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Ranking The Greatest MLB Three-Year Stretches of All-Time

In Mike Trout’s first two full major league seasons, the Angel’s center fielder has posted unprecedented numbers never before showcased by a player this young.  During his age 20 and 21 seasons, Trout posted a combined 20.1 Wins-Above- Replacement.  It’s clear that Trout has already set the bar for the greatest all time start to an MLB career.  If Trout continues at this pace in 2014, we could be witnessing one of the greatest three-year stretches in MLB history.  So, as we watch Trout this year, I thought it would be interesting to rank the all-time best three-consecutive seasons by a position player.  I am only using one three year period per player (because if I didn’t half the list would be Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth).  I am ranking by WAR which includes both offensive and defense metrics and also accounts for park factors and the era in which the player played.  Dead Ball players, steroid-linked players, amphetamine users, and suspended players, have all been considered. Unfortunately, I could not include any Negro League players because the few statistics available aren’t very accurate .  I have posted the players total WAR over the three year period as well as a yearly average of various traditional statistics, and a yearly average of oWAR and dWAR.  So where will Mike Trout fall on the list after 2014?  Personally, I can’t wait to watch and find out…

 

30.  Joe DiMaggio  1939-1941  Age: 24-26  Total WAR: 24.5

Average Yearly Stats:  .363/.437/.646  30 HR  128 RBI  3 SB  9 3B  34 2B  108 RUNS

oWAR 7.4  dWAR 0.7

 

29.  Chase Utley  2007-2009  Age: 28-30  Total WAR: 25

.301/.395/.536  29 HR  100 RBI  15 SB  39 2B  110 RUNS  171 HITS

oWAR 6.3  dWAR 2.4

 

27(tie).  Roberto Clemente  1966-1968  Age: 31-33  Total WAR:  25.2

.323/.372/.526  23 HR  95 RBI  11 3B  25 2B 6 SB  186 HITS

oWAR 6.3  dWAR 1.2

 

27(tie).  Wade Boggs  1985-1987  Age: 27-29  Total WAR:  25.2

.363/.455/.515  13 HR  79 RBI  107 RUNS  102 BB  51 SO  216 HITS  43 2B

oWAR 7.7  dWAR 1.0

 

25(tie).  Mike Schmidt  1974-1976  Age: 24-26  Total WAR:  25.3

.264/.379/.531  37 HR  106 RBI 104 RUNS 22 SB  102 BB 31 2B

oWAR 6.7  dWAR 2.0

 

25(tie).  Ken Griffey JR.  1996-1998  Age: 26-28  Total WAR:  25.3

.297/.379/.628  54 HR  144 RBI  17 SB  31 2B  123 RUNS

oWAR 7.0  dWAR 1.7

 

24.  Nap Lajoie  1906-1908  Age:  31-33  Total WAR:  25.4

.316/.364/.413  178 HITS 37 2B  7 3B 76 RBI 20 SB  73 RUNS  22 SO

oWAR  5.7  dWAR 2.8

 

23.  Cal Ripken JR.   1989-1991  Age:  28-30  Total WAR  25.6

.277/.344/.462  25 HR  97 RBI  4 SB  61 SO  86 RUNS 61 SO  35 2B

oWAR 6.3  dWAR 3.4

 

22.  Duke Snider  1953-1955  Age:  26-28  Total WAR:  26. 3

.329/.420/.634  41 HR  131 RBI  10 SB  37 2B  7 3B  126 RUNS

oWAR 8.5  dWAR 0.2

 

20(tie).  “Shoeless” Joe Jackson  1911-1913  Age: 23-25  Total WAR:  26.4

.393/.4.62/.574  6 HR  81 RBI  34 SB  63 BB  29 SO  21 3B  43 2B  219 HITS  119 RUNS

oWAR 8.5  dWAR -0.5

 

20(tie).  Ron Santo  1965-1967  Age: 25-27  Total WAR:  26.4

.299/.394/.520  31 HR  98 RBI  93 BB  25 2B  96 RUNS  5 3B  3 SB

oWAR 7.4  dWAR 1.7

 

18(tie).  Hank Aaron  1961-1963  Age: 27-29  Total WAR:  26.8

.323/.387/.599  41 HR  126 RBI  22 SB  121 RUNS  196 HITS  32 2B  7 3B

oWAR 8.1  dWAR 0.3

 

18(tie).  Jackie Robinson  1949-1951  Age: 30-32  Total WAR:  26.8

.336/.428/.519  16 HR  98 RBI  25 SB  8 3B  37 2B  109 RUNS  186 HITS  82 BB  26 SO

oWAR 7.8  dWAR 1.9

 

17.  Eddie Collins  1913-1915  Age: 26-28  Total WAR:  27.3

.340/.451/.447  122 RUNS  179 HITS  23 2B  12 3B  78 RBI  53 SB  100 BB  32 SO

oWAR 8.3  dWAR 0.9

 

15(tie).  Ernie Banks  1958-1960  Age: 27-29  Total WAR:  27.5.

