up amazing stats DESPITE their park. Guys like Dimaggio and Piazza were KILLED by their home parks throughout their careers, but still put up much better raw numbers than Trout. It's not just a fluke off year...he consistently drives in far less runs than you imagine he should. The guy has all of 68 RBI this year, and people act like he should win the MVP. Piazza averaged per 162 games 36 116 .308 for his CAREER, despite playing catcher ,in a horrible hitter's stadium, in generally bad lineups. In his prime, 1993-2000, it was an astounding 41 130 .330 per 162. Trout probably can't do that even playing all of his games in Colorado.

                        Nothing anyone says can convince me that Trout is the hitter that Dimaggio or Piazza was. He is a great hitter relative to a lot of not so good hitters.
                        RISP Men on Base
                        SLG OPS SLG OPS
                        Piazza .519 .922 .548 .941
                        Trout .588 1.055 .553 .990

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Its not just about parks. Its about overall run environment. Park are just one small part of that. The overall run environment was MUCH higher in Piazza's er than Trout's.

                          For some strange reason, people think this is a major offensvie era. It is not. 2012- 2015 were major pitcher years...2016-2018 were slightly above average historically. Overall - Trouts run environment is below historical average. WAY below historical average given era and park. Many homeruns does not mean this is a high scoring era. The height of Piazza's leagues were putting up a half-a-run or more per game. It was a LOT easier to hit in Piazza's league than Trouts. Which, no crap, is why his wRC+ is higher than the players from the 90's and early 00's given the same numbers.

                          1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                          1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                          1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                          The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                          The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            For most of Trout's career, he's batted leadoff, second and third. You're not getting a lot of RBI opportunities in the first two spots.
                            46 wins to match last year's total

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by SamtheBravesFan View Post
                              For most of Trout's career, he's batted leadoff, second and third. You're not getting a lot of RBI opportunities in the first two spots.
                              But he was the first #2 hitter in baseball HISTORY to lead the league in RBIs.
                              1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                              1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                              1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                              The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                              The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post

                                But he was the first #2 hitter in baseball HISTORY to lead the league in RBIs.
                                Right, but the way Willshad was talking earlier, it looked like he forgot that part of the context too. You pretty much provided the rest of it.
                                46 wins to match last year's total

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