The two great young stars of baseball right now, I mean the really young stars, are the Angels’ Mike Trout (20) and Washington’s Bryce Harper (19). They are in opposite leagues, hit from opposite sides of the plate, play on opposite coasts and have received the opposite amounts of hype (Harper was hailed as the second coming, Trout’s emergence in the bigs has been far more subdued), but they both have been playing like they’ve been in the Majors for years, instead of months.
To pick which one is “better” is a fool’s errand, it is too early to really project the (hopefully long) careers of the two, and although Trout is having the better season (.354 BA/.412 OBP/.565 SLG compared to Harper’s .295/.381/.527), who knows what the future may hold for them?
I personally hope the future involves the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City.
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Yes, you may be thinking: “Isn’t the All-Star Game supposed to be about Stars, not [insert complaint here]?”
Well, that is true to a certain extent, but it never has worked out that way. The history of the All-Star Game is full of guys getting voted in or picked as a career-achievement award, or because they play in a big market, or because they are better able to utilize social media to get people’s attention. This hasn’t changed at all over the years, even with the “this time it counts” era upon us. The All-Star Game is, ultimately, a game that should be about who people want to see (with the exception of when people are stupid, as hypocritical as that sounds).
And, trust me, people want to see the next generation. And it isn’t like Trout and Harper are undeserving in their own right. So, therefore, I say this: write-in Mike Trout and Bryce Harper on your all-star ballots. Because to see them in the All-Star Game would be a real treat.