How a canceled season would impact Los Angeles Angels stars Mike Trout and Albert Pujols in their quest for historic milestones.
Every Major League player is one step closer to retirement tomorrow than they are today. But for some players, there are a lot less steps ahead of them than behind. Albert Pujols is one of these examples. The future Hall-of-Famer turned 40 this offseason, and after 19 seasons in the majors, will surely retire at the end of his massive contract with the Angels in 2022. He keeps playing in hopes of reaching a few final milestones.
Mike Trout, on the other hand, has father time on his side. The 28-year-old center fielder has already built a career worthy of Hall-of-Fame consideration, but he seems to be just getting started. How many milestones will he achieve over his career?
The fate of both Pujols and Trout chasing history could be determined by the 2020 season. Games have already been wiped off the calendar. But if no season is played, how does that impact their respective chances of reaching key milestones they would otherwise have a chance to meet?
Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs, who developed the ZiPS projection system used on the site, wrote an article on Friday to show the impact of a lost 2020 season on various key milestones.
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Szymborski calculated the probabilities of active players reaching major milestones, such as 700 home runs, or 4000 strikeouts, based on whether a reduced 2020 season is played, or if no season is played at all. He took into account the added probability that a player close to a milestone would possibly extend their career one more season to try to achieve it.
Let’s take a look at the numbers to understand how Pujols and Trout are impacted by a lost 2020 season.