As Hardball Talk points out to us, Trout has become the first player in baseball to post a 10 WAR since Barry Bonds in 2004.
WAR is a newer statistical metric that measures “Wins Above Replacement,” or how many more wins a player has contributed to a team than a bench player or minor-league replacement would be expected to contribute. Based on the way Baseball-Reference calculates WAR (different sites use different formulas), Trout has contributed 10 wins above what a replacement player would be expected to contribute. That is an astonishing number, especially for a guy who didn’t play his first Major League game until April 28.
According to Baseball-Reference, there have only been 9 10-WAR seasons in the last 20 years — five by batters and four by pitchers. Three of them were achieved by Barry Bonds:
- – Barry Bonds 2004 10.3
- Barry Bonds 2002 11.6
- Barry Bonds 2001 11.6
- Sammy Sosa 2001 10.1
- Alex Rodriguez 2000 10.1
- Roger Clemens 1997 11.8
- Pedro Martinez 2000 11.4
- Randy Johnson 2002 10.2
- Zack Greinke 2009 10.1
Trout already has 10 WAR and still has 22 games left to play. He could easily get above 11 WAR, which would put him on par with Barry Bonds.
Between the MVP-level batting, baserunning, and defense he’s shown, Trout is easily the best all-around player in the game this year. I don’t think Jim Leyland has much of a complaint anymore.