Edwards: Mike Trout and the greatest decades of all time

From Craig Edwards at FanGraphs on May 1, 2020:

We tend to think of decades in two ways. The first is to classify a set of years with the same number in the tens column i.e. 80s, 90s, etc. This makes for very easy groupings when looking at the best what-have-you of a decade, or an all-decade team, but it can also be fairly restrictive. Just because 1961 and 1969 are both in the 60s, doesn’t really make them the same; we certainly hope that 2029 looks both much different and better than 2020 is shaping up to be. This manner of grouping arbitrarily chooses endpoints. But there is another way to look at a decade, and that’s to see it as any 10-year period. It’s much less restrictive and provides for more comparisons, particularly when it comes to baseball players, who tend to have relatively short primes that overlap different decades.

That was a relatively long-winded way to lead into what I’ve done, which is to look at a rolling 10-year position player leaderboard for every year since 1909. It should come as no surprise that Mike Trout’s 74.3 WAR leads the 10-year period from 2010 to 2019. He also leads the period from 2009 to 2018 and from 2008 to 2017. Since he didn’t play in 2010 and only accumulated 0.7 WAR in 2011, he’s almost guaranteed to lead the periods ending from 2020 to 2022 as well. For reference, the only players since the 10-year period ending in 1909 to be 10-year WAR leaders in six separate seasons are Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt, and Barry Bonds. Only 24 players have topped the 10-year WAR leaderboard even once in the last 111 seasons.

Read the full article here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/mike-trout-and-the-greatest-decades-of-all-time/

Originally published: May 1, 2020. Last Updated: May 1, 2020.