296/.363/.588  44 HR  130 RBI  8 3B  27 2B  103 RUNS

0WAR 7.7  dWAR  2.5

 

15(tie).  Alex Rodriquez  2000-2002  Age 24-26  Total WAR:  27.5

.311/.403/.618  50 HR  136 RBI  14 SB  87 BB  32 2B  188 HITS  131 RUNS

oWAR 8.9  dWAR 1.1

 

13(tie).  Albert Pujols  2007-2009  Age 27-29  Total WAR:  27.6

.344/.444/.626  39 HR  118 RBI  42 2B  186 HITS  108 RUNS  8 SB  106 BB  59 SO

oWAR 7.0  dWAR 1.3

 

13(tie).  Stan Musial  1948-1950  Age:  27-29  Total WAR:  27.6

.354/.442/.642  34 HR  121 RBI  5 SB  13 3B  43 2B  210 HITS  123 RUNS

oWAR 9.1  dWAR -0.5

 

12.  Carl Yastrzemski  1966-1968  Age:  26-28  Total WAR:  28.3

.301/.404/.516  28 HR  92 RBI  10 SB  98 BB  34 2B  94 RUNS

oWAR  6.9  dWAR 1.7

 

11.  Jimmie Foxx  1932-1934  Age:  24-26  Total WAR:  28.6

.352/.456/.703  50 HR  154 RBI  5 SB  8 3B  33 2B  199 HITS  132 RUNS  108 BB

oWAR 9.2  dWAR -0.2

 

10.  Lou Gehrig  1927-1929  Age 24-26  Total WAR:  28.9

.350/.458/.667  36 HR  148 RBI  6 SB  14 3B  44 2B  198 HITS  138 RUNS

oWAR 9.2  dWAR -0.3

 

9.  Joe Morgan  1974-1976  Age:  30-32  Total WAR:  29.2

.313/.446/.525  22 HR  91 RBI  62 SB  122 BB  54 SO  29 2B  5 3B  109 RUNS

oWAR 9.1  dWAR 1.1

 

8.  Honus Wagner  1907-1909  Age: 33-35  Total WAR:  29.5

.348/.414/.516  7 HR  97 RBI  50 SB  14 3B  39 2B  183 HITS  97 RUNS  29 SO

oWAR 9.8  dWAR 1.3

 

7.  Rogers Hornsby  1920-1922  Age: 24-26  Total WAR:  30.4

.390/.450/.641  24 HR  124 RBI  14 SB  49 SO  17 3B  45 2B  234 HITS  123 RUNS

oWAR 10.0  dWAR 0.5

 

6.  Ty Cobb  1909-1911  Age: 22-24  Total WAR: 31.0

.394/.451/.564  8 HR  108 RBI  75 SB  45 SO  16 3B  38 2B  219 HITS  123 RUNS

oWAR 9.8  dWAR -0.1

 

4(tie).  Ted Williams  1941-1942, 1946  (military service 1943-45) Age: 22-23, 27 Total WAR:  32.1

.367/.515/.681  37 HR  127 RBI  149 BB  41 SO  35 2B  5 3B  182 HITS  139 RUNS

oWAR 10.5  dWAR -0.5

 

4(tie).  Mickey Mantle  1955-1957  Age:  23-25  Total WAR:  32.1

.341/.469/.661  41 HR  108 RBI  11 SB  124 BB  7 3B  25 2B  125 RUNS

oWAR 10.1  dWAR 0.5

2(tie).  Barry Bonds  2001-2003  Age 36-38  Total WAR:  32.9

.345/.542/.808  55 HR  112 RBI  10 SB  174 BB  66 SO  28 2B  119 RUNS

oWAR 10.9  dWAR -0.7

 

2(tie).  Willie Mays  1963-1965  Age 32-34  Total WAR:  32.9

.309/.387/.611  46 HR  109 RBI  12 SB  75 BB  6 3B  25 2B  178 HITS  118 RUNS

oWAR 9.2 dWAR 1.6

 

1. Babe Ruth  1919-1921  Age 24-26  Total WAR  34.3

.360/.502/.790  47 HR  141 RBI  13 SB  132 BB  73 SO  12 3B  38 2B  172 HITS  146 RUNS

oWAR 10.9  dWAR -0.1

 

Mike Trout will need to post a 4.4 WAR in 2014 to make this list, an 8.8 WAR to crack the top 10, and a 14.3 WAR to have the greatest consecutive three-year stretch of all-time.

 

Mike Trout  2012-2013  Age 20-21  Total WAR 20.1

.324/.416/.560  28 HR  90 RBI  41 SB  88 BB  8 3B  33 2B  186 HITS 119 RUNS

oWAR 9.4  dWAR 0.7