By Jason Sinner, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
There are only a handful of 5 years stretches in the history of baseball that are on par with what Trout has done in his first five full seasons. What is truly remarkable is how far ahead of the next player Trout is over that span.
5 year spans of one player being 10 WAR greater than the next closest:
1902 -1906. Honus Wagner 45.2 WAR vs. Nap Lajoie 34.0 WAR
1903 -1907. Wagner 47.0 WAR vs. Lajoie 35.7 WAR
1904 - 1908. Wagner 50.4 vs. Lajoie 35.2
1905 - 1909. Wagner 51.1 vs. Lajoie 32.4
During Cobb's era, there was Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Joe Jackson, and Fred Baker
Then Hornsby and Ruth came along. Along with Sisler.
1919 - 1923. Ruth 57.9 WAR vs. Hornsby 44.9. Next closest was Speaker with 35.5
1920 - 1924. Ruth 61.1 v.s Hornsby 51.1. Next was Speaker at 34.8
1923 - 1927. Ruth 56.1 vs. Hornsby 45.4.
Then came Foxx, Gehrig and Ott to give Ruth some competition.
Then Vaughn and Gehringer.
DiMaggio and Williams
Then there was WWII.
Boudreau and Musial were big time but not head and shoulders above the rest.
During the late 40's/early 50's, there was Robinson, Doby, Kiner, Campanella, Snider all packed together. There was so Rosen and Berra in there.
Then the Mick came along with Eddie Matthews and Mays and Hank and Banks and Kaline to get us through the 50's and early 60's.
Frank Robinson got in the mix in the 60's.
1961 - 1965. Mays 49.8 WAR vs. Aaron 39.8.
1962 - 1966. Mays 50.0 vs. Aaron 37.8. Next Robinson 32.7
Some Ron Santo and Yaz with the others pretty tightly packed.
In the early 70's, Bench, Morgan, Rose and Stargell took over.
1971 - 1975. Morgan 43.2 vs Bench 33.0.
1972 - 1976. Morgan 47.3 vs. Bench 33.7. In this stretch and that above, the Reds had 3 of the top 4.
Mid to late 70's Schmidt and Carew were in there. Brett, Foster and Carter as well.
Then in the early 80's it was Rickey with some Murray and Ripken.
Boggs took over during the mid to late 80's.
Then in the early 90's, Bonds came on the scene.
1989 - 1993. Bonds 44.8 vs. Henderson 32.7
Then Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas..
1990 - 1994. Bonds 43.7 vs. Griff 32.5.
The Steroids. Bagwell, Piazza, Biggio, etc
Interestingly, the high WAR totals during this era were down into the high 30's for the most part because of roids leveling the playing field.
Late 90's and early 2000's the roids really kicked in and Bods, Arod and Sosa wen nuts with some Chipper, Giles, Vlad.
Bonds and Arod topped the list for several years with the others a distant 3rd thru .....
2000 - 2004. Bonds 54.9 vs. Arod 43.1. Next is Helton at 34.4. Edmonds, Rolen and Pujols were toward the top.
Then Pujols took the lead for several stretches but only by a little. Utley was in there for bit.
Post steroid era and the top WAR dropped to the low 30's. Miggy took over in 2009 followed by guys like Votto, Longoria, Zobrist, Cano
Then came Trout with Donaldson and McCutchen
2012 - 2016. Trout 46.8 vs. Donaldson 32.0.
So 15 five year stretches of a 10 WAR or greater lead for the top player vs. the rest of the competition. 13 of those stretches at least back to back or in a row. 14 of those stretches by 5 players
Wagner, Ruth, Mays, Morgan, and Bonds. (didn't expect Morgan to be in with those names)
Trout's 13.8 WAR delta to the next closest player is the highest differential is the highest since Honus Wagner out WAR'd Nap Lajoie by 18.7 WAR from 1905 - 1909.
BTW, Trout has done this in his first 5 full seasons. He just turned 25. ie, he did it from age 20- 24.
Wagner - ages 28-32, 29-33, 30-34, 31-35.
Ruth - ages 24-28, 25-29, 28-32
Mays - 30-34 and 31-35
Morgan - 27-31, and 28-32
Bonds - 24-28, 25-29, and 35-39
Trout - 20-24.
It's difficult to even put that into perspective. Trout is actually doing something relative to his peers that no one has even come close to. And to sell it even further, consider this:
Here are the top eleven next closest to him and their age:
1. Trout - 46.8 WAR, age 24 (season. he just turned 25 in August)
2. Donaldson - 32.0 WAR, Age 30
3. McCutchen - 29.1 WAR, Age 29
4. Miggy Cabrera - 28.1 WAR, Age 33
5. Adrian Beltre - 27.8 WAR, Age 37
6. Buster Posey - 27.5 WAR, Age 29
7. Robinson Cano - 26.4 WAR, Age 33
8. Paul Goldschmidt - 25.6 WAR, Age 28 (just turned 29)
9. Joey Votto - 24.9 WAR, Age 32 (just turned 33)
10. Manny Machado - 22.9, Age 23 (just turned 24)
11. Bryce Harper - 22.8, Age 23 ( will be 24 in mid october)
So there it is. Some serious Trout pron. Happy Friday!