The Harper vs. Trout debate irritates me to no end. Let’s run some basic numbers first. Trout is 20, Harper is 19. Trout has 273 PA at the Major League level (over two stints), Harper has 129 PA. Trout has 286 career Minor League games under his belt, Harper has 129. The point is easily seen that not only has Trout had 40 additional games at the Major League level to become acclimated, he also had well over twice the amount of prep time in the minors that Harper did.
Statistically, I have serious issues with trying to take anything meaningful from sample sizes of 129 PA and 273 PA, as both are short of even half a season of baseball. But since the worldwide leader, among others, felt the need to make this an issue, I’m going to indulge.
Harper is currently 30 games and 129 PA’s into his Major League career and his current stats look like this:
Harper Through 129 PA
Trout took 39 games (31 started) to get his first 131 PA’s, his line at that point looked like this:
Trout Through 131 PA
Long story short, anything written about Trout being a better player than Harper simply isn’t looking at the scope of the situation, and is relying way too much on very little data. Ultimately these stats too are based on small sample sizes and will not mean a whole lot in the long run. But in the short term, they serve as a good reminder that these two phenoms truly are equals and are doing some incredible things to begin their Major League careers. Let’s enjoy it.