Weinberg: Mike Trout and the best players at every age

From Neil Weinberg at Beyond the Box Score on December 2, 2013:

To say that Mike Trout is a generational talent rings hollow. We all know Mike Trout is incredible — he was the best player in baseball at ages 20 and 21. We’re all aware of the many things that can go wrong over the course of a player’s career, but if you wanted to start on the path to being the best player in baseball history, you’d probably start your career like Trout did over the last two seasons. Trout isn’t just a great player, he’s potentially the best player of all time.

The wonderful thing about a statement like that is that the odds of a baseball player becoming the best player of all time start out extremely small and collapse almost immediately. Trout is 1490 plate appearances into his career and, while the odds are against him, by virtue of being the best player in history through age 21, he has a shot. The question now is what would it take?

Instead of taking Babe Ruth’s 168.4 fWAR and dividing it by the number of years we expect Trout to play, let’s take a slightly more interesting approach. We know that through age 21, Trout has accumulated more fWAR (21.1) than anyone else. He had the best age 20 season in history and the best age 21 season in history. What we want to know now is how many wins he would need to add on average in order to have the most fWAR at every age?

Read the full article here: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/12/2/5164442/mike-trout-at-any-age-los-angeles-angels-player-value

Originally published: December 2, 2013. Last Updated: December 2, 2013.