Mike Trout is, once again, the best player in baseball
It took a little while because he got off to what was for him at least a slow start to the season, but for the third straight year Angels center fielder Mike Trout leads all of baseball in Wins Above Replacement.
Trout is hitting .311 with 16 homers, 39 total extra-base hits, 9 steals (without being caught), and a career-high 1.008 OPS in 66 games, along with his usual outstanding defense. He leads the American League with a .610 slugging percentage and 1.008 OPS, and ranks second in on-base percentage (.397) behind only Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays.
Add it all up and here’s what the Fan Graphs leaderboard for Wins Above Replacement across both leagues looks like:
MIKE TROUT 4.7
Troy Tulowitzki 4.7
Alex Gordon 4.1
Giancarlo Stanton 3.8
Andrew McCutchen 3.4
Trout also led all of baseball in WAR last season with 10.4 and two seasons ago with 10.0. He is currently on pace for 11.0 this season. (Note: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is also really, really good and also having a really, really awesome season over in the National League.)
Perhaps the Baseball Writers Association of America will find a way to avoid giving him the American League MVP award again, but for the third consecutive season--and third time in his three full seasons as a big leaguer--Trout is the best all-around player in baseball. And in just two more months he’ll turn 23 years old.