It’s maddening to me the storylines I read on a daily basis re: Bryce Harper vs. Mike Trout: Who would be a better fit for the Philadelphia Phillies.
I understand the affection the baseball world has with Harper, I do. Nice hair, is a loud mouth (apparently a devout Christian but doesn’t show it through actions), Under Armour player, an awesome MVP season (one season), and ESPN loves him. That’s always a plus, right?
However, what I don’t get is how media and fans can actually sitback in their lounge chairs and tells the masses Harper would be a better fit for any team over Trout.
Trout is undoubtedly the best baseball player on God’s green/blue Earth and it’s not even close. He may go down as one the best 5-10 players the league has ever seen. MAY. His second MVP winning season in 2016 basically broke huge records. Just read about them. Here’s the scary part, he’s only going to get better barring any health issues.
I put significant stock into WAR (Wins Above Replacement) because I believe it is the closest tool to tells us who really is most valuable to their team.
Through six years in MLB Trout has a career WAR of 47.7 career WAR, while Harper sports a 22.2.
That tells me what I originally thought, Trout is more than double the player Harper is. From an all-around standpoint it’s even truer. Just watch them both play. Trout adapts, Harper doesn’t. Harper, I believe, thinks as if talent alone will push him through and history shows it never works that way.
Let me put this right real quick: I think Harper is ultra talented. He could be a hall of fame talent. He can. But I don’t think he works hard enough. Entering his age-25 season Trout expects to get his 1,000th hit, 200th home run, 500 walks, over 700 runs, and a third MVP. He’s still 24.
Imagine if Trout had any talent around him in the Angels batting order?
I’ve never seen a player have an MVP season slash line of .330/.460/.649/1.109 and follow that up with a .243/.373/.441/.814. That tells me two things: 1- Lazy preparation. 2- He’s a ‘between those numbers’ player. So, in my reality Harper is a slash line of .286/.416/.545/.961. And that’s me being kind because his career slashes don’t resemble that. They’re much lower.
I can’t stand argument from Harper fans that ‘he was playing hurt’ last year. Stop it. If it was that bad he wouldn’t have played 147 games. He just did not prepare for the follow up to an MVP season like an elite player should have.
After Trout’s 2014 MVP win he went out in 2015 and had a better season than 2014. A significantly better season. He knew his weaknesses and he fixed them.
In terms of contracts: Trout may actually be a cheaper option. He’s not represented by Scott Boras and he’s not as brash as Boras clients typically are. News broke this week that Boras and Harper are seeking a 10-year deal worth upwards of $400 million.
That’s just gosh darn ludicrous. It’s disgusting that MLB (or any pro sport) has reached this point where a pro athlete who works 7-9 months out of the year can earn more than any teacher, cop, or military personnel. Fans accept it because we are sheep. Sorry, but we are. Doesn’t make it an less ridiculous. These teams do not care about you or me. Just a fact. Start believing it. But if you enjoying cheering and buying blindly to these franchises then that’s your right. I enjoy going to the ballpark and watching baseball games, so I go. But I’ll complain when I want and when they deserve it.
But $400 million for a baseball player? Just stop with the greed. What do these men do with all these riches? Most of them rarely give back. And if they do it’s mandated behind the scenes for great PR.
Trout will most likely garner that same dollar attention but I don’t believe he’d reach the $400 million level. Trout wants to win. He cares about winning and that’s the sense I get from people around him. Would he turn down $400 million? Doubtful. But if he were offered $350-360 from the right team with a winning foundation built then I see him being fine with that.
There’s so much here that can still be discussed. However, a few things are clear. Trout is a much better player and there should be no denying that. If you’re tired of Trout I urge you to stop watching ESPN. Because they’ll kill everything and beat every dead horse. Harper isn’t the player he was in 2015, and may never be again.
Anything can happen and time will most certainly tell. For now, if you’re a fan of both guys then enjoy watching them because they are generational talents. They’re good for baseball for multiple reasons good or bad.
Prayer of the Day:
“Today I pray that I keep my feet on the ground but keep my eyes focused on the prize, to remain humble but reach for the stars.”