In the Live Ball Era, no one’s been this much better than the rest of baseball in their early seasons and not gone in Cooperstown. It’s rare even for modern players to post 150 OPS+ and 1,000 plate appearances through age-25 and not later be enshrined (though an interesting article could be written about Kal Daniels at some point.)
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Frankly, OPS+ underrates Trout somewhat. He’s the second-best position player in baseball history through age-25 for Wins Above Average, with 39.4. Only Mickey Mantle ranks better, at 39.7. If Trout comes back healthy in two months, he might catch the Commerce Comet. He should stay safely in front of Ty Cobb, who’s third at 39.2 (Cobb ranks tops for WAR through age-25 with 55.8 and Trout and Mantle tied at 52.1.).
His 170 defensive runs better than average through his age-25 season are better than any other player through this age by nearly 50 runs.
That seems like a stat that should accompany a well-known slugger such as Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton or Kris Bryant. If you’re thinking that Schimpf doesn’t really fit in the same sentence as those guys, you’re right. He’s not what you would typically think of as a major home run hitter, standing at 5-9 and 180 pounds with a frame more reminiscent of a running back than a baseball player. Even his name, which sounds suspiciously like shrimp,works to fool the brain into dismissing him as a power hitter.
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The left-handed batter was 28 years old when he was called up in June 2016 after parts of eight seasons in the minors. He got off to a slow start after making his major league debut, but Schimpf collected his first home run (and fourth total hit) in a Padres uniform on July 1 — in his 14th game played.
That would be just the beginning for him.