Powered by his 10.7 WAR/8.8 WAA 2012 season, 20-year old Mike Trout already has a Hall Rating of 26. At this point, it seems like anything less than a Hall of Fame career would be a disappointment.
One might say he has already had a Hall of Fame career.
When people think of the Hall of Fame, they tend to think of the all-time greats. But don't forget—there are several less-than-greats in the Hall. In fact, by Wins Above Average, there are actually two Hall of Famers who were indeed below average players.
Think about that—we won't let players in today unless they are historically great. But there are two players in there—Lloyd Waner (-2.1 WAA) and Tommy McCarthy (-1.3 WAA)—who weren't even average players.
Trout has already—in a hair over one season—matched Tommy McCarthy's Hall Rating of 26. McCarthy's career was comprised of 5739 plate appearances. And Trout has already caught him.
What's next for Trout?—It's passing the lowest Hall Rating for a Hall of Fame center fielder (Waner's 33). I figure he should do it by May.
Note: The Hall Rating formula has changed slightly since this article was published. The Hall Rating figures used are from the time of publication.