MLB Barometer: The Sun Always Rises
MLB Barometer: The Sun Always Rises

This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.

In an era where the fascination with stars may be at its apex, the best player in baseball – today, yesterday, this decade, and perhaps ever – is an afterthought in the mainstream media.

When we look back at the first 25 years of the 21st century, Mike Trout should be mentioned in the same breath as LeBron James when legendary status is the topic.

Of course, in our circles, Trout's greatness is regularly acknowledged, even if it's still somehow underappreciated. Even here, we seem more likely to obsess over Trout's eventual decline than his present greatness.

As Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs wrote last month, Mike Trout Is Now an Average Hall of Famer.

Somehow, that headline feels like it undersells Trout's accomplishments to date.

Most weeks when I begin to narrow down the list of players to write up for this piece, I look at rolling leaderboards on FanGraphs. When I'm browsing the top hitters for any particular stretch, there is usually one extra row glued to the category headings.

Trout's last 30 days have featured an easy 40-homer, 40-steal pace with an OPS north of 1.100. His entire 2018 season has already been worth 4.8 wins – 0.7 more than Jose Ramirez and Mookie Betts – and more than a full win better than the rest of the players currently among the top-six in WAR among position players (Francisco Lindor, Manny Machado and Andrelton Simmons).

Entering Monday's games, Trout was second only to Mookie

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Derek VanRiper
Derek is the Director of Media for RotoWire.com, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire's shows on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210).
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