By now, we know that when trying to analyze defense in MLB, errors are not the be-all, end-all.
Range-based stats such as Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and Outs Above Average (OAA) tell a much larger picture.
However, making routine plays is also considered an important part of fielding.
It’s what we are taught since we are little kids playing in the yard: make the routine play.
When players don’t do that, they are usually charged with an error, and those still tell us who are the most trustworthy defenders and who are just not good.
Trout used to have elite range back when he stole bases.
That made him one of the greatest outfielders of his generation.
Now that he is 30, he is not running as much: he has lost a step, and it’s becoming evident in his fielding, too.
That doesn’t mean he is a bad outfielder: he is just not elite with the glove anymore.
Back when he was a range beast, and now that he is a bit older, Trout always made the routine play.
That’s why he is the owner of an MLB record.
“Fewest errors committed at one position in MLB history (minimum 10,000 innings played) 1.) Mike Trout (CF, 17) 1.) Alex Gordon (LF, 17) 3.) Vernon Wells (CF, 20) 3.) Curtis Granderson (CF, 20),” MLB analyst Danny Vietti tweeted.
Fewest errors committed at one position in MLB history (minimum 10,000 innings played)
1.) Mike Trout (CF, 17)
1.) Alex Gordon (LF, 17)
3.) Vernon Wells (CF, 20)
3.) Curtis Granderson (CF, 20) pic.twitter.com/ysW9ReBmnd
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) January 13, 2023
Watching Trout botch a fly ball, make a bad fielding dive that results in an extra base for the runner, or make an errant throw is extremely rare.
It just doesn’t happen often, and he deserves a lot of credit for that.
He remains on track to be a Hall of Famer and is one of the best to ever do it.