Originally posted on PRO Rumors  |  Last updated 6/4/12
I know its really cool to watch videos and hear stories about players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson and Ty Cobb, among other great players to ever play the game. At least I didn't have the pleasure of watching them play. For me, a lot of the greatest players I grew up watching ended up being accused of PED's use, and a couple of them coke abuse. So its a huge blow to your childhood idols to know that a lot of those “heroes” suddenly became “villains.” Although not everything is bad of course. I consider myself extremely lucky to have lived in the Cal Ripken Jr. era. A flawless career filled with nothing but positive things. I also feel lucky to have had the pleasure of watching players like Ken Griffey Jr, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Ozzie Smith and Wade Boggs, just to name a few great players, that are now retired, and that I had the pleasure of watching. I'm also happy to be able to watch Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Felix Hernandez, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp- again, just to name a few- that are playing the game. All of them are great players that make baseball the greatest sport ever, at least in my opinion. Now, after the steroids era is practically, and thankfully behind us, there are a couple of outstanding young players that are writing new chapters in baseball history. And everybody who is having the pleasure of watching them play should feel lucky. I'm talking about Bryce Harper (19 years old) and Mike Trout (20 years old). Two of the top-three prospects in baseball last year. Young kids, with an exceptional set of tools that are currently playing in the Majors and putting on a show everywhere they go. They are like the “X-men first class” of MLB players. Trout is playing with the Angels, and in 33 games so far he's hitting .318/.374/.538 with 5 HR's, 20 RBI's, a 155 OPS+, 4.10 P/PA, .220 ISO and a .395 wOBA. Defensively, his UZR has been 6.5 thanks to his outstanding speed. By the end of this season he is projected to hit .284/.349/.459 with 15 HR's, 58 RBI's, a .355 wOBA and a 5.1 WAR. Really great numbers for a 20-year old kid. Harper is doing pretty much the same with the Nationals in the National League. In 32 games, Harper is hitting .288/.380/.542 with 5 HR's, 22 RBI's, a 148 OPS+, 3.96 P/PA, .254 ISO and a .390 wOBA. He is projected to hit .257/.341/.454 with 19 HR's, 50 RBI's, 11.0 BB%, a .343 wOBA and a 1.7 WAR. Also great numbers for a 19-year old kid. Both players still have a lot to learn in the Majors, and when they become more experienced players they'll become superstars. I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of positive things about these two guys for years to come. And as long as they pan out, as they have been doing so far, we'll talk to our grandchildren about how it was to live in the Harper-Trout era. Image by Keith Allison under the Creative Commons License Agreement.
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