The LA Angels have had the extreme benefit of employing Mike Trout, something they’ll be doing for the next decade at least.
But how much longer does Mike Trout have as the best player in the MLB? He’s reached the top of the MLB pyramid in 2013, and has maintained that spot ever since. He was the best player in the MLB this decade, but what about the next?
There’s a legitimate chance that Trout produces more WAR next decade than any other player. He has 3-5 prime years left, and is the best player in the league as it stands right now.
Trout is so phenomenal, that he produced more WAR than any other player despite only playing eight full seasons this year, and it wasn’t necessarily close.
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I personally believe it’s a safe bet that, barring injuries, Mike Trout keeps his crown for the next 2-3 years at least. He could keep it for twice as long, but I don’t believe there’ll be another player as good as a Trout in before 2023. Here are the five candidates I believe have the best chance of passing Trout, in order of likelihood.
1.) Ronald Acuña Jr.
2.) Christian Yelich
3.) Cody Bellinger
4.) Juan Soto
5.) Mookie Betts
In this group, you mostly see a combination of five-tool players and youth. A player is going to have to be entering their own prime as Trout exits his, making Acuña Jr. the prime candidate.
I ran polls on Twitter to see two things: how long Angels fans think Trout will be the best, and how long the rest of the MLB fandom believes that’ll be the case.
As we can see, Angels fans believe Trout’s in the middle of his reign, rather than nearing the end. The results from the rest of the fans see Trout as the best for just a few more years. Those results should be expected due to bias, but still interesting to see how separated the two polls were.
If I had to guess, Trout will be the best player in the MLB for the next 4-5 years. After that, his physical abilities will likely start to diminish and he’ll need to move from center field to a corner outfield spot. His phenomenal presence as a hitter will keep him near the top, and if he can stay in center field longer, he’ll maintain his spot as the best player in the MLB.