[Brain Food] Bryce Harper or Mike Trout the Great Debate Part 2 by Michael Waterloo
Bryce Harper or Mike Trout the Great Debate
Who would you rather have for the next 10 years: Bryce Harper or Mike Trout?
By Michael Waterloo
Read part 1 by Eddie McDonald here
Every now and then, Eddie and I will throw around some topics that we could debate about. We both mentioned a few different ones, but when the topic of Bryce Harper or Mike Trout was brought up, we both agreed instantly that this is the one we needed to debate.
If I was a general manager, let me say that I would absolutely love to have either one of these guys. As Eddie mentioned, they are 19 and 20 and both have bright futures ahead of them. But as you may have guessed, I am taking Trout.
For Trout, the 20-year-old is leading the Angels in batting with a line of .323/.383/.511 with six home runs and 27 RBI in his 46 games this season. In comparison, Harper has a .294/.370/.524 line with seven home runs and 19 RBI in 44 games. So by the numbers, they are very, very close.
The main reason I’m taking Trout right now is because of his maturation and love for the game. In many interviews, Trout talked about his respect for the game, staying humble and he has a passion to play and win. For Harper, I’ve never heard any of this during interviews or when I had a chance to interview him. Last year in the minors, Harper hit a home run and after standing there watching it go, he blew a kiss to the opposing pitcher. I like a little cockiness, but Harper takes it too far at times.
Another reason I’d take Trout over Harper is his mentality during the game. Harper I feel has the superior arm of the two and one of the top arms in all of baseball. In fact, when Jayson Werth is healthy, he, Harper and Rick Ankiel will by far have the best arms of any outfield in baseball. However Harper’s arm gets him in trouble also. When he came to Pittsburgh, he tried to gun Jose Tabata out at home plate instead of hitting the cutoff man. While he had no chance to get Tabata, Harper still decided to try, allowing the Pirates runner to advance to second on the throw. That runner would come around to score. While I wasn’t going to hold that rookie mistake against him, I’ve seen him do it too much this year in other games.
Speaking of mental mistakes, after a groundout against Jose Arredondo of the Reds in the seventh inning, Harper swung his bat against the dugout wall, only to have it bounce back and split him open above his left eye. And following a game in Toronto, Harper was asked if he was going to have a celebratory beer since in Canada, the legal drinking age is 19. In response, Harper sent the Twitter-verse going crazy with his, “That’s a clown question, bro,” response. While Harper is a Mormon and doesn’t drink alcohol, and it was a stupid question, it wasn’t the most professional answers.
While Harper was taken first overall in the 2010 draft by the Nationals, Trout was selected 25th overall in the 2009 draft, but at the beginning of the season, Trout was ranked the No. 2 prospect in baseball just behind Harper. At the plate, Harper has 36 strikeouts to 20 walks and is only 4-7 on stolen base attempts. While Trout’s 40 strikeouts to 18 walks is worse than Harper’s, his 19-22 on stolen base attempts shows the type of athlete Trout is.
While it’s a win-win situation with these two, and both are five-tool players, I’m going to have to go with Trout if not for mentality alone. Harper does have plenty of time to mature and he may be the better athlete and player when all is said and done. But Trout is the safer pick and just as good as Harper is and will be.
Follow Michael Waterloo on twitter @MichaelWaterloo