Greater career - Mike Trout or Bryce Harper?

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Poll Closing Date: Friday, 1 January 2027 00:00 (in 7 years)

Based on Fangraphs WAR, whose career will be greater?

Trout
Harper


Kiarostami bag (milo z), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 13:35 (seven years ago) link

Well we only got half a season of MLB data to go off of and Harper's definitely going to have a great career but Mike Trout could have a 10 WAR season at the age of 20, despite missing 20 games! It may be the second greatest age 20 season ever (next to ARod obviously). He's great in the field too. I can't vote against him at this point.

frogbs, Tuesday, 10 July 2012 13:58 (seven years ago) link

Just a guess, but I'll go with Trout.

clemenza, Tuesday, 10 July 2012 14:17 (seven years ago) link

dunno

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 14:33 (seven years ago) link

Trout is a significantly better fielder, so I'll go with Trout.

polyphonic, Tuesday, 10 July 2012 16:49 (seven years ago) link

Trout's gonna benefit in the counting stats department by being paired with Pujols and Trumbo for the foreseeable future..

johnathan lee riche$ (mayor jingleberries), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 18:01 (seven years ago) link

I think the positional adjustment will be pretty difficult for Harper to overcome in the near term. Over the course of their entire career, I'm going to guess that Harper's power will give him an edge.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 19:51 (seven years ago) link

xp that's why the question is phrased in terms of WAR.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 19:52 (seven years ago) link

I think the positional adjustment will be pretty difficult for Harper to overcome in the near term. Over the course of their entire career, I'm going to guess that Harper's power will give him an edge.

― Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Tuesday, July 10, 2012 3:51 PM (31 seconds ago) Bookmark

basically my thoughts exactly

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 10 July 2012 19:52 (seven years ago) link

it's a clown question, bro

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 19:53 (seven years ago) link

noooooo

mookieproof, Tuesday, 10 July 2012 19:53 (seven years ago) link

Harper and Trout, asked about friendship. Trout: "We really don't like each other." Harper: "It's like Bird and Magic. He's Magic. I'm Bird."

polyphonic, Tuesday, 10 July 2012 20:25 (seven years ago) link

There must be something wrong with me that I see this poll closes in 14 years yet I vote anyway.

Godzilla vs. Rodan Rodannadanna (The Yellow Kid), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 20:27 (seven years ago) link

u lyin xp

mookieproof, Tuesday, 10 July 2012 20:30 (seven years ago) link

I really don't think any of us will have permission to use the Web in '26

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 20:36 (seven years ago) link

harper i guess but good god how amazing are these two already

Grimy Little Pimp (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 22:16 (seven years ago) link

should probably have a companion poll that ends before ILX is a Facebook subsidiary, huh?

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Tuesday, 10 July 2012 22:35 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

From Cliff Corcoran's MVP watch today:

Trout's first 258 plate appearances -- 8 home runs
Next 179 plate appearances -- 14 home runs

The second part of that would work out to 50 HR in a full season.

clemenza, Friday, 17 August 2012 22:20 (seven years ago) link

You have already voted in this poll and cannot vote again.

I'll be dead when this poll ends

sanskrit, Saturday, 18 August 2012 02:08 (seven years ago) link

We'll all be dead

windjamm voyager (blank), Friday, 24 August 2012 04:50 (seven years ago) link

i will be alive and wealthy.

Porto for Pyros (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 24 August 2012 16:11 (seven years ago) link

eight months pass...

Only 13-1/2 years left to vote...I noticed that Harper played his 162nd game today (and hit a home run):

AB: 616
H: 175
2B: 31
3B: 10
HR: 31
R: 115
RBI: 77
BB: 68
SB: 19
BA: .284
SA: .518
OBP: .356
WAR: 6.8 (plus today)

Not sure how that measures up against the best first-162 by other players--even eliminating age from the equation, and allowing in Pujols or anybody else, it must still be Top 10.

clemenza, Sunday, 28 April 2013 01:48 (six years ago) link

I don't know why, but I love when players stat lines with double digits in 3B to go with good HR and 2B numbers. It just screams either 1.) I'm a crazy good athlete or 2.) I'm a crazy baseball player and am going to take every base you will give me.

earlnash, Sunday, 28 April 2013 02:57 (six years ago) link

how many caught stealing?

