Mickey Mantle won his first Most Valuable Player award after his sixth major league season. On Thursday, Mike Trout won his second award after his sixth season.
It is a rare instance of far-fetched predictions proving true. In the summer of 2010, when Trout was an 18-year-old dominating Class-A pitching, Baseball America wrote that comparisons of the Angels prospect to Mantle "are actually pretty good."
Now, their hitting statistics are strikingly similar through six major seasons. Trout's played three more games than Mantle had; Mantle's homered five more times. Trout has batted .306, with a .405 on-base percentage and .557 slugging percentage. Mantle batted .308, with .412 and .570 supplementary marks in a better offensive climate.
Mantle scored more and drove in more runs, but that's partly a product of their teams. The 2016 Angels were not the 1957 Yankees.
After his MVP age-25 season, Mantle went on to win the honor twice more, at 26 and 30. He retired at 36, never once logging a below-average season.
Mantle won more than 88% of the Hall of Fame vote in his first year on the ballot. Trout turns 26 in nine months, but he will need only a few more seasons at his current caliber to qualify for enshrinement.
"Great-looking ballplayer," longtime Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said of Trout during the Freeway Series in May. "Bigger than Mantle, sometimes bigger than life."
Here is the full statistical comparison:
Mike Trout versus Mickey Mantle, through their first six seasons:
Player G; AB; R; H; 2B; 3B; HR; RBIs; BB; SO; BA; OB%; SLG%; OPS+
Trout 811; 2,997; 600; 917; 175; 37; 168; 497; 477; 784; .306; .405; .557; 170
Mantle 808; 2,944; 642; 907; 136; 43; 173; 575; 524; 578; .308; .412; .570; 166