The latest “Mike Trout is amazing” update is a doozy.
Trout’s big weekend–which included starting back-to-back games with leadoff homers–has propelled the 21-year-old Angels rookie to 10.0 Wins Above Replacement for the season.
That’s remarkable for a few reasons. One is that no other player, in either league, has more than 6.3 WAR this year. Beyond that, Trout wasn’t called up until April 28 and has only played 117 of a possible 140 games. And finally, the last position player to reach double-digit WAR was Barry Bonds in 2004.
Via Baseball-Reference.com, here’s a list of all the 10+ WAR seasons by position players since Trout was born in 1991:
MIKE TROUT 2012 10.0
Barry Bonds 2004 10.3
Barry Bonds 2002 11.6
Barry Bonds 2001 11.6
Sammy Sosa 2001 10.1
Alex Rodriguez 2000 10.1
Cal Ripken Jr. 1991 11.3
And that’s it, that’s the whole list.
Assuming that he plays in each of the Angels’ remaining 22 games Trout is on pace to finish with 11.8 WAR, which would be the most by any player since Carl Yastrzemski had 12.0 WAR in 1967. And the only other players in baseball history to top 11.8 WAR in a season are Babe Ruth (three times) and Rogers Hornsby.
Mike Trout: RIDICULOUS.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.