Much has been made about the two most ballyhooed prospects to come along in a while: Mike Trout (Angels) and Bryce H..."/> Much has been made about the two most ballyhooed prospects to come along in a while: Mike Trout (Angels) and Bryce H..."/>

Decision Time – Harper or Trout


Much has been made about the two most ballyhooed prospects to come along in a while: Mike Trout (Angels) and Bryce Harper (Nationals).  Both players are legitimate budding superstars and have been ranked #1 (Harper) and #2 (Trout) by Baseball America’s 2011 rankings.  Harper has been called possibly the best prospect ever and Trout has been heralded as a game changing and franchise changing type player.  The question I am posing here is, if you were set to build a franchise today and had to choose between the two, who would you take and why?  Here is a little background on the two players.

Mike Trout

Trout was drafted by the Las Angeles Angels of Anaheim (or whatever they’re being called these days) #25 overall.  The Angels were expecting Trout to be a legit first round talent, but I am not sure even they expected him to be the elite level prospect that he has turned out to be.  Trout has cruised through the system and shows not sign of slowing down.  Trout zoomed through A ball and A+ ball last year hitting over .300 in both leagues and is dominating the Texas League in AA this year.  Trout’s line currently sits at .329/.431/.559/.990 with 8 HRs and 50 RBIs.  Word from this article from ESPN LA is that after the AA all star on June 29th Trout could move to AAA and set himself for a call up to the majors sometime around June of next year.

Trout plays center field and every indication is that Trout has gold glove ability there.  With his plus speed and solid glove Trout has shown that he will most likely control the center ally in the Angels outfield for the considerable future.  His speed will also show to be an asset in his hitting as he has already shown a talent at bunting and shows good quickness out of the box.  With his solid bat and plus hands Trout projects to be a consistent staple in the hitting crown race.  His power is there but is not his greatest asset.  At his ceiling he could be a 25+ HR hitter.  From his skillset he seems reminiscent of a young, pre-steroids, Barry Bonds.

Bryce Harper

Harper was drafted by the Washington Nationals #1 overall in 2010 coming out of junior college (he got his GED at 16 and enrolled in JUCO after that) with the tagline of the ‘Lebron James of baseball.’  Harper only already had the reputation of possibly the best prospect ever and he has done nothing at this point to dispute that, even at 18 years old playing in A ball.  In his first full year so far, Harper has hit to the tune of a .326/.421/.585/1.006 line.  It is worth mentioning again here, that Harper is still 4 months away from his 19th birthday.  This is also not to forget that Harper has already hit 14 HRs as well as knocked in 45 RBIs to go along with it.

Harper was drafted as a catcher but was soon moved to outfield and has played there all his time in the minors.  Harper’s best asset is his immense power that he wields well above any level an 18-year-old should.  Harper has ridiculous bat speed that gives him the distinct advantage of being able to wait just a tic longer to track pitches and, combined with his huge leg kick, generates impressive power.  With Harper’s strong arm, plus-plus speed, and plus athleticism he projects to be a solid option at either corner outfield, despite his lack of experience there.

What say you readers?  Do you take the brash young kid who’s blazing an untraveled path to (possibly) Cooperstown in Harper? Or, do you take the all around franchise changing talent to be the face of your organization in Trout?

If you ask this writer, I would personally go with Trout.  That might seem surprising but hear me out.  Harper’s preferred position is Catcher and the Nationals are not playing him there.  He doesn’t have muc experience in the OF and he has shown a confidence that boarders on cockiness possibly moving into arrogance that could mean he might become a poor teammate.  Trout, on the other hand, hasn’t had those issues and has been playing OF for much longer of a timeframe than Harper.  Trout might not hit with as much power but projects to be a better defensive player at more premium position.  Further, Trout seems more like a leader and team player than Harper does at this point.

What do you all think?