Mike Trout and the Greatest Offensive Decades in History

Last week, I noted how in roughly eight seasons, Mike Trout had already put up one of the best 10-year WAR figures in baseball history. Trout’s remarkable run requires more superlatives than my brain can muster, so let’s just agree that Mike Trout is really, really good. WAR combines the offensive and defensive components of the game, but it should not be shocking that Trout’s offensive numbers alone are fantastic. His career batting line of .305/.419/.581 has produced a 172 wRC+ and over his eight-plus seasons in the majors, Trout has been 511 runs better on offense than the average player. While Trout’s 70-plus WAR thus far puts him in rare company over a 10-year period, putting up more than 500 runs above average is even rarer.

Dating back to the start of 1900 season, 22 players have put up 128 10-year periods that resulted in a WAR at the end of that stretch of 70 or greater. During that same time period, only 16 players have combined to make 99 10-year periods over which the player was at least 500 runs above average on offense. In the last 50 years, only Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, Jeff Bagwell, and Frank Thomas have reached that mark. With two more solid seasons from Trout, only Bonds will have put up a better offensive decade than the one the Angels center fielder will finish in 2021. With even modest production, Trout is likely to be the major league leader in offensive runs above average for another half-dozen years on top of the two years he’s already produced.

Here are all the players who have ever topped the majors in 10-year runs above average since the 10-year period starting in 1900:

No. of Years Spent as 10-Year Offensive Leader
Player Years as 10-Year OFF Leader
Barry Bonds 14
Babe Ruth 12
Ty Cobb 10
Stan Musial 8
Mike Schmidt 7
Mickey Mantle 7
Albert Pujols 6
Rickey Henderson 6
Joe Morgan 6
Hank Aaron 6
Ted Williams 5
Lou Gehrig 5
Mel Ott 4
Honus Wagner 4
Mike Trout 2
Miguel Cabrera 2
Dick Allen 2
Jimmie Foxx 2
Joey Votto 1
Willie Mays 1

Here’s how Trout stacks up over the last 10 years, with the top-three 10-year offensive leaders:

10-Year Offense Leaders Since 2010
Yr End 1st OFF RAA 2nd OFF RAA 3rd OFF RAA
2019 Mike Trout 511 Joey Votto 359 Miguel Cabrera 302
2018 Mike Trout 443 Joey Votto 401 Miguel Cabrera 344
2017 Joey Votto 399 Mike Trout 373 Miguel Cabrera 360
2016 Miguel Cabrera 406 Joey Votto 354 Mike Trout 318
2015 Miguel Cabrera 416 Albert Pujols 364 Matt Holliday 316
2014 Albert Pujols 422 Miguel Cabrera 422 Matt Holliday 324
2013 Albert Pujols 476 Miguel Cabrera 412 Alex Rodriguez 311
2012 Albert Pujols 555 Alex Rodriguez 362 Miguel Cabrera 350
2011 Albert Pujols 579 Alex Rodriguez 408 Barry Bonds 357
2010 Albert Pujols 601 Barry Bonds 475 Alex Rodriguez 453

Trout’s 511 runs currently ranks 90th in history, but with two years to go in his first decade, he could easily end up in the top-50, and possibly the top 25 or 30, behind only Barry Bonds since the end of World War II:

Best 10-Year Offensive RAA Since 1900
Player Yr Start Yr End OFF RAA
Babe Ruth 1920 1929 873.6
Babe Ruth 1919 1928 870.3
Babe Ruth 1921 1930 860.5
Babe Ruth 1923 1932 859.8
Babe Ruth 1922 1931 835.6
Babe Ruth 1918 1927 817.2
Babe Ruth 1924 1933 793.5
Lou Gehrig 1927 1936 779.5
Barry Bonds 1995 2004 752.0
Lou Gehrig 1928 1937 752.0
Lou Gehrig 1926 1935 741.1
Babe Ruth 1925 1934 729.3
Babe Ruth 1917 1926 722.7
Rogers Hornsby 1920 1929 713.8
Babe Ruth 1926 1935 712.0
Lou Gehrig 1929 1938 709.6
Barry Bonds 1996 2005 704.4

Trout isn’t going to be that high up no matter what he does over the next few seasons, but he’s already in pretty select company. The table below shows every player who have put up 500-plus run 10-year periods:

