The best Angels WAR season by a center fielder in franchise history

Did you have any doubt?
Sep 19, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) smiles to the
Sep 19, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) smiles to the / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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When thinking about the great center fielders to wear a Los Angeles Angels uniform, it's really Mike Trout and then everybody else. Sure, players like Darin Erstad, Torii Hunter, and Jim Edmonds were great (just to name a few) but nobody holds a candle to number 27.

Trout has seen some time in left field here and there but has been a staple in center field for virtually his entire Hall of Fame career, and will continue to be in center field most likely in 2024.

The 32-year-old is nowhere near done yet he holds virtually every important Angels offensive record including the highest bWAR for any center fielder in the history of this franchise. The best part is he did it twice!

The best LA Angels WAR season from a center fielder belongs to Mike Trout in 2012 and 2016

Mike Trout's MLB career began in 2011 but saw him struggle in a brief 40-game sample size. Fortunately the Angels did not freak out, and Trout immediately broke out the following year, putting up the highest bWAR in a single season by an Angels position player.

Trout's 2012 season was one of, if not the best a rookie has ever had. He slashed .326/.399/.564 with 30 home runs and 83 RBI in just 139 games played. He led the league with a 168 OPS+ and 129 runs scored as well as 49 stolen bases in 54 attempts. Trout obviously took home the AL Rookie of the Year Award that season while also being an all-star, taking home a Silver Slugger, and finishing as the AL MVP runner-up behind Miguel Cabrera who won the Triple Crown.

The center fielder was arguably even better just four seasons later for the Angels. He slashed .315/.441/.550 with 29 home runs and 100 RBI. He stole 30 bases, and just dominated offensively. He led the league in OPS+, OBP, walks, and runs scored. Of course, Trout took home his second AL MVP and his fifth Silver Slugger.

In terms of bWAR, those were the two greatest seasons in Angels history. Trout was worth an astonishing 10.5 bWAR those seasons, which is 0.6 WAR better than the next-best season, also accomplished by Mike Trout. If you want to find someone not named Mike Trout, Darin Erstad had an 8.3 bWAR season back in 2000. That's good for sixth among Angels position players.

Just to showcase how absurd 10.5 bWAR is in a single season, Shohei Ohtani's 2023 season was worth 10.0 bWAR. That's him as a hitter and pitcher. Mookie Betts and Ronald Acuna Jr. were worth 8.3 and 8.2 bWAR respectively for their outstanding seasons. Trout blew them out of the water.

Trout remains potent at the plate and when healthy, a strong defender. There will still be plenty of high WAR seasons for him left if, of course, he can actually stay on the field. 10.5 bWAR in a single season doesn't feel possible anymore, but it'd be foolish to ever count Trout out fully. If Trout doesn't top it, certainly nobody who is currently in an Angels uniform will. There's a good chance that record will stand for a very long time.

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