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 28 April 2013 03:27 (six years ago) link

He's been caught seven times, so fairly ordinary. Don't know why I threw SB in. Force of habit--he'll be famous for other things.

clemenza, Sunday, 28 April 2013 03:46 (six years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Bryce should've braced for the impact with his hair.

ballin' from Maine to Mexico (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 14 May 2013 11:40 (six years ago) link

yaow

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 14 May 2013 12:48 (six years ago) link

11 stitches in chin

ballin' from Maine to Mexico (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 14 May 2013 14:04 (six years ago) link

No one posted about Trout's cycle last night? I just found out now.

clemenza, Wednesday, 22 May 2013 21:34 (six years ago) link

he got halfway to another cycle in the first 2 innings tonight

ballin' from Maine to Mexico (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:42 (six years ago) link

maybe if he did more 'card tricks' like that he'd win an MVP, eh?

ballin' from Maine to Mexico (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:42 (six years ago) link

You're not still on that, are you? But you might be right--Cabrera's 2012 must have been a cheap card trick, because he's doing it all over again.

clemenza, Thursday, 23 May 2013 03:27 (six years ago) link

no disrespect to Miggy but him winning the MVP over Trout was such a joke

if Hamilton or the Grandyman hit two more then Miggy's not the MVP. why the hell do we even have an MVP award

frogbs, Thursday, 23 May 2013 03:56 (six years ago) link

As the season wound down last year--last week or so, say--I think the writers had decided they were going to give the MVP to Cabrera whether he got the TC or not. I'm not agreeing, but I don't think it's right to say the MVP was 100% predicated on the TC. Anyway, my point was that if there were an implied equivalency between a Triple Crown and hitting for the cycle--both just gimmicky parlor tricks--well, you know.

clemenza, Thursday, 23 May 2013 04:08 (six years ago) link

the triple crown is pretty impressive but then again we were a Gwynn broken wrist and a piazza lingering back injury away from a Dante Bichette triple crown so idk.

christmas candy bar (al leong), Thursday, 23 May 2013 04:14 (six years ago) link

This again. I think Trout should have won but, you know, he achieved his basic rate stats -- all very close to those of Cabrera -- with 22 fewer games played. I can't fault a writer who took that into consideration and voted for Cabrera (who won by a fairly wide margin, right?).

xpost

Andy K, Thursday, 23 May 2013 04:19 (six years ago) link

no disrespect to Miggy but him winning the MVP over Trout was such a joke

if Hamilton or the Grandyman hit two more then Miggy's not the MVP. why the hell do we even have an MVP award

― frogbs, Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:56 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this is sort of a silly argument though, seeing as finishing with the most home runs IS important and awards voting is based on accomplishment relative to the rest of the players and not some random baseline. hamilton and granderson finished with fewer home runs than miggy, as did everyone else in the AL, and that's an accomplishment for miggy.

the ridiculous thing is that people still care about the triple crown at all when it's just an antique baseball card holdover that only considers one factor of offensive production and provides a good excuse for throwing out all the other ones

ty based gay dead computer god (zachlyon), Thursday, 23 May 2013 04:27 (six years ago) link

I'd like to point out I only called a cycle a card trick.

ballin' from Maine to Mexico (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 May 2013 11:26 (six years ago) link

It's a difference of two. Obviously hitting 30 home runs in a year where the next highest guy only gets 15 is a huge deal. I mean I guess you can argue that they were going to give it to Miggy triple crown or no, which makes the voters look even worse. Miggy's season is certainly MVP-caliber but Trout's was the best since the days of Barry Bonds, and he did it while missing almost a full month.

frogbs, Thursday, 23 May 2013 13:16 (six years ago) link

Okay--I inferred an implication (or implied an inferrence) from Morbius that wasn't there.

I think any observant baseball fan makes adjustments as necessary. If Bichette had won a Triple Crown that year, I don't think it would have been taken all that seriously. Coors Field obviously inflated his stats drastically in all three categories, and he also clearly would have been the worst player ever to achieve a TC.

