The 20-year-old Angels hitter is leading the AL with a .348 batting average
By Cam Cain ◊ 7-17-12
There have been a lot of headlines surrounding the first half of the season; including 12-1 knuckleballer R.A. Dickey who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in the offseason. Arguably the biggest newsmaker in baseball has to be rookie phenoms Bryce Harper of the Nationals and Mike Trout of the Angels. Both are all-stars. Both are playing for teams that would currently be in the playoffs if the season were over. However, I think the wrong one is getting the bulk of the publicity. We all know that Bryce Harper is the face of baseball for the next 20 years and yada yada yada he’s going to be the best. But he’s not playing that well yet this year. I’m not doubting him but I don’t believe Harper should’ve been an all-star, or even Rookie of the Year for the NL. More deserving than Harper is the very under-the-radar Reds third baseman Todd Frazier. In 87 fewer plate appearances, Frazier has a higher batting average (.278 vs .273,) more home runs (10 vs 8,) more RBIs (30 vs 25,) and a much higher OPS (.913 vs .797). While Harper has more stolen bases, Frazier has legged out more triples. Why is nobody talking about him?
As for Trout, it’s hard to find anything bad to say about him. He is leading the American League in batting average and is tied for the Major League lead in stolen bases with Dee Gordon. Trout is one exciting player. He also has MLB Network’s #1 play of the first half, a catch to rob JJ Hardy of a home run where over half of Trout’s body was over the wall. He is the most dynamic player in the league not named Andrew McCutchen (who is my early pick for the NL MVP.)
However, despite how well Trout is playing, until the Angels move into first place, the MVP will still be Josh Hamilton. He has been injured a lot but is still leading the majors in RBI and is tied for second in Home Runs.
So, what do you think?