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Trout is as proficient a fielder and baserunner as he is a pure hitter.
Trout may not get dramatically better over the course of his career, but the status quo is already good enough to be ranked among the all-time greats.
His numbers tapered off at the end of the season, but Trout still had to be recalled from Triple-A in April before going on his monumental run. Starting off in the minors, the powers-that-be in Los Angeles would have had to recognize that Trout was major league-ready before bringing him up.
And is he ready? Let’s compare Trout to other greats:
As a rookie, Trout has a better fielding percentage (.990) than Willie Mays (.976) and a better batting average (.326) than Joe DiMaggio (.323).
Among his contemporaries, Trout has more stolen bases (49) than anyone else in 2012.
There is not much a coach can ask Trout to do that he has not already done. Cabrera’s Triple Crown is undoubtedly impressive, but for those who argued for Trout to have won the MVP, there was certainly a case to be made.
Hitting, fielding and base-running: Trout is the best all-around player in baseball.
With that in mind, it is hard for Trout to get better. His 10.4 WAR this season is an aberration and will not likely be replicated, but that is not a fair measure of his impact.
Rather, Trout must mature at the highest level. He is already great and has found his stride, but there is the question as to his durability over 162 games, having not played in April and trailing off in September. To this end, he must be able to compete and meet the expectations he has invited over an entire year.
Pure talent alone will not breed greatness, but instead, consistency. If he stays consistent, Trout will contend for the MVP again in his career.