Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
I don't think you need to hedge it. He is having one of the greatest seasons ever.
I only hesitated to make the claim because I hadn't looked at the data that way. However, I went to B-R and took the top 200 rWAR seasons of all-time (by position players). Using that, Trout comes in at #139 as of today. Projected to the end of the season, he's in the 15-20 range with a WAR around 11.0.
Of course, he missed the first month of the season. If you standardized performances to WAR per 600 plate appearances, here's your top 10.
Rk Player Age Year Tm rWAR/600
1 Babe Ruth 28 1923 NYY 11.8
2 Barry Bonds 37 2002 SFG 11.4
3 Babe Ruth 25 1920 NYY 11.3
4 Rogers Hornsby 28 1924 STL 11.2
5 Mike Trout 20 2012 LAA 11.1
6 Babe Ruth 26 1921 NYY 10.9
7 George Brett 27 1980 KCR 10.8
8 Babe Ruth 24 1919 BOS 10.7
9 Mickey Mantle 25 1957 NYY 10.7
10 Carl Yastrzemski 27 1967 BOS 10.6
Note, this doesn't give The Babe credit for pitching, so he's probably missing a few years on this list. But yeah, by the end of the year, if he keeps it up, Trout will have had one of the greatest seasons of all time. Notice that this list has 8 guys between the ages of 24-28, one guy who was roided out of his mind at age 37 and Mike Trout, who is 20.
Trout is probably
having a a "lucky" year -- e.g. putting up results that are higher than his "true talent". But the same can be said of everybody on that list. If there's a guy who looked like a HOFer, it's him.