As Mike Trout enters tonight's contest against Chris Capuano and the Dodgers, we should pause to note that today is his 50th game on a still-young 2012 season. The Angels club record is 15 games over .500 since his call-up, and it's astonishing to note that our young juggernaut is still the youngest player in the American League.
More astonishing than that is the fact that, as of today, and a consequence of his two walks, two runs, and go-ahead home run last night, Mike Trout is now leading all position players in the American League in WAR per the Fangraphs leaderboards. In fact, he's basically co-leading all AL players period, as only Justin Verlander shares his mark of 3.6 Wins Above Replacement in the league.
Josh Hamilton went hitless tonight in a losing effort against the Rox, so regardless the volatility of the stats, we're likely to enjoy this milestone at least through the weekend. But the fact that we're enjoying it at all strains belief. Trout accomplished the feat in 49 games. For perspective, Josh Hamilton (#2 in WAR) has played 64 games thusfar, Adam Jones (#3) has played 70.
If Mike Trout were to leave the sport today and take up a job in, say, aquaculture –– he would have already accumulated more WAR than any other Angels rookie save for Tim Salmon and Devon White. And he'll have done it in 350+ fewer plate appearances.