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Has Mike Trout peaked?

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  • Has Mike Trout peaked?

    It's time for the old columnist staple: Random thoughts!

    1. Mike Trout turned 21 years old in August, so the common axiom about young players as applied to Trout: He'll get better. But is that even possible? His 10.7 WAR was one of just 20 such seasons by a position player since 1950. If he repeats this season 10 more times he'd be over 100 career WAR -- a valuation just 19 position players have achieved. Now, unless he's the second coming of Willie Mays, Trout isn't going to be a 10-WAR player every season. His baserunning and fielding ability may have already crested, but is there room for development as a hitter? I think it's possible. He has a walk rate of 10.5 percent -- while above the AL average of 8.0 percent -- could improve, boosting his on-base percentages over .400, even if he's more .300 hitter than .330. Of course, maybe he is more Mays than Rickey Henderson. Mays had a .384 career OBP and walk rate of 11.7 percent that didn't grow much from a 10.9 percent rate as a rookie.

    What about power? Trout wasn't projected as more of 20-homer guy coming up, so the 30 home runs was a big surprise, especially in a tough home run park. According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, eight of Trout's 30 home runs were "just enough" -- a figure that wasn't near the league-leading figures of Miguel Cabrera (16) and Adrian Beltre (15). Trout's home run percentage on fly balls was 21.6 percent, which ranked 15th in the majors among those hitters with 300 plate appearances. Remember, as fast as is he, Trout isn't a small guy, at 6-1 and over 200 pounds. He's bigger than Mays or Hank Aaron. I believe the power is legit; that doesn't mean he's going to turn into a 40- or 45-homer guy. Eddie Mathews hit 47 as a 21-year-old and that was his career high. A friend of mine who plays in a simulation league owns Trout and was offered Bryce Harper for him. He asked my thoughts, wondering if it's possible Trout will never do this again. I suppose that's possible, but answered: He doesn't have to get better. He's already the best all-around player in the game.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/po...e-trout-peaked

  • #2
    He may turn out to be a great player, but whether he does or not, 2012 will be his best season.

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    • #3
      I say yes. It just doesn't get any better than this season. this is one of the best seasons of the last 50 years.

      I also expect him to struggle a little and have a "sophomore slump". nothing terrible but more likely like a 135 OPS+ with 6.5 WAR. pitchers will have a book on him for the first time and he needs to learn to deal with that. I think eventually he will overcome that and become a perrenial MVP candidate (similar to Arod or so) but I can't imagine him doing that every year. If he repeats 2012 till his mid 70s he will be like the 3rd best player ever and I just don't see that.

      So he will be good but not that good. but we'lll see.
      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dominik View Post
        If he repeats 2012 till his mid 70s he will be like the 3rd best player ever and I just don't see that.
        50+ years of 10 WAR performance. That'd be 500 career WAR. I'd suggest he might be the best player ever if he were to do that

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        • #5
          He's in his decline phase.
          They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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          • #6
            He's pretty good, but he's no Ben Zobrist.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ipitch View Post
              He's pretty good, but he's no Ben Zobrist.
              Zobrist uber alles!!!
              46 wins to match last year's total

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              • #8
                Is Trout a flash in the pan? A Walt Dropo with speed and glove?

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                • #9
                  1) Trout's offensive WAR was 8.6. 8.6 is around 78th overall and has been beaten or tied around 22 times (some players multiple times) in the last 55 years. It's a very good season of course, but it was beaten but Jeter, Ripken, Yount, Morgan twice, Mays 4 times, Mantle 4 times, Aaron twice, Yaz, Carew, McCovey, Robinson, Snider, Walker, and Piazza.
                  2) Every one of the 8 top OPS+ rankings at age 20 (excluding Trout) were beaten by the same player at least once, and often multiple times in their career.
                  3) Allen's 1964 rookie season (age 22) was a season, that barring injury, he basically matched twice more in his career in WAR.
                  4) Mathews, barring injury beat or matched his age 21 season 4 times (and darn close another 4 times) in WAR.
                  5) The top 10 age-20 marks for adjusted runs created include 9 players since 1900: Mantle, Ott, ARod, Cobb, Williams, Kaline, Robinson, Foxx and Trout. Each of them beat that mark multiple times (except Kaline, who would have beaten it barring injury.) And Kaline matched his age 20 WAR at age 26 and would have beaten it at age 32.

                  Trout is not physically mature (at age 20), so he will get stronger. It's a given that he will get better as a runner since there is a learning curve there. Will his defense improve? One would expect so.

                  Moreover, Trout missed 14% of the season. He has a built in cushion to start with, so he can get 14% worse and still match this season.

                  The players who have great seasons at age 20 and 21 are not lucky players that have had their best season. The lists of the best seasons at age 20 and 21 are almost ONLY filled with first round hall of famers.
                  Last edited by drstrangelove; 11-22-2012, 07:17 PM.
                  "It's better to look good, than be good."

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                  • #10
                    I can't help but think of Dwight Gooden, who at age 20 not only had the best season of his career by far, but a season even better than Trout's.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by willshad View Post
                      I can't help but think of Dwight Gooden, who at age 20 not only had the best season of his career by far, but a season even better than Trout's.
                      Yeah but the Mets ruined his arm from overuse. Then he ruined the rest of him by overuse of something else...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
                        He's in his decline phase.


                        I do have to say, if amazing rookie seasons of the past are anything to go by- I'm thinking Dimaggio, Williams, Ichiro, Fred Lynn- even if they end up having pretty remarkable careers, the rookie season always seems to end up at least close to their best season ever. Trout may have another 2 or 3 comparable seasons (which'll probably be enough to make him a future Hall of Famer if he doesn't break down) but I can't imagine any great improvement. If anything deserts him, I feel like it's most likely to be the power, which seems like a bit of a fluke. Maybe he had his Brady Anderson season first thing?
                        Found in a fortune cookie On Thursday, August 18th, 2005: "Hard words break no bones, Kind words butter no parsnips."

                        1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988 2017?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
                          He's in his decline phase.
                          If we just plug in Barry Bonds' decline rates, Trout will bat .440 with 85 home runs at age 42.

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                          • #14
                            Consider this, based on WAR, Trout would have had about 5.5 war this year if he had been an AVERAGE major league hitter, a pace that would put him over 80 in 15 years. He would have had about 4 war this year if his hitting had been at the level of an average major league shortstop.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by brett View Post
                              Consider this, based on WAR, Trout would have had about 5.5 war this year if he had been an AVERAGE major league hitter, a pace that would put him over 80 in 15 years. He would have had about 4 war this year if his hitting had been at the level of an average major league shortstop.
                              Manny Ramirez, one of the best hitters ever, only had 5.5 WAR twice in his entire career..once barely, at 5.8. I guess hitting really doesn't matter much after all!

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