The Best In Baseball

There are many great baseball players across the baseball world today, but only one stands as the true best


Blake Robinson

Mike Trout has dominated baseball since 2012, and will likely continue to be the best for years to come.

Blake Robinson, Reporter

When talking about the best player in baseball heading into the 2021 Major League Baseball season, many may bring up names of big hitters like Mookie Betts, Fernando Tatis, and Juan Soto; or they’ll talk about ace pitchers such as Jacob deGrom, Shane Bieber, and Gerritt Cole. While these players are some of the top in the league and can understandably be put near the top of the list, there is still one player that is above everyone else in the league. And that’s Mike Trout.

Trout, the 29-year-old Los Angeles Angels’ center fielder, is coming off of his worst season statistically, which has led some fans to quickly move on to claiming someone new as the best player in baseball. Trout’s 2020 saw him finish with a .281 batting average, a .407 weight on-base percentage, 162 weighted runs created plus, and 2.5 wins above replacement. This stat-line for most any other players in the MLB last year would be seen as an amazing season, but for Trout, it’s seen as a down year for him.

Trout has been so phenomenal in the past that a season in which he finished fifth in MVP voting has led people to try to and say that he is no longer the best player in baseball, which should be good enough to prove just how good he is. However, if you want statistics to prove the claim that he’s still the best, look no further than his 2021 projections on FanGraphs, a website dedicated to advanced baseball statistics. On FanGraphs, there are six different forms of calculating Trout’s projected stats for 2021, all of which use different formulas to project these stats. These formulas use stats from previous seasons in order to calculate what they’re projected to do statistically. Averaging out the numbers for these different methods of stat projections, Trout is projected to finish the 2021 season with a .286 batting average, a .419 weighted on-base percentage, 169 weighted runs created, and 7.2 wins above replacement. This stat-line, along with other stats added in, is the best-projected stat-line for the 2021 season.

Looking at Trout’s 2019 season, the last season he won MVP, he finished with a .291 batting average, a .436 weighted on-base percentage, 178 weighted runs created plus, and 8.5 wins above replacement. Comparing these numbers, Trout isn’t projected to be far off from these MVP level numbers. He’s also going to be 29 years old through most of the MLB season, which is typically a peak year for players in the MLB, which only increases his chances of having another stellar season.

If Trout can perform the way he’s expected to, which he’s done every year of his MLB career, there’s a very good chance that he is the MVP next season. While it may be interesting to discuss who could possibly take Trout’s spot at the best player in baseball, he isn’t going to give that spot up for a while.