I think it's a bad choice of words to call Cabrera's MVP a joke. The wrong choice, I'd agree, but he wasn't Andre Dawson in 1987. (You've stepped that back in your last post.)

clemenza, Thursday, 23 May 2013 14:04 (six years ago) link

Something I hadn't noticed until looking at the boxscores for Trout's last couple of games: the Angels have been batting him second for most of this season (80%+ of his PA)? I don't get it. You've got the greatest leadoff hitter since Rickey Henderson in your lineup, coming off a year where he scored just under a run per game, and you move him down to the second spot? I thought for a second I'd see Henderson or Ty Cobb at the top of the Angels' lineup, but no.

clemenza, Thursday, 23 May 2013 22:01 (six years ago) link

he's gonna get that many more first-inning rbis now

iirc the stats bros claim you should use yr best hitter at #2

mookieproof, Thursday, 23 May 2013 22:10 (six years ago) link

Interesting. I'm working on the traditional model of best all-around on-base/power guy at #3--the Pujols/Cabrera guy--the McGwires bat cleanup, and the on-base/speed guys bat leadoff. The #2 guy is the low-strikeout contact hitter with some extra-base power: Ken Griffey Sr., just to show how up-to-date I am.

clemenza, Thursday, 23 May 2013 22:16 (six years ago) link

stats bros also claim lineup order doesn't really matter, just get your best players the most PAs

ty based gay dead computer god (zachlyon), Thursday, 23 May 2013 22:26 (six years ago) link

Yes--James used to run thousands of computer simulations and found that the difference between the lineups of maximum and minimum effectiveness wasn't all that significant. (I don't remember--maybe 25 runs a year?) Having said that, I'd still rather have Trout batting leadoff than second (least of all batting second behind a shortstop with a .300 OBP). I don't know if he unnerves the opposition the way Henderson used to, but at almost a run a game, give him the extra PAs, and get him up there first every game.

clemenza, Thursday, 23 May 2013 22:40 (six years ago) link

both hit homers tonight.

I think the general stathead view is that Cabrera is the best hitter right now, Trout the best player.

ballin' from Maine to Mexico (Dr Morbius), Friday, 24 May 2013 01:17 (six years ago) link

there was an argument when bonds was going batshit that the giants should bat him leadoff to force the opposition to pitch to him at LEAST once.

Who is the worst outfielder Hoskins or Harper

Van Horn Street, Monday, 4 March 2019 01:56 (six months ago) link

someone find me a position player who had a better career than bobby abreu and also never made the top 10 in mvp voting (in his league) in any season

mookieproof, Monday, 4 March 2019 02:53 (six months ago) link

Was going to say Robin Ventura but he had one top 6 mvp vote in 1999.

Now back to my very important question.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 4 March 2019 03:08 (six months ago) link

i feel pretty confident that hoskins is worse

mookieproof, Monday, 4 March 2019 03:12 (six months ago) link

Ian Kinsler, arguably. Almost the same bWAR in five fewer seasons. Also would rank higher in a list of all-time second basemen whereas Abreu would be much farther down the list of outfielders.

omar little, Monday, 4 March 2019 03:48 (six months ago) link

good call

mookieproof, Monday, 4 March 2019 03:55 (six months ago) link

yeah, i had the realization a few months ago that ian kinsler is one of best second basemen since integration and yet he's seen as just a good, solid player. combo of his value coming from above average (but not elite) defense, speed, above average (but not elite) offense, and playing for the tigers, i guess

Karl Malone, Monday, 4 March 2019 04:48 (six months ago) link

oh and Willie Randolph as well, basically managed to put up a stellar WAR over an 18 year career in which he never hit more than 7 home runs in a season (finishing with 54!) but he was a good baserunner, walked a lot, and was outstanding in the field.

omar little, Monday, 4 March 2019 05:55 (six months ago) link

Found one more with a slightly higher career WAR than Abreu, his value completely camouflaged by his era and his park: Willie Davis. (Four MVP finishes in the 15-30 range.)

clemenza, Monday, 4 March 2019 12:46 (six months ago) link

did willie randolph even get any interviews after being fired by the mets? far less successful managers have gotten multiple chances, but he just seemed to drop off the face of the earth

mookieproof, Monday, 4 March 2019 15:55 (six months ago) link

Kinsler did very well to sign with the Padres.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 4 March 2019 18:02 (six months ago) link

One follow-up on Bobby Abreu, then Trout/Harper can have their thread back.

In the history of baseball, there are two players who have played in 150 games or more for 13 consecutive seasons:

Willie Mays
Bobby Abreu (Happy 45th Birthday)

Pete Rose, Cal Ripken Jr., and Rafael Palmeiro likely would have matched if streaks were not interrupted by strikes.

