With the recent speculation about if it would even be possible to trade Mike Trout, I started thinking about what Trout's career could end up looking like when in about 25 years we look back as he is inducted into the Hall of Fame. Rather than go with the Lyle Spencer/ Halowood "I have no compelling reason to believe what I believe but here it is and you better not argue with me" post, I will explain what I did and why. Obviously, this is not intended to say this is who Trout will be, but only what his career could look like if he improves towards his peak years like these all time greats did. So here is what I did: I took a look at the age 20 seasons of some of the all time greats and compared that to their career highs/ best overall seasons in a few key categories. Then comparing these to each other, came up with a set of data points to attempt to shape the bell curve of an all time great player's career ascent and decline in those categories. I looked at OPS+, Average, OBP and HR. I am sure there are better ways to do this, but this isn't about science, its about a little daydreaming on a slow day in winter. I looked at the careers of Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Lou Gerhig, Ted Williams, Rogers Hornsby, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Albert Pujols (just for fun). It would have been interesting to look at the careers of lesser known players but there were a couple reasons for not doing this. First, you have to be a pretty damn good player to make it to the major leagues at age 19 and earn a full time job for your age 20 season. I didnt want to look at minor league numbers or older players seasons because the whole point is about measuring what maturing physically does to a players stats. Second, Trout's 2 years in the MLB actually match up quite well with most of these guys. Many of them arrived in the majors for a partial season at either age 19 or 20 and struggled relative to their future successes. They had no trouble in their first full season, however, showing exactly what they were capable of.
Here's a little dreaming about what Trout could do
Halos Heaven | Jan 3