Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By Jonathan Northrop, Staff Reporter - 

Mike Trout is going to finish the year first in fWAR again - he's at 7.8 right now, with #2 being far behind at 6.2 (Jonathan Lucroy). For those who prefer rWAR, he's also at 7.8 but Donaldson is much closer at 7.3, so it isn't quite a lock but it is close.

Anyhow, this will be the third year in a row that Trout has been #1 in fWAR. Aside from the amazing fact that he's done it not just any three years, but his first three years (and will presumably have more years of being #1 ahead), the list of players who have led the majors in fWAR three or more times is relatively small. Here it is, from 1900 to the present (I was going to pick 1901 because that's the year we had two leagues, but I added 1900 to give Honus Wagner his full array):

10 Ruth
8 Wagner, Mays
7 Bonds
5 Cobb, Williams
4 Mantle
3 Hornsby, Musial, Yasztremski, Schmidt, Boggs, Henderson, Ripken, Rodriguez, Pujols, Trout

In other words, Trout is the 17th player to do it. That's pretty good company. Of note are some pretty amazing players that did not make the cut of 3, including Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Mel Ott, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan, and a bunch of other greats and Hall of Famers.

Now again, Mike is just getting started. While we can't expect him to lead the majors in WAR every year, at least not forever, it would seem that he is like to at least surpass Cobb and Williams, and maybe vie with Bonds, Wagner, and Mays. Ruth? Let's see how things look in a few years. Consider it like a no-hitter alert - you can't really start taking it seriously until the 6th or 7th inning. I think in order for him to have a legit shot at Ruth, he's going to have to enter his 30s with at least 7 - that would mean winning it 4 out of the next 7 years. Possible!

Love to hear what you think!
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