At this point, Mike Trout’s inevitable Hall-of-Fame enshrinement is a mere formality. The three-time American League MVP is widely considered MLB’s top player and—if he continues on his current trajectory—the Angels star could very well enter the GOAT conversation, joining the likes of Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams among baseball’s all-time greats.
The funny thing is, Juan Soto’s stats through 300 MLB games may actually be a touch better than Trout’s were at this juncture. MASN ran a graphic during Wednesday’s Nationals/Rays broadcast, comparing Soto’s first 300-game start to those of both Trout and fellow phenom Bryce Harper. Remarkably, the Nats outfielder paved the way in most offensive categories including home runs (66), RBI (211) and slugging percentage (.966).
Trout and Soto were neck-and-neck for OPS (.966 to .948 in Soto’s favor) with Trout holding a decisive edge in batting average (.316 to Soto’s still respectable .294). But in totality, Soto has been the better performer by almost every metric through the first 300 games of his blossoming career.
On top of being a statistical juggernaut, the prolific 21-year-old also has a sizable leg up on Trout in another key area: postseason success. Soto, who debuted as a smooth-swinging 19-year-old in 2018, was electric last fall, submitting a .277/.373/.554 line with five homers (none bigger than his eighth-inning dagger off embattled lefty Clayton Kershaw) and 14 RBI en route to Washington’s first World Series in franchise history.
Through no fault of his own, Trout has reached the playoffs just once, hitting a sluggish .083 (1-for-12) in an opening-round loss to eventual pennant-winner Kansas City in 2014. That’s right—the consensus greatest player of his generation has never won a playoff game and boasts just one career postseason hit (a home run, obviously). The underachieving Angels should be downright humiliated that nine years of Trout’s greatness has amounted to only a single, one-and-done postseason.
Soto truthers will point out that much of his production has come during the supposed “Juiced-Ball Era” in MLB with players and teams seeing record home-run figures across the board. Trout has also proven a superior weapon on the base paths—he swiped an American League-leading 49 bags in 2012, more than double Soto’s career total (20) in that stat. Regardless of where you fall on the Trout/Soto debate, it’s become increasingly clear that Soto, the current major-league leader in slugging percentage, OPS and on base percentage (his .350 average ranks fourth), is on the fast track to Cooperstown.