— Chris Bodig ⚾ (@cooperstowncred) March 11, 2019

I know that's one of those specious benchmarks with cherry-picked parameters (if you drop it to 145 games, Aaron hits 16 consecutive seasons), but who would ever come up with Abreu as one of the two?

clemenza, Tuesday, 12 March 2019 13:30 (six months ago) link

more hot bobby abreu content

Bobby Abreu has been selected as the 2019 Toyota Phillies Wall of Fame inductee!

He will be inducted on Saturday, August 3, as part of Toyota Alumni Weekend. pic.twitter.com/TthmZAbIpf

— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) March 20, 2019

mookieproof, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 18:26 (six months ago) link

brb - have to go buy a Toyota

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 20 March 2019 20:52 (six months ago) link

In the liner notes to one of the Pavement CD reissues, Stephen Malkamus references Bobby Abreyu's scream at the 2005 HR derby

brimstead, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 21:30 (six months ago) link

I'm sure most of you are aware of this, but I'd be a little cautious about Harper's great start. April is far and away his best month historically: .310/.438/.627. No other month is even close.

clemenza, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 02:58 (five months ago) link

MLB leaders in OPS as of this morning:

1. Harper - 1.479
2. Trout - 1.476

clemenza, Sunday, 7 April 2019 15:22 (five months ago) link

trout is having an insanely hot start

k3vin k., Sunday, 7 April 2019 17:01 (five months ago) link

considering the lineup around him, i'm not sure why anyone ever throws him a strike

mookieproof, Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:22 (five months ago) link

Trout's gonna benefit in the counting stats department by being paired with Pujols and Trumbo for the foreseeable future..
― johnathan lee riche$ (mayor jingleberries), Tuesday, July 10, 2012 2:01 PM (six years ago)

At the time, this seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to say.

clemenza, Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:41 (five months ago) link

trumbo we believed in u

these are not all of the possible side effects (Karl Malone), Sunday, 7 April 2019 19:31 (five months ago) link

Just to jump the gun by several miles...If Trout were to win MVP unanimously this year, he'd move ahead of these players in MVP Award Shares: A-Rod, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Aaron, Mantle, Mays. (And MVP votes were easier to come by in a smaller league...DiMaggio did lose time to the war, and Gehrig's a separate thing because of an erratic MVP structure pre-1931.)

clemenza, Sunday, 7 April 2019 21:09 (five months ago) link

two months pass...

I'm sure most of you are aware of this, but I'd be a little cautious about Harper's great start. April is far and away his best month historically: .310/.438/.627. No other month is even close.

― clemenza, Tuesday, April 2, 2019 7:58 PM (two months ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

welp

omar little, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 21:36 (three months ago) link

Trout's 2019 OPS by monthly splits:

March/April - 1.052
May - 1.032
June - 1.236

Harper:

March/April - .878
May - .811
June - .718

omar little, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 21:39 (three months ago) link

Harper's K rate is noticeably higher, which i guess could be attributable to scuffling under early "new contract" pressure but he's on pace for 200+, which is maybe alarming for a guy who only twice before just barely exceeded averaging one K per game (and in some seasons was well below that).

omar little, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 21:41 (three months ago) link

most alarmed by the lack of power. the ball is juiced, he plays in a bandbox and he's three homers behind tommy la stella

the stats have his defense as considerably better than last year or the overall WAR might be embarrassing

mookieproof, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 21:50 (three months ago) link

wonder if his defense is better bc they've got him exclusively playing RF vs last season when Washington stuck him in center 1/3rd of the time.

omar little, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 21:52 (three months ago) link

Both these dudes reinforcing some opinions today

omar little, Thursday, 20 June 2019 00:35 (three months ago) link

My golfing friend didn't play tonight because he's at the Jays game; Trout's hit two HR, one a grand slam.

clemenza, Thursday, 20 June 2019 01:20 (three months ago) link

Right now, Harper isn't even in the WAR team top 10 headshots on the 2019 Phillies Baseball Reference page.

