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Let's see how he does for the next 15 years before getting all gushy.
Not to get all Old School Baseball Man on you, but if I'm a pitcher and I have the choice of Mike Trout vs Josh Hamilton late in a close game, Trout sees nothing worth hitting that entire at bat.
And then he gets lambasted in the media for being lazy, selfish, and going up there looking to take a walk rather than get a hit to help his team win.
About the only knock on Trout so far are his weak clutch stats:
Career OPS: 0.954 (1455 PA)
2 outs RISP: 0.813 (156 PA)
Late&Close;: 0.768 (209 PA)
Margin within 4 runs: 0.934 (1259 PA)
Margin >4 runs: 1.084 (196 PA)
I used to be at war with WAR, the Wins Above Replacement metric that symbolizes the sabernerds who’ve turned a poetic game into a Multivariable Calculus class. But now I love WAR, because it’s the one stat that quantifies Trout’s dominance
In other words, before when it was telling him things he didn't like, he didn't like WAR. Now he likes WAR now because it tells him what he wants to hear. That's the exact opposite way of how you are supposed to use statistics.
The charitable reading would be "now I understand the point of WAR: it adds up all the different ways you can help your team". But then it's Mariotti, so #### being charitable to him.
Of course, Bonds was usually batting leadoff in the early days, with the lower number of opportunities to drive in runs that come with that spot in the lineup. Then in 1990 Jim Leyland dropped Bonds down in the lineup on a regular basis for the first time, and Bonds usually hit in the 3-4-5 slots the rest of his career. Once he got put into the traditional RBI slots where he got a lot more opportunities to hit with runners on, Bonds started hitting well in the clutch categories and by the end of his career he had a reputation of being a monster in those situations to the point where absolutely no one wanted to pitch to him with runners on.
Trout's going to be on the front end of a lot of DPs with Pujols and Hamilton behind him.
It's not clear this made much sense of course. Bonds' weapon was not the single but the HR and he didn't hit into a lot of DPs. If you were willing to walking him with -23, you should have been willing to walk him with 1-3, at least a lot of the time.
Give Mariotti a break.
He's written a well-reasoned article on Trout.
According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, Trout would be only the sixth player in the post-1961 expansion era to have successive seasons of 9.0 or better WAR.
The others: Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Carl Yastrzemski and Albert Pujols.
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