Pick Your Poison: Bryce Harper Or Mike Trout
Over the recent years, baseball has been infused with a huge pool full of highly talented youth. However, it seems that two individuals stand out above the rest. This particular pair of young studs, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, have often drawn a comparison to each other, and spawned many an argument over who people would rather have on their team.
The 2012 NL and AL Rookie of the Year winners were highly touted prospects in the Minors, with Harper pulling in the number one spot in the pre-season rankings in both 2011 and 2012 by Baseball America. In those years, Trout held spots two and three, respectively.
Both players thus far have shown off why they charted so highly in the prospect rankings before the 2011 and 2012 seasons, with both winning the Rookie of the Year awards for their respective leagues last season. Trout and Harper both put up impressive power numbers for their ages (20 and 19, respectively) in the 2012 campaign, although Trout’s home run total appeared to be unexpected.
Falling just one steal short of joining the 30/50 club, which would have made him just the third player ever to accomplish that feat after Barry Bonds and Eric Davis, Trout’s impressive season gained him MVP runner-up honors, losing out to the first triple crown Triple-Crown winner since 1967, Miguel Cabrera. Had Trout been able to net the MVP award as well, he would have been the third player to ever win both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in the same season, with Fred Lynn and Ichiro Suzuki being the two to do it. Trout finished his 2012 batting .326 with 30 home runs, 83 runs batted in, 49 steals (caught 5 times), an All-Star appearance and a Silver Slugger award.
Harper’s 2012 season was not nearly as impressive as Trout’s was, but for a 19 year old, the numbers he put up were very respectable, hitting .270 with 22 home runs and 59 runs batted in over a span of 139 games, along with some strong defense, throwing out eight runners from the outfield and a high range factor. Along with Trout, Harper made the All-Star team, however in a much different fashion, as Harper replaced the injured Giancarlo Stanton to fill out the roster.
Based on just offensive numbers alone in 2012, Trout would appear to be the obvious choice. He had it all. Power, speed, along with the ability to get on base and drive in runs. Along with all that, Trout’s WAR more than doubled Harper’s for the year, with Trout having a WAR of 10.9 against Harper’s 5.2. However, let’s look at the overall game between these two young phenoms.
Minor League Statistics:
Major League Numbers thus far:
Defensive Numbers [MLB only]:
Defensively, Trout has an edge over Harper overall, although Harper shows a stronger arm than Trout through the statistics. Offensively, Harper shows that he may end up with the power edge, but overall offensive numbers will possibly be about even once they reach their primes, or at least mature as players over the next few years. Harper may end up stealing more bases as he learns how to better read pitchers, as he has some pretty good speed. 2013 has been good to Harper thus far, while Trout has started off slowly, but will most likely pick it back up.
Overall, the talent level of both of these players are off the charts. Regardless of which player one would choose, they would get back a top-tier MVP caliber player. Really can’t go wrong with either player.
So, with all that said, and all the numbers in front of you, which poison would you pick?