Originally Posted by DSpivack
As for rookies, were Fred Lynn and Ichiro not as valuable to their teams in their rookie years than in subsequent ones?
Ichiro is a whole different argument. I don't think guys who have played Japanese Major League baseball for nine years should qualify as rookies at all. Yes, Lynn went on to a solid major league career. But nobody knew that at the time, just as nobody has any guarantees that Trout won't be a flash-in-the-pan as many phenoms before him have been.
Either I'm not making my point clear or you're missing it. This year was really just a little better than what Cabrera has done for many years. Trout has absolutely no track record. To be "most valuable," I think it can be argued that a guy who has shown he can do it over and over again is more valuable than a rookie.