When Mike Trout and Bryce Harper became every day players on the same day in 2012 April 28th, and at the same position, center field, the comparisons of the two started. Tomorrow night Harper will make his first visit to Anaheim who will win?
Many Angel fans have long anticipated this match-up and have strong feelings toward their favorite son Mike Trout. The reception Harper will get will probably be mixed as some fans will respect Harper’s talent and the year he is having. While others will be turned off by his somewhat bad boy antics he has displayed throughout his career. Harper has switched to right field after his first season in the majors, but the comparisons still continue.
Both players are extremely talented are deserving of the accolades they have received over their first five years in the majors. Trout’s numbers as a whole are better, but not by much especially when you consider Harper has played in 119 less games than Trout due to multiple injuries.
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Trout has 40 more homers (184 to 144) and 127 more RBIs (533 to 406). The major difference is that Trout has a batting average 23 points higher (.308 to .285) and a better on base percentage (.400 to .388). Also Trout scores a lot more runs (636 to 489) and steals a lot more bases as well (154 to 60).
Defensively Harper has better arm, but Trout covers more ground and makes more highlight reel type plays. However the biggest thing that separates the two is the intangibles. Mike Trout is not only an excellent player, he is just as good of person off the field. Trout is very humble and gracious with fans, media, and anyone else he encounters.
On the other hand Bryce Harper has had issues with teammates and opposing players and is much more flamboyant on the field and he has been known occasionally to take exception to some members of the media. Most recently Harper charged the mound and threw his batting helmet at Hunter Strickland when he was his hit by a pitch.
Now in the case of Strickland he deserved to be treated in an unsatisfactory manner as it was pretty clear that he did it intentionally in retaliation to Harper flipping his bat in celebration after hitting two home runs off of him in the playoffs two years before.
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My point is that Trout would never have done anything to show up a pitcher that he had hit a home run off of. Not that Trout doesn’t get excited when he does something well or makes a big play, but he has already gone on record as saying he doesn’t see the need to do a bat flip after going deep, which is basically what Harper did after hitting the homers off of Strickland.
Trout has won the AL MVP award two times and has been second place three times, where Harper has only won the award one time. Trout has also proven to be more durable as he has only 48 games in his career, whereas Harper has missed close to 150 games in the same time span.
About the only thing that Harper has Trout in, which is a big thing, Harper has made the post-season three times with the Nationals and will probably make it again 2017, whereas Trout has only made it one time. Harper has never been able to lead the Nationals past the first round as of yet, but that could change in 2017.
The bottom line is both Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are both amazingly talented players and a team would be lucky to have either them roaming centerfield. However, for me and most of the Angels fan base would much rather have #27 roaming centerfield than #34. Of course we may be a little biased here in Southern California.