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HBT Daily: Trout vs. Harper is a marathon, not a sprint

Apr 22, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

  1. chc4 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Who cares? This Harper/Trout silliness is exhibit A on how the media can create a stir. Does anyone really care that they’re on the same field? It’s the Nats and Angels for cryin’ out loud. And last I checked, Harper isn’t all that. ESPN has some nonsensical online article about this same as well and I just chuckle. No one cares except for ESPN and other sports news outlets.

    • roundballsquarebox24 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      I don’t believe that it’s appropriate to make a blanket statement like “No one cares”. I care, as I’m sure others do. Yes, I do agree that the media covers these two young players a little bit too much. But, I still care to see these new, young players who will be household names for at least the next decade meet on a field for the first time. This is history in the making.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      It’s not just “the media.” The Nats are selling this series as Harper vs. Trout.
      MLB is fine with the silliness if it makes money.

    • robertb655 - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      Trout is better, Bryce can’t even hit .300

  2. normcash - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Harper isn’t in Trout’s league—literally or figuratively. Harper will, I bet, prove to be a solid major leaguer (assuming his proneness to injury doesn’t derail his career). But he will not be a superstar.
    Trout has all the earmarks of a truly once-in-a-generation type of player. As for Craig’s prediction
    that Harper will close the gap with Trout, well, we’ll see in due course. But don’t hold your breath.

    • moseskkim - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      Harper will be a superstar. if trout continues on, he will be a megastar. harper has insane untapped potential. theyll both be amazing.. i think the comparisons should totally be swung to trout right now and we’ll see what happens in the future.

    • jrob23 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      seriously. Harper is about as overrated as they come. He can’t stay healthy. He is a .270 hitter with a high of 59 RBI. How is this even a discussion. Friggin Nate McLouth has had better seasons than Harper’s.

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        there are a LOT more stats to evaluate hitting than batting average (which is only a PART of stats like OBP and SLG) and RBI (a stat highly dependent on opportunities). And few players have had success in the majors in their age 19/20 seasons, much less to the extent that Harper has.

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        McLouth’s best season was 2.4 WAR in 2008. Harper easily surpassed that in 2012 and 2013. McLouth won a Gold Glove, but most defensive metrics rate him as a well below average defender.

        Thanks for playing though.

    • cohnjusack - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      But he will not be a superstar.

      Says who? Harper has put up a 126 OPS+ and 8.6 WAR before turning 21. How does that compare to some other players who went on to a superstar career?

      WAR before age 21:
      Barry Bonds – 0 (first year at age 21)
      Willie Mays – 3.9
      Hank Aaron – 1.3
      Rickey Henderson – -0.9
      Mike Schmidt – 0 (first year at age 22)
      Albert Pujols – 0 (first year at age 21)
      Carl Yastrzemski – 0 (first year at age 21)
      George Brett – -0.2

      …do you get my point? It is very rare for a player to even be in the majors at this age…much less be in the majors AND being pretty damn good.

      • robertb655 - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        Darren McFadden could also the best RB in football. Doesn’t mean squat if you only play half the games

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:12 PM

        Harper played 139 games with 597 PA in 2012. He had 118 games with 497 PA (just 5 short of qualifying for BA title) in 2013. That isn’t playing “half the games.”

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:13 PM

        Besides, McFadden has been averaging 3.3 YPC over the last two seasons.

      • robertb655 - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        Poor analogy on my part, best way to say it is they are both good and it will be fun watching them for the years to come.

  3. braddavery - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Who cared about Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle when they were rookie outfielders in the same season with a similar age difference to Trout and Harper. WHO CARES!

    • natstowngreg - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      Who cared? You’re kidding, right?

      Both started in New York, the Capital of Hype, in an era when that city was represented routinely in the World Series (sometimes, both the AL and NL team). Mantle had the added burden of succeeding Joe DiMaggio.

  4. doctorofsmuganomics - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    And I still don’t care.

    • braddavery - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      Gotta wonder why people bother posting about things they “don’t care” about. Maybe your time is better spent elsewhere if the subject matter doesn’t interest you. Now excuse me while I find a Dungeons and Dragons forum to post in how disinterested I am in Dungeons and Dragons…

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        Have fun

  5. miguelcairo - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Oh they texted each other! They totally met!

  6. miguelcairo - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    – . –

  7. charlutes - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Is this real opinion or just trolling to get a large response? Because there is absolutely 0 plausible evidence that suggests Harper is as good as Trout.

  8. cohnjusack - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Until Harper proves otherwise, this is a bit silly. Harper is only 21, has put together two pretty excellent seasons for someone that young and has all the potential to turn that into being a truly great player.

    …Mike Trout on the other hand, put together the two best first two full seasons in Major League History. Harper put up 8.6 WAR cominbed his first two seasons…Trout topped that in each season. Simply put, Trout has been far and away better than Harper. That’s not a knock against Harper…he’s that good that young is a pretty amazing feat. But Trout has constantly comparing Trout to a player who hasn’t been nearly as good is a pretty big disservice to what he has accomplished.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      Now see here, we shall not have sense spoken on this here blog right here!

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        Nope. If you aren’t Mike Trout (who has been historically good in his first two years), you automatically suck. Totally makes sense.

  9. hardkor07mn - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Harper couldn’t carry Trouts jock. Trout seems to be a true professional. Harper is a smart a– punk who thinks he’s Ruth. No comparison IMO

  10. charlutes - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    This is all just silly fallout from Craig defending his NL MVP pick. Did I not suggest pre season that Freddie Freeman and like 6 six others including chase utley that would easily out hit Harper? Yet Craig’s dug in for some clicks or something.

  11. greymares - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    Comparing Harper to Trout would be like comparing me a 67yr. old man 6′ 1″ a foot race to Usain Bolt.

  12. jrob23 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    The point is Harper has gotten more hype than any young ball player in memory. Even more so than Arod did. Meanwhile, young players like Cabrera, Pujols, A. Jones, Trout all come along and are better players at age 21 seasons. He just isn’t that good. At least not worth the hype. Trout is in rarified air. We are talking Mays, Williams, Mantle. Harper might amount to Ellis Burks or Tim Salmons if he is lucky

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