(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Bryce Harper was on the cover of SI when he was 16, and again last February.

Mike Trout landed an SI cover in the summer of 2012, and again on a regional cover last month.

This week, the two young sluggers will meet for the first time, and Sports Illustrated will be there. Via the L.A. Times:

The first Trout vs. Harper showdown will draw extra media coverage — Sports Illustrated has arranged a photo shoot with the players for Wednesday — but neither seems distracted by extra attention.

(Adam Kilgore / The Washington Post) (Adam Kilgore / The Washington Post)

Another Sports Illustrated shoot? Remember, SI featured in Boz’s most recent Harper column:

He needs to start the process of seeing himself accurately — as a raw player who gets far more attention, and calls more attention to himself, than his play deserves. He’s made two all-star teams. If he were Joe Smith, drafted No. 10 overall, not No. 1, and never on a Sports Illustrated cover at 16, he might not have made either, even with identical production.

(Also of note in the L.A. Times story: a quote from former Trout teammate Torii Hunter. “Has he hit more homers than Trout yet? I don’t understand that,” Hunter said. “It’s all about what you do on the field, and Trout leads in every category. He’s unbelievable. He does everything with ease. I haven’t seen Harper hit like Trout yet.”)

(The Post also has a long look at the duo, which you should read. Here’s Dan Haren, quoted within: “It’s really hard to compare the two because I really don’t think Bryce has reached his full potential yet….Trout has obviously had two monster, MVP-caliber seasons, and while he still can get better at certain parts of his game, his career can plateau for 10 years and he’d be one of the greatest of all time,” Haren said. “Bryce has way more room to grow, and I’m sure it’s all going to click here really soon.”)

Meanwhile, the Nats took the somewhat unusual move of marketing both players in promotional materials about the upcoming series. The above ad appeared in Monday’s Post.

(Via @holdenradio)