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So far, Mike Trout has been the answer to "What if Mickey didn't mess up his knee at the end of his rookie season?"
Player Rfield PA OPS+ WAR/pos SB PosMike Trout 15 1436 166 20.3 86 *87/9DHRogers Hornsby 9 1199 155 14.3 34 *6/534Jimmie Foxx 6 1302 157 13.8 15 *3/5H29Ted Williams 0 1336 161 13.0 6 *97/H1Ty Cobb -1 1835 153 15.7 117 *9/87
I thought Barry Bonds was the answer to that question (pre-chemical period).
Want to guess how many players, at any age, have ever etched all those numbers on the same line of their Baseball Encyclopedia page?
Ott through 21 had 2064 PA
That's not a what if. You mean, steroids that worked.
I'm afraid to get my hopes up. It looked like Cesar Cedeno was going to be the next Willie Mays, too, but then...he wasn't.
Same with Fred Lynn.
Trout seems now to occupy that awesome "Young Eric Davis/Barry Bonds/Alex Rodriguez" territory: A preternaturally gifted young player capable of ANYTHING on the field. Or to put another way, there is basically nothing he could do on a baseball field that would surprise anyone. 40/40? Sure. 50/50? Why not? Triple Crown with GG defense? Sure. Lead the league in homers and stolen bases in the same season? Sure. 20 Triples? Yep.
I would not be at ALL surprised if he set the career HR record.
If Lynn had understood wall effects, he would been in the Hall of Fame.
I like that the best player in baseball is a speed defense batting eye specialist. If Trout turns into Sammy Sosa, that's sad.
Bonds was even labeled “surly”, or whatever the equivalent term for black players is.
If Trout turns into Sammy Sosa, that's sad.
Just to be clear, if Trout plays twenty more years and averages 35 homers per year, he would still fall short. I guess he's probably the best bet of any big leaguer active today, but I'd be pretty surprised if he manages that.
Given good health, Trout should make it to 500 HR easily, but 763 is still a long way off. On the plus side, Trout does hit his HR a long way, and if he made hitting HR his goal (as alluded to in the Sammy Sosa comments above), he could probably hit more.
The Angels just kind of sucked this year, without Trout they would have really, really sucked.
But if you had to pick someone active, he'd be the guy to bet on.
I don't think any of the three of A-Rod, Trout or Harper are at all likely to beat Bonds.
How many center fielders have ever had 2 seasons this good, back to back, at any age? It's a very short list.
As to projecting his career, my impression is that hitters who were great at age 20 don't generally improve. I don't mean that as a bad thing. I just mean that they're already at lofty heights and so they don't follow a typical aging pattern where they improve in their 20s and peak at ages 26-28. I do think Trout will hit more home runs as he ages but he'll lose speed and his profile will change.
I mean, Trout's OPS+ is at 180. Do we expect him to steadily improve from there and peak at 220-240? No.
You people aren't really expecting a normal career arc from Trout, right?
Sammy Sosa looks like he's trying to turn into Mike Trout.
Trout is probably having the lowest hype:stats season of all time.
As Baldrick says, it isn't LIKELY that Trout passes Bonds. But if you had to pick someone active, he'd be the guy to bet on.
If Pujols had averaged 150 games a year, he likely would have reached 500 home runs in just 13 seasons. Now, I personally think (i) Pujols is a better HR hitter than Trout, but (ii) Trout, "given good health," will have a career that lasts much longer than 13 seasons. Even if he just plays until he's 36 and averages 30 HR a year -- neither goal seems particularly implausible -- he'll get 500. Obviously his career could derail or even end at any time due to injury, but that was the point of the "given good health" disclaimer.
He's played more center than left. What left field he's played is just because they have Peter Bourjos.
FREE PETER BOURJOS!
As to most likely playing now to pass Bonds, Arod is first, Albert is second on the likely list(it's a longshot for Albert, but he has 8 years remaining on his contract and needs to average 33 per year on those... it's very unlikely of course, but it's massively more likely than Harper/Trout tandem---hell throw in 8 more stars of your choice against him, and Albert is still more likely to break 700 than any of those ten to break 500)
but it's massively more likely than Harper/Trout tandem---hell throw in 8 more stars of your choice against him, and Albert is still more likely to break 700 than any of those ten to break 500)
Well that's equally silly. I'll take:
There is the suspension issue and the problems with management, but I think he'll get a 50-100 game suspension max if he gets one, which means that he still has 3.5 years left on his contract.
More seriously, one doesn't have to get "north of 763" as several people seem to have suggested, one has to get TO 763. The record is 762.
I also think you guys are missing a crucial point: as league home run levels return closer to historical norms, it becomes much harder for a Trout or Harper to break the record.
The problem with people dismissing a guy who is close, like Arod, is that it doesn't really matter how good he is anymore, it's going to be all about 1. whether he wants to do it 2. whether a team is willing to market him doing it.
Imagine a bunch of guys trying to run a 4 minute mile, but start at different times. Trout and Harper are just out of the gate. Good start, but who knows if they can keep it up? A-Rod is 100 meters from the finish line, a lot closer, but he's only got 9 seconds left to make it, and he's no Usain Bolt.
True, but we don't know what HR levels are going to be towards the end of Trout and Harper's careers, 15-20 years into the future. We could have another sillyball era. Or a 60's style pitcher's era. Just a total unknown. But even the latter would not rule out a record chase for the right guy - Hank Aaron played through the 60s.
Given good health, Trout should make it to 500 HR easily
My point of Albert Pujols is we are talking about one of the best hitters of all time, who enjoyed exceptional health, during the homerun era, and this guy at age 33 is only on the cusp of making it to 500 homeruns,
Pete Rose says hi
FWIW: Barry Bonds hit 104 HRs between Age 39 and 42, including a season in which he missed all but 14 games.
Now, in his age 37 season Hank hit 47 home runs,
Wasn't a big part of Aaron's HR surge in his 30's due to moving to Atlanta and a more favorable hitting environment than Milwaukee?
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