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5 Reasons Mike Trout Will Have a Better MLB Career Than Bryce Harper

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5 Reasons Trout Will Have a Better Career Than Harper

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Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports

Everyone loves to make comparisons in sports. We all hear about who the next Michael Jordan will be, or who will take up the mantle of Dan Marino in Miami. Particularly in baseball, fans and writers like to compare sluggers and ace pitchers during the course of a season.

So when you have two reigning rookie of the year winners as immensely talented and with so much potential as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, everyone wants to know who's the best.

Right now looking at them both you'd pretty much have to call it a dead heat, but looking into the crystal ball of the future, which one of them would appear to be headed towards the greatest MLB career?

Something like this is never easy to examine, as many things can happen over the course of a career to alter where a player is headed or where they end up. Changing teammates, managers, coaches and other things that are out of control of a player certainly can make this argument even more difficult as time goes on.

In examining all the major categories that a baseball player is graded on--hitting, speed, defense and arm--my thought is that Trout will be headed on to a little better career than Harper.

Despite being close in many of these categories, I give the edge to Trout in the majority, and then in the last slide there is one more factor that I believe puts Trout over the top in this competition.

Here is the "Tale of the Tape", if you will, that tells me why Trout will end up with the better of the two careers.

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Hitting (Power & Average)

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Tim Heitman - USA Today Sports

Tale of the Tape:

Trout 2012 (139 Games): .326 BA, 30 HR, 83 RBI, .564 SLG, .963 OPS

Harper 2012 (139 Games): .270 BA, 22 HR, 59 RBI, .477 SLG, .817 OPS

In pretty much every category, Trout edges out Harper in the hard numbers. But it's more than that at the plate. When you watch these two guys hit, Trout just looks more natural and comfortable. Harper has a knack for the dramatic home run, but Trout remains steady and even keeled. I'd just feel more comfortable depending on Trout at the plate. Both struck out over 100 times (Harper 120, Trout 139), but that isn't odd with young hitters who are learning big league pitching.

Advantage: Trout

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Defense

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Joy R. Absalon - USA Today Sports

Tale of the Tape:

Trout 2012 (139 Games): .988 Fld%, 4 Errors,

Harper 2012 (139 Games): .979 Fld%, 7 Errors

This is one of the closest categories for these two outstanding outfielders. Harper can play defense, but Trout can flat out play serious defense. He became synonymous with making the unbelievable catches in the outfield. I'd be comfortable with either of these guys manning any part of the outfield, but I'd give a slight edge to Trout just because of his range.

Advantage: Trout

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Speed

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Jim Cowsert - USA Today Sports

Tale of the Tape:

Trout 2012 (139 Games): 49 Stolen Bases, 5 Caught Stealing

Harper 2012 (139 Games): 18 Stolen Bases, 6 Caught Stealing

You've heard of pitchers who are "sneaky fast" with their heater? Well, Mike Trout is sneaky fast on the bases. He's just got that ability to read pitchers and get that jump. He's got a great crossover step, and accelerates in no time. For a guy who's 6'2 and 230 lbs, Trout can flat out move on the bases.

Advantage: Trout

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Throwing Arm

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Beck Diefenbach - USA Today Sports

Tale of the Tape:

Trout 2012 (139 Games): 347 Def. Chances, 4 Assists, 1 DP

Harper 2012 (139 Games): 326 Def. Chances, 8 Assists, 3 DP

Here's one area I'd give the definite edge to Harper. The kid has a cannon, and he's not afraid at all to let loose and attempt to throw runners out anywhere on the base paths. Trout has a good arm--to be sure--but Harper's is something special. Any baserunner who thinks he's getting an extra bag when the ball is hit to Harper is sorely mistaken.

Advantage: Harper

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Intangibles

Intangibles
Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA Today Sports

There is no tale of the tape on this one. Intangibles are just that--things you cannot visibly see--and Trout has that down pat.

Let's face it, Harper was groomed for this. He's been told how great he is for most of his life, and he was anointed as the chosen one for the Washington Nationals right from the jump. He's got that gritty attitude that can rub people the wrong way, and frankly he doesn't care.

Where Harper is all Hollywood, Trout is all business. This guy couldn't get rattled in a cage full of Diamondbacks (the actual reptiles, not those guys who play in Arizona). Whether it comes to fan appreciation, community involvement or being the ultimate team player, Mike Trout knows the drill and lives it.

Advantage: Trout

Overall Winner: Mike Trout