Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have continued to make headlines this year after successful rookie seasons in 2012. Recognizing this, I have looked at wRC+ and WAR to see how their play compares to all others who played between the ages of 18 and 20.
wRC+ measures a player’s total offensive value in terms of runs. It processes how a player compares with the rest of the league, where the league average is 100. It is also park and league-adjusted, allowing one to compare players who played in different years, parks and leagues.
In terms of wRC+ the top five position players between the ages of 18-20 are:
1. Mike Trout: wRC+ 152
2. Frank Robinson: wRC+ 145
3. Mickey Mantle: wRC+ 142
4. Bryce Harper: wRC+ 138
5. Alex Rodriguez: wRC+ 136
Wins Above Replacement (WAR) evaluates a player’s contributions to their team all-inclusively. For position player like Trout and Harper, it is calculated in terms of offensive totals, base running and defensive value in terms of position played. An average full-time position player is worth 2 WAR.
In terms of WAR, the top five position players between the ages of 18-20 are:
1. Mike Trout 10.7 WAR
2. Alex Rodriguez 8.9 WAR
3. Mickey Mantle 8.1 WAR
4. Ken Griffey Jr. 7.5 WAR
5. Bryce Harper 6.2 WAR
As can be seen in both projections, both Harper and Trout find themselves in the top five overall, concluding that the hype around these phenoms is warranted as they are generational talent much like other greats in the Top 5, Mickey Mantle, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez.
Who would you rather have: Harper or Trout? Comment below.