The freakiest link yet between Harper, Trout
Well, this won’t do anything to quiet those comparing Bryce Harper and Mike Trout at every stage of their careers. Hours before Trout collected his 1,000th career hit on his 26th birthday in the Los Angeles Angels’ 6-2 American League baseball loss to Baltimore on Monday, Harper deposited a fourth-inning curveball from Odrisamer Despaigne 400-plus feet into the right-field seats for his 150th career homer.
Two oft-linked superstars reaching a pair of arbitrary milestones on opposite coasts on the same day isn’t all that surprising, but then there’s this strange coincidence: Harper’s home run on Monday came at the age of 24 years, 295 days. Trout was the exact same age, give or take a few hours, when he hit his 150th home run on May 28 of last season.
Harper is the 14th player in major league history to hit 150 home runs before his 25th birthday, which is Oct. 16. His 150th home run came in his 759th regular season game, while Trout, who hit his 191st home run on Monday, reached 150 in 701 games. Among active players, only Albert Pujols (24 years, 212 days) and Giancarlo Stanton (24 years, 290 days) reached 150 home runs at a younger age.
Of the 10 nonactive players to reach 150 home runs before their 25th birthday, only Orlando Cepeda and Johnny Bench failed to hit 400 in their careers. FanGraphs projects Harper to hit 12 more home runs this season, which would give him 162 before he turns a quartercentury. That would be the seventhmost home runs before age 25 alltime and two more than Trout.
MLB Network’s Mark DeRosa, who played for the Nats in Harper’s rookie season, doesn’t expect the comparisons between Harper and Trout to stop any time soon. “The game’s gone young,” DeRosa said. “Superstars: [Nolan] Arenado, Aaron Judge, the emergence of him. Manny Machado, one of the best players in the game. But I think the dust settles with these two boys. They’ll be forever linked. This is kind of who we look at, Mike Trout in the American League, Bryce Harper in the National League, and two different paths, and two different ways of going about it.”