That homer Trout hit the night before and that rookie hit were absolute bombs the night before in Toronto.

earlnash, Thursday, 20 June 2019 01:39 (three months ago) link

I still think it's funny that, for me--whether fair or not--the most devastating nickname ever was Steinbrenner playing off of Reggie and calling Winfield "Mr. May," and Harper comes along and basically lays claim to "Mr. April."

clemenza, Thursday, 20 June 2019 02:15 (three months ago) link

it appears that harper has started all but one of the phillies' 73 games (he was a pinch hitter in one game last week). which might not be the most productive use of a guy who's scuffling

mookieproof, Thursday, 20 June 2019 02:24 (three months ago) link

Trout finished 3-6 tonight with the 2 HR and 7 RBI. in his worst season he won the MVP award.

omar little, Thursday, 20 June 2019 03:08 (three months ago) link

mike trout is hitting .420 in 69 career at-bats with the bases loaded

this is not a joke

mookieproof, Thursday, 20 June 2019 03:11 (three months ago) link

101 rbis in those 69 AB....

omar little, Thursday, 20 June 2019 03:21 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

I was checking Bryce’s B-Ref page and he’s got that WAR up to 2.6, which means barring some absurd hot streak (not an impossibility obv) he’ll finish outside the NL top ten again. He only finished in the top ten once, in his MVP season. fWAR may tell a different tale but idk.

Trout is presently at 8.1, finally ahead of Cody for the MLB lead.

omar little, Saturday, 17 August 2019 19:45 (one month ago) link

He's having a great August--8 HR, .678 SLB--and he picked the perfect time to get hot, but yeah, he'd dug himself such a hole in the spring, he'll have to stay hot to put up a 4.0-5.0 WAR season. I'm not sure you'd even call him overrated anymore, because I doubt there are many writers left who view him as one of the best players in the game. Overpaid, definitely.

clemenza, Saturday, 17 August 2019 19:56 (one month ago) link

Sorry he’s only at 2.4 bWAR!

omar little, Saturday, 17 August 2019 20:06 (one month ago) link

At $9M/win on the open market (or thereabouts), he's not overpaid. Maybe on the back end of the contract he will be, but based on AAV, he's worth the money.

As a fan you probably expect more from the player who signed the biggest contract in baseball history (total value) (at the time), but that's a different story.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 18 August 2019 09:22 (one month ago) link

have to go with trout

k3vin k., Sunday, 18 August 2019 17:00 (one month ago) link

i feel like trout has the advantage

Karl Malone, Sunday, 18 August 2019 17:36 (one month ago) link

Trout has arguably had the better start to his career

omar little, Sunday, 18 August 2019 18:14 (one month ago) link

If I had to pick one over the other, though. I don’t know.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 18 August 2019 18:24 (one month ago) link

This has now become a clowning-around thread.

clemenza, Sunday, 18 August 2019 19:36 (one month ago) link

At $9M/win on the open market (or thereabouts), he's not overpaid.

I'm actually about halfway through Baseball Prospectus's book Between the Numbers, and there's a chapter on that. (The book came out 10+ years ago, but it delves into basic issues still debated today.) If you take one number to measure that, yes; a 5 WAR x $9M/win makes him worth considerably more than the $11M he's getting this year--much more than the $27M a year he'll be getting for the next decade, even. But they provided three or four ways to approach that. He's worth the money in years like this one, where the Phillies are in the middle of a playoff race and probably going to end up in that 85-90 win window. If they're below that, though, or safely above it, that $9M figure drops appreciably. And whether he's worth it compared to other free-agents and upper-echelon (my preferred term for the ubiquitous and suddenly annoying "elite") players, another way they measure that, I think that's more open to debate. Skip forward to next year and assume he puts up 6.0 WAR. I have to believe that any team spending wisely and getting a little bit of luck (or at least avoiding bad luck) could generate a lot more than 6 WAR with $27 million.

clemenza, Sunday, 18 August 2019 19:50 (one month ago) link

Or you could be the Toronto Blue Jays, paying $45M right now to Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin, and Kendrys Morales, about 40% of their current payroll. Give me Bryce Harper for $27M!

clemenza, Sunday, 18 August 2019 19:57 (one month ago) link

Unless Trout ups his BB% of his HR rate or Harper gets injured, I strongly suspect that this is going to be Harper from here on out

― One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Thursday, September 17, 2015 8:38 AM (three years ago) bookmarkflaglink

what lottery tickets should I buy?

k3vin k., Monday, 19 August 2019 02:25 (one month ago) link

Kind of embarrassing to see Trout being measured more against Bellinger and Yelich these days.

omar little, Monday, 19 August 2019 02:32 (one month ago) link

Harper just mashed one oppo vs Porcello into the Monster seats

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 22 August 2019 01:05 (four weeks ago) link

Leaning Trout.

Andy K, Thursday, 22 August 2019 01:45 (four weeks ago) link


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