Cameron: What Ken Griffey Jr. means for Mike Trout’s Hall of Fame timeline

From Dave Cameron at FanGraphs on January 7, 2016:

Yesterday, Ken Griffey Jr. was elected to the Hall of Fame, receiving the largest proportion of votes of any player in baseball history; 437 of the 440 voters to cast ballots checked the box for Junior’s inclusion. And as I noted yesterday, the overwhelming support for Griffey’s candidacy highlights the fact that we generally value peak performance over longevity; Griffey played for 20 years, but was mostly a shell of himself for the second half of his career, creating the entirety of his Hall of Fame resume during the first dozen years he played. The consensus that Griffey is one of the greatest players of all time is driven by what he did in his 20s, not what he did in his 30s.

So this brings up an interesting question; given that almost everyone agrees that Griffey’s peak was so good that the second half of his career essentially was irrelevant, how much more does Mike Trout need to do before he reaches a similar point in his career? Does Griffey’s overwhelming induction based on a 12 year run of greatness suggest that there’s a 24 year old walking around who may have already done the bulk of the work necessary to ensure enshrinement in Cooperstown?

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Originally published: January 7, 2016. Last Updated: January 7, 2016.