Today’s Sportstat: November 21, 2019
Is Mike Trout making a case to be considered baseball’s greatest player?
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout became the 11th player in baseball history to win a third MVP Award. Trout was the 2019 American League MVP, an award he also won in 2014 and 2016.
In eight years in the majors, Trout has three MVP Awards, has finished second in the balloting for the award four times (2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018) and was fourth in the voting for the honor in 2017. That’s eight Top 5 finish in the A.L. MVP voting in the first eight years of his career, and seven Top 2 finishes in the first eight years of his career. Oh, did I mention, Trout just turned 28 in August of this past year.
These are some pretty staggering numbers. Trout’s third MVP award this past season came in his age 27 year; of the other 10 players who have won three or more MVP awards, only one player, Stan Musial, won his third MVP honor in his age 27 season.
Here is a look at what age each of the 11 players with three or more MVP Awards won their third MVP honor. (Barry Bonds leads this group with seven MVP Awards; the other 10 players listed each won three MVP Awards.)
Age 27: Stan Musial, Mike Trout
Age 28: Barry Bonds
Age 29: Albert Pujols
Age 30: Yogi Berra, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle
Age 31: Alex Rodriguez
Age 32: Joe DiMaggio
Age 33: Roy Campanella
Age 36: Mike Schmidt
Trout won his three MVPs over the course of six seasons. All of the players who have won three MVPs won their first three over the span of four to seven years. Barry Bonds won his first three MVP Awards over the course of four seasons, while Musial, Berra, Campanella, Rodriguez and Pujols each won their three MVPs over a five-year span. Trout and Joe DiMaggio each won their three MVP Awards over a six-season span, while Foxx, Mantle and Schmidt won their three MVPs over seven years.
Here’s three more stats about Trout’s MVP honors:
- His four second-place finishes in the MVP voting are tied for the most in MLB history. Musial, Pujols and Ted Williams also finished second in the MVP voting four times in their careers.
- Trout’s seven Top 2 finishes in the MVP Award are tied for second most in baseball history. Bonds tops the list with nine, while Trout is tied for second with Musial and Pujols.
- Trout’s eight Top 5 finishes in the MVP voting is tied for sixth most all-time. Bonds finished in the Top 5 of the MVP Award 11 times, most in MLB history. He is followed by Pujols with 10 Top 5 finishes, Mantle, Willie Mays and Ted Williams with nine, and Trout and Hank Aaron with eight Top 5 MVP appearances. Trout is the only player in history to finish in the Top 5 of MVP balloting in each of his first eight seasons in majors.
When you consider that Trout is only 28 years of age, the scary thought is that if he stays healthy, he may still have some more MVP seasons ahead of him. Of the 11 men who have won three or more MVPs, eight of them won an MVP in their 30s.
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Planning the birth of baseball’s next great home run hitter!
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
For those of you young couples that are planning a family and you’d like to make sure that your next son will be one of the top home run hitters in the history of baseball, you’ll probably want to read this blog.
There are 83 players who have hit 350 or more home runs in baseball history. In looking at the month in which these players were born, those planning a birth may want to target a March, August or November birth… and most certainly not an April birth!
Following are the number of players with 350+ career home runs and the month they were born.
350+ HR Club members, Month
Note #1: On six different dates, two members of baseball’s 350+ HR Club were born: March 7-Joe Carter and Jeff Kent; March 8-Jim Rice and Dick Allen; May 27-Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell; October 20-Mickey Mantle and Juan Gonzalez; November 18-Gary Sheffield and David Ortiz; November 21-Ken Griffey and Stan Musial.
Note #2: Seven of the 83 players were born on the 27th, most of the group. Five members each were born on the 10th and the 24th. There was at least one player with 350+ home runs born on every date (1, 2, 3, 4…) of a month.
Note #3: Of the 25 players who have hit 500 or more home runs, four were born in May and four were born in October, most on the list.
Did You Know? Hank Aaron, number 2 on the list, was born on February 5… Babe Ruth, number 3 on the list, was born on February 6.
Where does Albert Pujols rank among baseball’s all-time greatest hitters?
