Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have caught a lot of attention since there rookie years in the majors. Mike Trout made his MLB debut on July 8th, 2011, where Bryce Harper was the following season on April 28th, 2012. They both have been playing a short time in the majors, and yet they are already considered superstars like Miguel Cabrera or David Ortiz. Both have proved they belong in the majors, but the question is if you had one pick left for your outfield, and it was down to Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, which player are you taking?
Right away we can rule out the fact that Mike Trout has played one more year in the majors then Bryce Harper because even though Mike Trout debuted a year before Harper. Trout only played 40 games throughout that season, not even half of the season, which shows that the statistics won’t tilt heavily in his favor based on one extra year.
Looking at both players career batting averages, Mike Trout is at .304 which is a solid average. Bryce Harper is at .289 which is still a decent average. What is so interesting for these stats is that Mike Trout has 618 more at bats then Bryce Harper has. With so many more at bats then Harper, most people would think that Harper’s average would be higher than Trout’s but is not.
In Mike Trout’s rookie year, since he only played in 40 games, he clearly couldn’t put up statistics like he could if it was a full season. In those 40 games he managed to it 5 homeruns. Bryce Harper did not have the same problem because in his rookie year he played a full season with 139 games under his belt. In his 4 years in the majors, he has managed to hit 97 homeruns, which is an average of about 24 homeruns per season. With Trout on the other hand, in his 5 years in the majors, he has hit 139 homeruns averaging about 28 homeruns per season. However if you take out Trout’s rookie year and compare each others last 4 years together, Trout has hit 134 homeruns compared to Harper’s 97 homeruns, and instead of averaging about 28 per year he averages about 34 per year. Interestingly, this shows that Trout is great for hitting for average and power, whereas Harper is better at hitting for average and power then most major leaguers at such a young age, he does not beat Mike Trout.
Finally looking at the awards the players have won, it is pretty similar. Harper has been an All-star 3 times put of his 4 years whereas Trout has been an All-star 4 out is 5 years. The only difference between their all star game appearances is that for the past 2 years, Trout as been crowned the all star game MVP, which Harper has not yet won. Both players have a MVP award for the season, Harper’s coming this year, and Trout’s coming last year. They both won the Rookie of the Year award in 2012 (Trout’s first season was not established as his rookie year, due to the fact he didn’t play enough games). Trout has won the AL Slugger award 4 years in a row, where Harper has not won it yet. Harper won the NL Hank Aaron award this past season, which Trout has not won, but Trout’s rookie year he won defensive player of the year. Both players have won roughly the same amount of awards, but once again Trout edges out Harper.
Now comes the question, who do you think will stay as productive as they have been throughout the years the longest? Only time can answer that, but if you had to make a decision right now your last spot in the outfield between these two young stars, who would you take? I think the statistics show who you should favor, however many people would not agree Trout is better then Harper. Wether you choose Trout or Harper, you would not be disappointed with your pick, both players are young and electric and are still young to the MLB. Each with only 4 full years under their belt, they still have much to learn about the majors. Maybe Harper will learn more about the game than Trout and become better then him statistically throughout the next few years. Nobody can read the future so nobody can tell, so if you had the choice, would you go with pure hard statistics, or with the underdog?
Statistics for Bryce Harper from: mlb.com
Statistics for Mike Trout from: mlb.com