Just when you thought everyone associated with the baseball was getting smarter, an awards voting comes along and proves we’re still really dumb.
Angels center fielder Mike Trout was shut out in the awards voting this month. He finished second in AL MVP, and he did not win a Gold Glove. Oh yeah, he did win AL Rookie of the Year. Whoopie. Excuse me if I’m not so excited about the best player in the game winning an award that was also given to the likes of Angel Berroa and Bobby Crosby.
Trout put together the best season by a position player since Barry Bonds, per Baseball Reference’s WAR metric. Trout finished with a 10.7 WAR, which actually topped Bonds’ WAR for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, and only was shy of Bonds’ WAR for 2002 and 2001, the years he batted .370 and hit 73 home runs respectively.
WAR measures “Wins Above Replacement,” aka how many more wins the player contributed to the team than the average replacement player. Since it takes into account defensive, base running, and offensive statistics, the way it is calculated is subjective and slightly different depending on the outlet.
Fangraphs, which has a more reliable WAR calculation, measured Trout at 10 WAR. The next highest player was Buster Posey with 8, and he won NL MVP. Miguel Cabrera, who won AL MVP, was eighth in their calculations with 7.1, behind even Robinson Cano in the AL.
A few tweaks to the formulas can result in a slightly different order for the top players’ WAR, but what is not disputable is that no matter the outlet, Trout was anywhere from 25-50% more valuable than the other best players in baseball.