Mike Trout Facts

Last year, Jose Bautista went absolutely bananas to start the season, prompting me to write a post entitled Jose Bautista Facts. Unlike the Matt Wieters Facts meme, all of those facts about Bautista were actually true. It was part information, part reverence.

That format is the only one I can think of that will do justice to what Mike Trout is currently doing. This has gone beyond “wow, he’s having a nice year” territory – now it’s all just getting silly. So, here are a few actual true facts about Mike Trout’s performance this year. A few of them will probably make you laugh.

Mike Trout is now up to +6.0 WAR on the season, becoming just the 11th player in MLB history to put up a +6 WAR season at age 20. The others:

Alex Rodriguez, 1996: +9.8 WAR
Dwight Gooden, 1985: +9.0 WAR
Mel Ott, 1929: +8.9 WAR
Ted Williams, 1939: +7.9 WAR
Al Kaline, 1955: +7.7 WAR
Ty Cobb, 1907: +7.6 WAR
Mickey Mantle, 1952: +7.3 WAR
Sherry Magee, 1905: +6.5 WAR
Frank Robinson, 1964: +6.4 WAR
Vada Pinson, 1959: +6.0 WAR

Six of those 10 are in the Hall of Fame. Rodriguez has had a HOF career. The three non-HOFers posted career WARs of +56 (Pinson), +58 (Gooden), and +74 (Magee).

And, of course, there’s the simple matter of playing time. Trout spent April in Triple-A and we’re still in July, so he’s racked up +6.0 WAR in 77 games. Over a 162 game season, that’s a +12.6 WAR pace.

Trout has done a lot of his damage recently, as he’s racked up +2.5 WAR in July. He’s currently hitting .413/.473/.838 this month, including eight home runs and nine steals in 93 plate appearances. Even just ignoring everything else he’s doing, the HR/SB rates this month would put him on pace for a 60/60 season over a full year.

As good as Trout’s been in July, it’s not just a one month hot streak either. He also led the Majors in WAR in June, coming in at +2.0. He’s the only player in baseball to have two different months where he’s posted +2.0 WAR or more this year.

Trout’s +2.5 WAR in July is the most any player has had in any month since Josh Hamilton in June of 2010, when Hamilton hit .454/.482/.815 in 26 games, good for +2.8 WAR. Or, to put his July in context with other 20-year-olds, Trout’s performance this month was more valuable than Hank Aaron’s entire age 20 season (+2.1 WAR). If he has a couple of more good games before the month ends, he’ll catch Ken Griffey Jr’s age 20 season (+2.8 WAR). Oh, and don’t forget, there were four days off in the middle of the month for the All-Star Game.

Switching gears and just comparing Trout to other seasons by center fielders throughout history — Trout’s 188 wRC+ has only been equaled by five different players, each of whom you’ve probably heard of. Mickey Mantle (four times), Ty Cobb (seven times), Stan Musial (once), Tris Speaker (once), and Joe Jackson (once).

You probably knew Mike Trout was fast. Did you also know he leads the Majors in stolen bases (31) and stolen base efficiency (91.1%) among players with at least 20 SB attempts? Only three other 20-year-olds in the last 100 years have stolen 30+ bases in their age 20 season — Rickey Henderson in 1979 (33 SB, 11 CS), Elvis Andrus in 2009 (33 SB, 6 CS) and Claudell Washington in 1975 (40 SB, 15 CS). Henderson, by the way, posted a wRC+ of 96 as a 20-year-old.

When I wrote the Bautista post, it was clear that he couldn’t keep that pace up. Trout can’t keep this up either. We know there’s regression coming, and that he’s eventually going to cool off. But, that doesn’t mean we should ignore what Trout has done in the first three months of the 2012 season. He’s simply in the midst of one of the great runs in baseball history, and he’s doing it at an age when he can’t even legally drink.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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10 years ago

Trout is the greatest 20 year old that I’ve ever seen.

