Mike Trout is easily the best player from 2012 to 2020 and it isn’t even close. He has won 3 MVPs and has been runner-up four times. He is an easy hall of famer. Only if he does anything dumb off the field would stop him from being elected. So how high can he finish. Well he had a bad season for him in the shortened 2020 season. Guess where he finished in the MVP voting 5th.
So, how many points can he score. First let us look at the good and the bad. He led the league in on base percentage the last four full seasons and in slugging percentage in 3 of the last five seasons. So, he is hitting as well as ever. However, while stealing bases at an outstanding percentage he is stealing less bases then at the beginning of his career. The number of triples he has hit has basically gone steadily down since the beginning of his career. According to Baseball Reference WAR he is still an above average baserunner, but not like the first two years in his career. In his early 30s there is a good chance he will be an average baserunner. He will be 29 next season. Another thing that has kind of gone down is his fielding numbers. WAR didn’t like his defense in the shortened season. Was it a fluke? Should he be moved to right? I don’t know enough to give any answers.
So how far up the list do I think that Mike Trout can reasonably go. First, I have a three-year peak and a six-year prime. Even if Trout had better seasons, it wouldn’t be much higher. He has already had 6 very high seasons. I just gave him a couple of points for these two categories. His total doesn’t include the 2020 season. That won’t help much as the season was short. However, I believe Trout has lot of career left. He will be only 29 next season. I believe he can reasonably play until 40. That would be 12 more season. Although I don’t think he will be as good I think he will still be a great player. So, I decided to just double all of Trout’s career numbers.
This would give him about 1,560 points. That would put him above Mickey Mantle as the third center fielder. That would put Trout seventh on the all-time list. However, in this case I would move him ahead of Cobb and Wagner. That would be 5th on the all-time list.
However, there is a good chance he won’t be done at 40. It depends on what shape he is in. A couple of more good years he can pass Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron. However, Mays and Ruth would be more difficult. I can see Trout easily making the top 10 to 5th. I can see him playing great longer than I would estimate and moving to third on the list. I don’t really see him passing Ruth and Mays, but anything is possible. Write me in 2035 and I will let you know.