Technically, Opening Day was yesterday, but since the vast majority of teams, including my team the Cubs (for better or for worse, and this season, well, I'm planning for the worse), we'll go with today being Opening Day. Before the last wisps of the 2012 season are forgotten, I'll take this opportunity to write one last thing about Mike Trout and the truly amazing season that he had last year. This
chart ranks players in their “rookie” season (the year the player would have been eligible for the Rookie of the Year award):
By the WAR metric, Trout’s rookie season was historic—any season that improves upon the next-best season by over 25% is pretty amazing. In fact, out of 87,000+ baseball years played, there have been 85 (47 hitting, 38 pitching) seasons with a WAR over 10. Trout’s season ranks as the 20th-BEST SEASON IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL. The 19 position players ahead of him deserve to be noted:
Pitching WAR is different, and seasons over 10 for pitchers are dominated by players from the Pantless Era. Modern-day examples include Dwight Gooden (11.9, 1985, #4 all-time), Steve Carlton (11.7, 1972, #6), Roger Clemens (11.6, 1997, #7), and…
WILBUR WOOD (11.5, 1971, #8)—didn’t see that one coming, did you?