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If Mike Trout is a candidate for AL MVP, then it stands to reason he's a cinch to win the league's Rookie of the Year honors.
Wins above replacement (WAR) has undergone heavy scrutiny in the debate over who should win the AL MVP award between Trout and Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera. But whether a contingent of fans and analysts choose to truly accept it or not, it's still an excellent measure of a player's overall value.
Trout finished the season with a 10.0 WAR. Even if you don't know everything that WAR entails (here's an explanation, by the way), consider that the Angels rookie center fielder is the first to finish with a figure that high since Barry Bonds in 2004.
As HardballTalk's Aaron Gleeman, only five other players in the 21 years Trout has been on this earth have accumulated a WAR of 10.0 or above.
The next closest AL rookie to Trout in WAR was the Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes at 3.1. Likely NL MVP Buster Posey finished with an 8.0 WAR. Cabrera ended the season at 7.1.
While Cabrera may have won the traditional Triple Crown of leading the league in batting average, home runs and RBI, Trout finished among the AL's top three with a .326 average, .399 on-base percentage, .564 slugging and .963 OPS. He also led MLB with 49 stolen bases.
In addition, Trout contributed excellent defense in center field. FanGraphs' Ultimate Zone Rating ranks him as the best at his position, saving nearly 11 runs more than the average center fielder. He was also credited with 23 defensive runs saved. Only Seattle Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan and Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon had more.
Finally, there's this: Without Trout, the Angels went 6-14. After he was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake, the team's record was 83-59.
Rookies aren't supposed to do all this. Yet, here Trout did it.
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