Players with 500 Offensive Run Decades
Player 500-Run Decade 600-Run Decade 700-Run Decade 800-Run Decade High
Babe Ruth 15 13 10 6 873.6
Lou Gehrig 9 7 4 0 779.5
Barry Bonds 13 7 2 0 752.0
Rogers Hornsby 8 4 1 0 713.8
Ty Cobb 7 3 0 0 628.3
Mickey Mantle 7 4 0 0 617.3
Jimmie Foxx 6 2 0 0 604.0
Albert Pujols 4 1 0 0 600.5
Stan Musial 8 0 0 0 589.5
Ted Williams 8 0 0 0 559.5
Mel Ott 5 0 0 0 538.2
Frank Thomas 2 0 0 0 537.9
Willie Mays 4 0 0 0 526.5
Honus Wagner 1 0 0 0 522.8
Mike Trout 1 0 0 0 511.3
Jeff Bagwell 1 0 0 0 501.2

Trout has put up 139 runs above average the last two seasons; two more years like that would put him behind only Bonds over the last 70-plus years. With a potentially shortened 2020 season, Trout will have his work cut out for him. He needs around 120 runs to pass Ty Cobb on the list above. Even if he does nothing over the next two years, he’s still going to add to his total of 500-run decades, and he only needs about 50 runs total over the next three seasons to tie him with Willie Mays and Albert Pujols for 500-run decades.

Here’s where Trout stands for individual seasons since the start of 1961:

Best 10-Year Offensive Numbers Since 1961
Player Yr Start Yr End OFF RAA
Barry Bonds 1995 2004 752
Barry Bonds 1996 2005 704.4
Barry Bonds 1994 2003 693.4
Barry Bonds 1993 2002 691.8
Barry Bonds 1997 2006 659.6
Barry Bonds 1992 2001 652.9
Barry Bonds 1998 2007 629.7
Albert Pujols 2001 2010 600.5
Albert Pujols 2002 2011 578.7
Barry Bonds 1991 2000 577.9
Barry Bonds 1990 1999 567.9
Barry Bonds 1999 2008 567.7
Barry Bonds 1989 1998 555.1
Albert Pujols 2003 2012 554.5
Albert Pujols 2000 2009 546.3
Frank Thomas 1991 2000 537.9
Barry Bonds 2000 2009 537.4
Barry Bonds 1988 1997 522.6
Mike Trout 2010 2019 511.2
Frank Thomas 1990 1999 502.3
Jeff Bagwell 1993 2002 501.2

Even if Trout only gets a season and a half over the next years, a standard Trout-like performance will put him ahead of Pujols and only behind a bunch of Bonds seasons. Mike Trout is certainly a complete player, but based on his offensive production alone, he’s in the inner circle of the sort of great player rarely seen in history.

To finish this post off, below you’ll find are the top-three in offensive runs above average for every 10-year period going back to 1909:

