Gleeman: Mike Trout’s path to the greatest of all-time

From SABR member Aaron Gleeman at Baseball Prospectus on March 21, 2019:

Many people will always believe Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all time. That was true in 1919, it’s true in 2019, and it’ll probably be true in 3019. Ruth played 100 years ago, in a 16-team league, against competition that included only white, American players, and he pitched and hit fastballs that would qualify as slow changeups today. But if your sole requirement for the greatest of all time is simply the player who most dominated his peers, Ruth is the pick. I mean, he’s Babe Ruth.

If instead you’d prefer the greatest of all time to have played a more modern game, against more diverse competition, Willie Mays is a helluva choice. Or perhaps your idea of the greatest of all time is the most recent player whose dominance stood out to historic levels, in which case Barry Bonds is your man. Or maybe, as we’re more often willing to accept in an individual sport or competitions based on objective measurements, you believe the greatest of all time is probably the greatest right now. Mike Trout, in other words.

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Originally published: March 21, 2019. Last Updated: March 21, 2019.