Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Those Kids

The Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals are in the middle of a three-game series in Washington that's being billed as the first major league meeting between outfielders Mike Trout of the Angels and Bryce Harper of the Nationals. They're both great young players, of course. Trout was Rookie of the Year in 2012, the year he turned 21 in August, and has been the runner-up in the AL MVP voting in both of his first two full seasons. Harper was a 19-year-old Rookie of the Year in 2012 and an All-Star in each of his first two seasons. The Angels won the first game of the series last night, 4-2, as four Angels pitchers scattered three hits and LA's Raul Ibanez, who at 41 is almost as old as Trout and Harper combined, hit a pinch-hit bases loaded double in the eighth inning to drive in three runs. Trout was 2-for-5 with two singles and a strikeout while Harper for 0-for-3 with a walk and a whiff. The game was the first meeting between Trout and Harper since they were teammates in the Arizona Fall League in 2011.

It made me think: We know these guys are great, but how historically great are they? They're both good outfielders, but they're known mostly for their bats. They're also good baserunners. Through last year, his "age 21" season--the season during which he was 21 on June 30--Trout had hit 62 homers and stolen 86 bases. Through his age 20 season, also last year, Harper had 42 homers and 29 stolen bases. How many hitters in major league history have combined that kind of power and speed? Here's the list:

Hitters with 62 HR, 86 SB through age 21: Mike Trout
Hitters with 42 HR, 29 SB through age 20: Bryce Harper

That's it. Nobody else. Not Rodriguez, not Griffey, not Bonds, not Mays. Just Trout and Harper. 

For those of you in LA or Washington, or with subscriptions to mlb.tv or At Bat 14 (note: a Premium subscription to mlb.tv gets you At Bat 14 for free), the Angels and Nationals games start at 7:05 tonight and tomorrow night.

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