10-Year Offensive Runs Above Average Leaders From 1909 to 2019
Yr End 1st OFF RAA 2nd OFF RAA 3rd OFF RAA
2019 Mike Trout 511 Joey Votto 359 Miguel Cabrera 302
2018 Mike Trout 443 Joey Votto 401 Miguel Cabrera 344
2017 Joey Votto 399 Mike Trout 373 Miguel Cabrera 360
2016 Miguel Cabrera 406 Joey Votto 354 Mike Trout 318
2015 Miguel Cabrera 416 Albert Pujols 364 Matt Holliday 316
2014 Albert Pujols 422 Miguel Cabrera 422 Matt Holliday 324
2013 Albert Pujols 476 Miguel Cabrera 412 Alex Rodriguez 311
2012 Albert Pujols 555 Alex Rodriguez 362 Miguel Cabrera 350
2011 Albert Pujols 579 Alex Rodriguez 408 Barry Bonds 357
2010 Albert Pujols 601 Barry Bonds 475 Alex Rodriguez 453
2009 Albert Pujols 546 Barry Bonds 537 Alex Rodriguez 490
2008 Barry Bonds 568 Alex Rodriguez 490 Albert Pujols 476
2007 Barry Bonds 630 Alex Rodriguez 488 Manny Ramirez 429
2006 Barry Bonds 660 Manny Ramirez 456 Alex Rodriguez 432
2005 Barry Bonds 704 Alex Rodriguez 458 Manny Ramirez 449
2004 Barry Bonds 752 Jeff Bagwell 445 Manny Ramirez 442
2003 Barry Bonds 693 Jeff Bagwell 490 Gary Sheffield 423
2002 Barry Bonds 692 Jeff Bagwell 501 Frank Thomas 421
2001 Barry Bonds 653 Jeff Bagwell 491 Frank Thomas 472
2000 Barry Bonds 578 Frank Thomas 538 Jeff Bagwell 478
1999 Barry Bonds 568 Frank Thomas 502 Jeff Bagwell 427
1998 Barry Bonds 555 Frank Thomas 483 Mark McGwire 379
1997 Barry Bonds 523 Frank Thomas 458 Rickey Henderson 316
1996 Barry Bonds 474 Frank Thomas 392 Rickey Henderson 335
1995 Barry Bonds 411 Rickey Henderson 352 Frank Thomas 332
1994 Rickey Henderson 389 Barry Bonds 359 Wade Boggs 303
1993 Rickey Henderson 417 Barry Bonds 312 Wade Boggs 302
1992 Rickey Henderson 414 Wade Boggs 341 Tim Raines 306
1991 Rickey Henderson 407 Wade Boggs 361 Tim Raines 296
1990 Rickey Henderson 408 Wade Boggs 335 Tim Raines 316
1989 Rickey Henderson 379 Wade Boggs 321 Mike Schmidt 321
1988 Mike Schmidt 365 Rickey Henderson 338 George Brett 317
1987 Mike Schmidt 377 Eddie Murray 314 Rickey Henderson 304
1986 Mike Schmidt 391 Eddie Murray 317 George Brett 308
1985 Mike Schmidt 395 George Brett 319 Eddie Murray 291
1984 Mike Schmidt 394 George Brett 281 Dave Winfield 272
1983 Mike Schmidt 402 Joe Morgan 307 Rod Carew 285
1982 Mike Schmidt 362 Joe Morgan 346 Reggie Jackson 336
1981 Joe Morgan 359 Reggie Jackson 332 Mike Schmidt 318
1980 Joe Morgan 370 Reggie Jackson 357 Willie Stargell 303
1979 Joe Morgan 372 Reggie Jackson 324 Willie Stargell 310
1978 Joe Morgan 379 Reggie Jackson 355 Willie Stargell 329
1977 Joe Morgan 374 Reggie Jackson 356 Willie Stargell 313
1976 Joe Morgan 357 Willie Stargell 322 Dick Allen 315
1975 Dick Allen 357 Willie Stargell 345 Frank Robinson 345
1974 Dick Allen 394 Hank Aaron 393 Frank Robinson 374
1973 Hank Aaron 426 Dick Allen 406 Frank Robinson 394
1972 Hank Aaron 450 Frank Robinson 383 Dick Allen 381
1971 Hank Aaron 476 Frank Robinson 431 Willie Mays 404
1970 Hank Aaron 464 Frank Robinson 449 Willie Mays 413
1969 Hank Aaron 468 Frank Robinson 460 Willie Mays 427
1968 Hank Aaron 486 Willie Mays 461 Frank Robinson 450
1967 Hank Aaron 489 Willie Mays 483 Mickey Mantle 449
1966 Willie Mays 524 Mickey Mantle 510 Hank Aaron 493
1965 Mickey Mantle 568 Willie Mays 523 Hank Aaron 497
1964 Mickey Mantle 613 Willie Mays 524 Hank Aaron 487
1963 Mickey Mantle 609 Willie Mays 527 Hank Aaron 446
