Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott, Jimmie Fox, Ted Williams - those are all some great names in the world of baseball and an amazing talent lineup. Those were also all the top 5 players in WAR by the age of 24 before Mike Trout came around. This weekend while the Angels were embarrassing the Astros in a 3 win series victory, Mike Trout passed Ty Cobb to sit on top of that list and bump them all down one spot.
Many of this saw this coming as Trout was inching closer and closer to that 47.2 mark of Ty Cobb, and over the weekend Trout hit 47.3 according to FanGraphs. Trout will play in 5-6 more games and we could see that total move closer to 48 before the season is over.
In 2016, Trout's homeruns are down a bit, but he's on track for the second most runs of his career, second in RBIs, 3rd in stolen bases and batting average, highest ever walks, OBP, and OPS - and possibly his lowest K total (if he strikes out less than 5 times this week). Yes it's good to be Mike Trout, and even better to have him on your team. I'm sure these 4 teams would love to have him:
Some of those totals by age 24 are downright ridiculous. Trout is right near the top in just about every category which is a testament to how well rounded he is (and he has the fewest games out of all of them but Ted Williams). Homeruns? Right in the mix. Stolen bases? He's second. Baserunning? He's first. Defensive rating? Also number one. Sure Mel Ott has hit more homeruns by age 24 and Ty Cobb stole a TON more bases, but none of these top guys are as rounded as Trout in all categories, so it's no wonder that he takes top honors in WAR.
Want to look forward to Mike Trout's age 25 season? Well, he's already #3 there behind Mantle and Cobb, but he only needs to put up 9.3 WAR from today through the end of next year to take those honors as well. Trout is even already #10 though the Age 26 season and he needs just 16.2 total WAR from now until the end of 2018 to reach the top there.
WAR isn't everything and the MVP voting sure shows that. In 2014 when Trout finally won an MVP award, he only had 7.9 WAR which is the only time in his career he ever dipped below 9.0. Trout only stole 16 bases that year and hit .287. Winning isn't everything they say - but it sure seems to be when it comes to the Baseball Writers of America and the MVP vote. Despite all this WAR greatness, it's likely Trout gets shut out yet again in 2016. But that's okay. Us Angels fans get to bask in his glory on a regular basis and one day we can say "I was there to watch Mike Trout play".