Mike Trout keeps moving up the all-time WAR list for position players, and with the range he’s in, he’s moving past all-time greats practically daily. Entering Sunday, Trout now has 72.4 career WAR according to Baseball Reference, which is tied for 57th-most among position players all-time. The most notable part of that? He’s now tied with none other than Derek Jeter, his self-professed childhood idol.
Trout is already in an elite echelon when it comes to this list, as that name he’s now tied with tells you. If you get to this point, you’re very, very likely to reach the Hall of Fame. This is basically Cooperstown territory.
Of the 57 other players with at least 72.4 WAR, all but 10 of them are in the Hall of Fame, and three of those not in the Hall of Fame have yet to be on the ballot, in Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Adrian Beltre.
Trout is on pace for 10.7 WAR this season, which would be a career high. His current highest mark is 10.5, in 2012 when he won the American League Rookie of the Year Award and '16 when he won AL MVP honors.
If he reaches 10.7 for the year, he’d have 74.9 career WAR. Between 72.4 and 74.9, he would pass eight other position players, including Jeter. The others are: Larry Walker, Paul Waner, Arky Vaughan, Jim Thome, Frank Thomas, Reggie Jackson and Luke Appling.
What do they have in common? All but Walker are in the Hall of Fame -- and Walker is entering his final year on the ballot in 2020, and has seen a boost lately.
The other fun part of that 74.9 WAR that Trout is on pace to finish the season with? It would rank 50th all-time among position players. Think of all the players to suit up in Major League history, think of all of the greats, and the simple fact of the multitude of players there have been. And Trout would already, at age 28, be the 50th best position player by WAR all-time.
And if he finishes at 74.9, and then puts up a 9.1 WAR season in 2020 -- matching his career average per season from '12-18? He’d be at 84.0 on the dot. The road from 74.9 to 84.0 is paved with another list of almost exclusively Hall of Famers. Next season, we’ll likely see Trout passing the likes of Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor, Ozzie Smith, Robin Yount, Joe DiMaggio, Brooks Robinson, Rod Carew and Ken Griffey Jr., among others.
In case you missed it, Trout entered the year with 64.2 career WAR, tied with Dave Winfield. From that tie with Winfield to this tie with Jeter, Trout has already passed 42 position players this season, including Winfield. Twenty-eight of those 42 players have been Hall of Famers. Among the non-Hall of Famers are players like Robinson Cano, Carlos Beltran, Chase Utley, and Miguel Cabrera, who are either active or retired but not yet eligible to be on a Hall of Fame ballot.
Now, Trout sits tied for 57th all-time among position players, tied with Jeter, an idol of the Millville Meteor.