Well-Beered Englishman
10 years ago
Reply to  Rippers

Kate Upton turned 20 last month.

10 years ago
Reply to  Rippers

You should’ve seen this girl I was walking behind on the street the other day.

10 years ago
Reply to  JF145

I laughed out loud when i read your ridiculous comment and saw all the negative red next to it

10 years ago
Reply to  JF145

Matter of fact I did see her. And all I can say is wow!

10 years ago
Reply to  Rippers

It’s hard to see him keep this up but it’s amazing watching him play everyday.

If he has a weakness I’d say he occasionally chases the high fastball which he can’t handle. He chases other pitches out of the zone occasionally too, but he seems to have little problem handling them or at least fouling them off.

He’s been amazing, yet he gets better at bat to at bat, and month to month. He is still learning the league, he hasn’t seen most of these pitchers before, he is only hitting .299 in his first at bat of a game.

His power was underrated. He can flat out crush the ball. 440 to right center in Detroit?! On pace for near 30 homers already? He’s built like a tank, but his speed outshines his power.

10 years ago
Reply to  Rippers

Mike Trout is the best player I have ever seen, not just the best 20 year old. He is by far the best player in the MLB. And it isn’t even close.

10 years ago
Reply to  Rippers

Bryce Harper is batting .258, has a measly 9 home runs, and an ops of .750… If Trout would have played as much as Harper did when he was 19. He would have ended with numbers far better then this.. These numbers are a pathetic joke for someone who was on the cover of sports illustrated at at 16. And at this point we can consider Bryce Harper a bust. Ron Washington said Mike Trout is no Willie Mays. This is because he is racist. If you compare their respective rookie seasons you would agree with Ron Washington, but for different reasons. Willie May’s rookie season is a joke compared to what Mike Trout is doing. And for those of you who say hey it’s only half the season…Look again, it’s 2/3 over. And he is only getting better. If Mike Trout doesn’t win MVP, it will only make the honor a joke going forward, as nobody in the american league is playing at a level even close to Mike Trout. In fact no other player in history has had numbers even close. People aren’t even paying attention to the fact that he is on pace to break Ty Cobb’s rookie record of 132 runs scored. He will break this record. These are the types of players Trout should be compared to, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, etc, etc.. He should only be compared to the upper upper eschelon of players, and this does not include Willie Mays.. So thank you Ron Washington for looking like a racist idiot.

Juan Chapa
10 years ago
Reply to  dcfrmhb

I believe Wash was speaking careerwise about Willie. Willie
won games with his bat, defense, and speed. One baseball
person, forgot his name, described Willie’s glove, as “the
place Triples go to die.” That is the greatest compliment
I have ever heard about a player. Willie was only 5’10” and
weighed 170 pounds, was the greatest centerfielder. Still,
he hit 660 hemers, 1,903 RBI’s, and batted .302 lifetime.
He hit over 50 homers twice, and hit over 40 homers 6
times during his career, and was batting champ once,
.345 in 1954. Trout is good, but everyone needs to
back off, letting him alone to do his thing. The
great Bobby Murcer, another Yankee centerfielder,
was spoiled by the pressure of fans expectation.

10 years ago
Reply to  dcfrmhb

Those numbers are really good and deserving of the hall of fame.. But a couple of things stick out .302 lifetime is just so so..660 homeruns is a lot, but he played for about 25 years. Batting champion once.. Trout will tie him for that stat after this year. And as far as a place where triples go to die..that is all well and good, but Trouts glove is where homeruns go to die, and he proved that again tonight, which gives him now 2 web gems that are both superior to willie may’s famous basket catch. What people don’t realize, is that the coach was trying to wave willie to move back further into the outfield, and he missed the sign.. Even if Trout was out of position like willie was on his basket catch, he would have run and gotten underneath it, and then waited about 2 seconds for the ball to come down to him, as a routine catch.