Mike Trout on Track for Best Statistical Season in Baseball History
Two-time MVP threatening to break Babe Ruth's 95-year-old record for WAR.
It wasn’t the year he hit the most home runs or won the most games as a pitcher, but 1923 was Babe Ruth’s best statistical season as an MLB player judging by Wins Above Replacement (WAR).
That season, Ruth batted .393, drew 170 walks, clubbed a league-leading 41 homers, set a career high with a .545 on-base percentage and ended up with the best WAR mark in history at 14.1. WAR is a sabermetric stat developed to quantify a baseball player’s total contributions to their team.
But this season, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is on pace to make history of his own—and break Ruth’s 95-year-old record.
As of Sunday, Trout was batting in runs, baserunning for runs, saving runs on defense and avoiding hitting into double plays (all of which factor into the complex equation that calculates WAR) at a high enough clip that his mark for the season is projected to be 14.2.
Similar to Ruth’s banner year, Trout is chipping in across all categories but not really mastering any, a type of overall production that makes it even more likely he will be able to sustain for the whole season.
“This hasn’t been a flash-bang season. It’s not 73 homers, it’s not a Triple Crown, it probably won’t even be a Gold Glove. It’s marginal gains in every facet of the game,” according to ESPN. “Mike Trout is to every other inner-circle baseball superstar what Babe Ruth’s 1923 season was to Babe Ruth’s discography: the best and somehow also easy to overlook.”
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