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog that is published every Wednesday and Friday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
With his three HRs in Game Three of the World Series, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols continues to build an impressive resume that will likely get him into baseball’s Hall of Fame five years after his retirement. He has won three National League MVP awards (and finished second in the balloting three times), was the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 2001, and has been selected to nine N.L. All-Star teams.
But here’s the question: Where does Pujols rank among baseball’s all-time greatest hitters? Consider… a .328 career batting average, 445 homers and 100 or more RBIs in ten of his 11 seasons. Great credentials and numbers!
Let me offer the following criteria to analyze Pujols and how he compares with the other great hitters in the game’s history. My definition of a great hitter would include a player who hits for a high average, someone who hits for power, and a hitter with a great eye at the plate. To quantify what I just said, let’s look at how many hitters have accomplished the following in a season (Why the following criteria? It’s my blog!):
* Hit .300 or better
* Hit 30 or more home runs
* Walk 100 or more times
* Strike out less than 100 times.
With these numbers as a definition of a player who had a “great hitter” season, we see that only 28 players have had one or more “great hitter” seasons in major league history. In fact, this year only one player met the above criteria: Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Cabrera hit .344, slugged 30 home runs, walked 108 times and struck out 89 times.
Following are the players in baseball history who had one or more seasons where they batted over .300, hit 30 or more HRs, walked 100 or more times, and had less than 100 strikeouts.
‘Great Hitter’ Seasons, Player
11….. Babe Ruth
9….. Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds
8….. Ted Williams
5….. Jimmie Foxx, Frank Thomas
4….. Mel Ott, Mickey Mantle
3….. Stan Musial, Gary Sheffield, Albert Pujols
2….. Ralph Kiner, Jason Giambi, Todd Helton
1….. Hack Wilson, Hank Greenberg, Duke Snider, Norm Cash, Willie McCovey, Carl Yastrzemski, Reggie Smith, George Brett, Dwight Evans, Jeff Bagwell, Chipper Jones, Brian Giles, Luis Gonzales
There’s no doubt that Pujols is one of the game’s greatest players and is definitely one of its great hitters. Exactly where does he rank among the greatest hitters? You be the judge! In fact, send me your ranking of your three greatest hitters in major league history. We’ll see how the voting plays out.
Baseball players with same team 20+ years
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday
Seventeen major league players played 20 or more seasons in the majors with one team. Topping the list are Brooks Robinson and Carl Yastrzemski who played 23 years with the same team… Robinson with the Orioles; Yaz with the Red Sox.
Following are the players who played 20 or more seasons in the majors, all with the same team.
Brooks Robinson, Baltimore, 1955-77
Carl Yastrzemski, Boston, 1961-83
Al Kaline, Detroit, 1953-74
Stan Musial, St. Louis, 1941-63
Mel Ott, NY Giants, 1926-47
George Brett, Kansas City, 1973-93
Walter Johnson, Washington, 1907-27
Ted Lyons, Chicago White Sox, 1923-46
Cal Ripken, Jr., Baltimore, 1981-2001
Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh, 1962-82
Luke Appling, Chicago White Sox, 1930-50;
Craig Biggio, Houston, 1988-2007;
Red Faber, Chicago White Sox, 1914-33;
Tony Gwynn, San Diego, 1982-2001;
Mel Harder, Cleveland, 1928-47;
Alan Trammell, Detroit, 1977-96;
Robin Yount, Milwaukee, 1974-93
On the other side of the coin, here’s a list of the players who played 20 or more seasons in the majors with the most teams.
Teams Player, years
12 Mike Morgan, 1978-2002 (22 seasons)
11 Deacon McGuire, 1884-1912 (26 seasons)
11 Terry Mulholland, 1986-2006 (20 seasons)
10 Paul Hines, 1872-1891 (20 seasons)
Note: Current Washington Nationals player Matt Stairs is knocking at the door to match Morgan. Stairs is playing for his 12th franchise in his 19th season. If he can play another season in 2012, he will match Morgan with 20 or more seasons in the majors with 12 teams.