As well all know, Mike Trout was in the midst of the best season of his career before injuries derailed it.
And as most of us agree, it’s only a matter of time before Mike Trout wins the Americana League MVP award for the third time in his career. However, this article isn’t to argue that, or even really speak about how great of a season it was statistically for Trout.
This article is about his career as a whole to this point, and how far he rose this season.
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Before this year, Trout was tied with Vic Willis and Dave Winfield with 64.2 career WAR, per Baseball Reference. That was tied for 146th on the all-time rankings, placing him above players such as Jackie Robinson, Mark McGwire, and Dennis Eckersley.
Basically, we was already a Hall of Famer before this season even starter. But now, its impossible to debate that Mike Trout is one of, if not the best, players to ever step foot on a baseball diamond.
Mike Trout passed 61, yes 61, players in WAR this season. A majority of those players are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, or current players well in their way to being inducted.
Trout now sits alone, ranked 87th all-time with 72.5 WAR. If he had finished out the season (let’s just say with 73 WAR), he could have moved up a few spots to 83, passing four names in the process, Larry Walker and Jim Thome. Instead, Trout will just have to wait until next year.
Speaking of next year, it has a chance to be even more monumental than 2019 was for Trout. While he won’t pass 61 players again (he’d have to 34 WAR), he has a chance to pass some of the best to ever play the game.
For the purpose of this, let’s say Trout totals an even 10 WAR next year. That’s about what he was on pace for before his season ended early. That’d bring Trout’s career total to 82.5. If he can reach that total, Trout would move all the way up to 59th on the all-time list.
Basically, after next season, Mike Trout’s name will no longer be a hypothetical in the group of best players of all-time. After next year, his name will literally be sandwiched between names such as Rod Carew and Nolan Ryan below. Passing arguably the greatest pitcher off all-time while you’re still in your 20’s is quite the accomplishment.
Oh, and it goes without saying that if Mike Trout continues his career trend, he could very well land right atop of the all-time WAR list by the time he hangs up the cleats.