The Bryce Harper and Mike Trout comparisons may die down now that their respective teams have played, but there was no shortage of Harper-Trout talk yesterday. Several analysts suggested that there isn’t much of a comparison to be made.
During the Mail Time portion of Monday’s “PTI” on ESPN, Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser answered the following question:
Should the Nats pull their ‘Nothing But Hustle’ ads featuring your boy Bryce Harper after he got pulled for a lack of hustle on Saturday?
“No, don’t pull the ads,” Wilbon said. “Let ‘em run. And Bryce Harper, I didn’t find this the biggest mistake of all. It’s a groundball back to the pitcher and the ball’s out of his hands. He turns around, okay, fine. Matt Williams – new tough guy Matt Williams – said sit him down, and it’s fine to sit him down. Harper, to me Tony, is one of the overstated players in the league. He’s playing against Mike Trout right now for the next few games. Mike Trout is so much better a player than Bryce Harper, it’s not even funny. They shouldn’t be mentioned together. But leave the campaign out there. It will remind Harper. He’s a terrific young player, might need a little reminder every now and then.”
“I don’t disagree with anything that you’ve said so far,” Kornheiser responded. “And I agree, that when you hit a comebacker to the mound, you have no chance of beating that out. And I thought Matt Williams not only overreacted – and you want to be a tough guy, fine – but he really called Harper out, by name, after that game, and he really crushed him. And at some point, the general manager and the owner are going to sit down and they’re going to wonder, ‘Does Bryce Harper want to continue to play here if he gets singled out quite like this?’ What they’ve got going for them is he’s young and he said, ‘I agree with what the manager did.’”
Of course, Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo mentioned Harper and Trout in the same breath throughout the Nationals’ 4-2 loss to the Angels on Monday.
“A new generation of baseball on display here in Washington for the next three days,” Santangelo at the start of the broadcast. “When you talk about these two guys going at it, it’s five-tool players. Bryce Harper can hit, run, hit for power. He’s got a stronger arm than Trout and I think a little bit more raw power than Mike Trout. But when you’re talking about the Angels, and their superstar, probably one of the best players in baseball.”
(If Harper has more raw power than Trout, I think I prefer my power medium rare.)
After Harper went 0-for-3 with a walk and Trout went 2-for-5 in their first meeting, “MLB Tonight” studio host Greg Amsinger asked Bill Ripken if you can compare the two young players.
“Not right now,” Ripken said. “Trout’s the best player in the game.”
“Bryce Harper’s going to be a great player, but when you look at the swing, there are more potential holes in that swing,” Chris Singleton said.
“All the pressure was put on Bryce Harper coming up, even before he signed,” Eduardo Perez said. “All the media attention was put on him, never on Mike Trout. He played his game. He was able to represent the United States in World Cup action, and everything, and he was able to be successful coming up a lot easier than Harper. So right now, they’re not in the same sentence at all. And no player in baseball is in the same sentence as Mike Trout.”