Mike Trout is first player to reach 10 WAR since Barry Bonds

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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:

                  YEAR      WAR
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.

Marcus Stroman: José Bautista could ‘easily’ pitch in MLB bullpen

José Bautista and Marcus Stroman
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
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José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.

Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”

In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”

Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”

Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:

Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”

I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.