Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are both barely out of high school — and yet these two players symbolize the future of baseball.
Trout, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels, may be the fastest player in the big leagues right now. He is a blur. What makes Trout so dynamic is his rare ability to alter the complexion of a game by himself, whether he is hitting for power, or running the bases or playing the outfield. It's unusual when a rookie can have such a profound effect on a game.
|Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim slides against the New York Yankees.
Harper, who plays for the Washington Nationals, is cut from the same cloth. He is another game-changer all by himself. He has helped lead the Nationals to one of the best records in baseball.
This is what makes baseball the greatest game of all — yes, I know, I have written this theme before. It's unusual when a rookie can transform a team in basketball or football or ice hockey. Baseball is uniquely suited to this kind of condition because of the tradition of the pastime. The sport is filled with tales of players as gifted as Fred Lynn, who once upon a time, won the Most Valuable Player award in the same year (1975) that he was named the American League's Rookie of the Year.
Remember the alluring story line of "The Natural," when a phenom sets the sport on fire? We're seeing it again now — only we're seeing double!
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers and Creating a Personal Revolution," which Penguin will publish Aug. 7. Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.
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