1962 Mickey Mantle 617 Willie Mays 472 Eddie Mathews 446
1961 Mickey Mantle 602 Eddie Mathews 425 Willie Mays 414
1960 Mickey Mantle 528 Ted Williams 417 Stan Musial 395
1959 Mickey Mantle 480 Stan Musial 444 Ted Williams 415
1958 Stan Musial 512 Ted Williams 492 Mickey Mantle 437
1957 Stan Musial 571 Ted Williams 513 Mickey Mantle 368
1956 Stan Musial 555 Ted Williams 520 Ralph Kiner 359
1955 Stan Musial 590 Ted Williams 560 Ralph Kiner 370
1954 Stan Musial 548 Ted Williams 507 Ralph Kiner 360
1953 Stan Musial 551 Ted Williams 441 Ralph Kiner 342
1952 Stan Musial 553 Ted Williams 420 Ralph Kiner 314
1951 Stan Musial 535 Ted Williams 504 Ralph Kiner 284
1950 Ted Williams 543 Stan Musial 473 Joe DiMaggio 284
1949 Ted Williams 557 Stan Musial 416 Joe DiMaggio 298
1948 Ted Williams 528 Stan Musial 346 Johnny Mize 338
1947 Ted Williams 459 Johnny Mize 351 Joe DiMaggio 311
1946 Ted Williams 373 Johnny Mize 360 Mel Ott 356
1945 Mel Ott 434 Johnny Mize 352 Joe DiMaggio 336
1944 Mel Ott 455 Johnny Mize 352 Jimmie Foxx 336
1943 Mel Ott 475 Jimmie Foxx 405 Johnny Mize 352
1942 Mel Ott 486 Jimmie Foxx 484 Lou Gehrig 404
1941 Jimmie Foxx 579 Mel Ott 503 Lou Gehrig 474
1940 Jimmie Foxx 584 Lou Gehrig 556 Mel Ott 503
1939 Lou Gehrig 650 Jimmie Foxx 602 Mel Ott 523
1938 Lou Gehrig 710 Jimmie Foxx 604 Mel Ott 538
1937 Lou Gehrig 752 Jimmie Foxx 558 Babe Ruth 511
1936 Lou Gehrig 780 Babe Ruth 614 Jimmie Foxx 541
1935 Lou Gehrig 741 Babe Ruth 712 Jimmie Foxx 487
1934 Babe Ruth 729 Lou Gehrig 693 Jimmie Foxx 423
1933 Babe Ruth 794 Lou Gehrig 604 Rogers Hornsby 472
1932 Babe Ruth 860 Lou Gehrig 550 Rogers Hornsby 516
1931 Babe Ruth 836 Rogers Hornsby 609 Lou Gehrig 480
1930 Babe Ruth 861 Rogers Hornsby 652 Harry Heilmann 468
1929 Babe Ruth 874 Rogers Hornsby 714 Harry Heilmann 440
1928 Babe Ruth 870 Rogers Hornsby 664 Harry Heilmann 432
1927 Babe Ruth 817 Rogers Hornsby 600 Harry Heilmann 418
1926 Babe Ruth 723 Rogers Hornsby 571 Tris Speaker 426
1925 Babe Ruth 627 Rogers Hornsby 578 Tris Speaker 452
1924 Babe Ruth 616 Rogers Hornsby 483 Ty Cobb 462
1923 Babe Ruth 515 Ty Cobb 474 Tris Speaker 450
1922 Ty Cobb 500 Tris Speaker 438 Babe Ruth 398
1921 Ty Cobb 518 Tris Speaker 460 Eddie Collins 354
1920 Ty Cobb 552 Tris Speaker 461 Joe Jackson 413
1919 Ty Cobb 602 Tris Speaker 444 Eddie Collins 387
1918 Ty Cobb 628 Tris Speaker 457 Eddie Collins 419
1917 Ty Cobb 627 Tris Speaker 425 Eddie Collins 411
1916 Ty Cobb 596 Eddie Collins 385 Tris Speaker 377
1915 Ty Cobb 556 Eddie Collins 356 Honus Wagner 334
1914 Ty Cobb 484 Honus Wagner 373 Sam Crawford 313
1913 Ty Cobb 446 Honus Wagner 430 Nap Lajoie 309
1912 Honus Wagner 468 Ty Cobb 392 Nap Lajoie 331
1911 Honus Wagner 479 Nap Lajoie 338 Ty Cobb 321
1910 Honus Wagner 492 Nap Lajoie 393 Sam Crawford 272
1909 Honus Wagner 523 Nap Lajoie 352 Elmer Flick 298

We hoped you liked reading Mike Trout and the Greatest Offensive Decades in History by Craig Edwards!

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Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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Lunch Angle
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Lunch Angle

Rickey Henderson the decade leader for six straight years! Does offensive runs include baserunning?

tarvis
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tarvis

Yes.