Bryce Harper and Mike Trout’s careers will forever be linked together.
If you are a fan of baseball, this is a good thing.
On Monday night, the young, superstar duo yet again made headlines and further etched their names in the history books.
Harper launched career home run No. 150, which makes him the 13th player in MLB history to hit 150 career homeruns before turning 25-years old. Harper, who turns 25 in October, is 24 years, 295 days old, which just so happens to be the exact same age Mike Trout was when he hit his 150th career home run in 2016.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Trout made history of his own on Monday night, slugging a double for career hit No. 1,000. To make the night even better, he launched a home run off the left field foul pole for career his No. 1,001. Oh there’s more. Monday night was Trout’s 26th birthday. He has now homered on his birthday four times. He became the second youngest active player to reach the milestone (Miguel Cabrera).
From now until the two of these generational talents decide to hang up their cleats, they will forever be intertwined.
In 2012, two won NL and AL Rookie of the Year Awards, respectively. Harper had a slash line of .270/.340/.477 with 22 home runs and 56 RBIs. Trout had a slash line of .326/.399/.564 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs. Trout played in 40 games in 2011, but qualified for Rookie of the Year honors in his first full season in the big leagues.
Harper was drafted No. 1 overall by the Washington Nationals in 2010, the year after the Nats selected pitcher Stephen Strasburg No. 1 overall. Harper was originally a catcher, but the Nats drafted him as an outfielder so they could help preserve his career and accelerate his player development in order to get him to the majors quicker. Smart move.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim drafted Trout with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft. This was a compensation pick the Angels received from the New York Yankees after they signed Mark Teixeira. Trout might be the best player ever drafted in the first round at pick No. 25 or later.
The Nationals could potentially see Harper leave for greener pastures after the 2018 season as he can hit the free agent market. Regardless of where he ends up signing, he will be making a boat load of cash. The Angels hold the rights to Trout through the 2020 season, so we are ways away from a potential gargantuan free agency deal.
The accolades have just been racking up for the two superstars. Both were named Rookie of the Year in 2012 for their respective divisions.
Harper won the NL MVP in 2015, the same year he won a Silver Slugger Award and led the NL in home runs with 42. He is also a five-time All-Star.
Trout is a two-time AL MVP (2014, 2016), a five-time Silver Slugger Award winner and was a member of the 30-30 club in 2012.
These two will be linked together no matter where the two end up playing. For baseball fans, the hope is that these two can meet in October with a World Series on the line. However, the two have not fared so well in the postseason. Harper and the Nats have made three trips to the playoffs, being eliminated in the NLDS all three times. Harper has a career postseason slash line of .21/.318/.509 with four home runs and seven RBIs. Trout has made just one trip to the postseason and it was a good trip. His Angels lost in the ALDS and he batted just .083 with one home run and a lone RBI.
Regardless of the shortcomings or failures the duo has made in the playoffs, these two are the face and future of baseball. You can’t argue with the natural, raw talent the two possess and will continue to exhibit over the course of their respective career.
Baseball isn’t as popular as it once was, but with Harper and Trout leading the way, the future of baseball is in good hands.