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The 4 tools that make Trout the greatest player alive

theScore Logo By Keegan Matheson of theScore | Slide 1 of 5

Entering Monday, 21 lineups in Major League Baseball have produced 6.0 or more Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs.

Well, 21 lineups and Mike Trout, who comes into the week at 6.1.

The best player in baseball has singlehandedly produced more value than nine entire lineups, including the Blue Jays, Rangers, Mets, and White Sox. Still just 26, Trout isn’t only chasing a career-best season – he’s pursuing the greatest season in more than 140 years of Major League Baseball.

That honour currently belongs to Babe Ruth, who posted a 15.0 FanGraphs WAR and 14.1 Baseball Reference WAR back in 1923. At Trout’s current pace, stretched across 162 games, he would reach a 13.7 FanGraphs WAR and a 14.4 Baseball Reference WAR. That record, once thought impossible, is suddenly attainable.

Regardless of whether or not he reaches The Babe, though, Trout is doing the unthinkable. He’s improving from a point of what is, relative to baseball terms, perfection.

Still, he’s managed to do it without being boasted for what he is: one of the top professional athletes on the planet. Trout is Serena Williams. He’s LeBron James. He’s Wayne Gretzky. And if he sat next to most fans at a game on a Tuesday night, they might ask, ‘Hey, what do you do for a living?’

There’s no standout style, personality trait, or trademark beard that makes Trout different from the rest. The average fan wouldn’t know the sound of Trout’s voice, either. He is, in so many ways, exceedingly normal.

Baseball is also slow to recognize its legends while they’re still playing. The ‘greatest of all time’ conversation dominates the NBA and NFL news cycles with LeBron and Tom Brady, but in baseball, players that exist only in black-and-white photographs are given a fast pass to the front of the line.

It’s here now, though, begging to be recognized and celebrated and savored. Of the nearly 19,000 players to put on a major-league uniform, only a handful have ever done it as well as Trout. Ten years from now, maybe none have.

Looking inside his historic season, Trout’s remarkable consistency in these four areas has him rounding the corner into a stretch run against history.

© Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

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