In the public eye, Harper is the current version of fireballer Stephen Strasburg, who was compared to Walter Johnson and Bob Feller before he was called up in 2010. Harper has been hyped to near-mythical proportions after skipping his senior year of high school to play junior college ball, because scholastic competition was just too easy.
Close watchers of baseball prospects, however, saw Friday as just as big a day. Mike Trout, the No. 1 prospect in baseball according to MLB, ESPN and numerous others, made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Angels.
For those who have never heard of Trout, the Millville, N.J., native can be summed up like this: He's the anti-Harper.
Harper has drawn some criticism from traditionalists for his swagger and for blowing a kiss to an opposing pitcher. That criticism may be unfair, as it overlooks the fact that no matter how talented Harper is, he's still just 18 years old.
Trout has drawn much less attention, negative or otherwise, despite being just a year older and every bit as intriguing a prospect. Most scouts assert Harper has more potential as a power hitter, but Trout has the edge in speed and the intangible tool known as "makeup."
Trout made his debut with the Angels on Friday, batting ninth and starting in center field in place of Peter Bourjos, who was sidelined as a precaution after tweaking a hamstring.
Trout went 0-for-3 in his debut and made a highlight running catch. His first stay in the bigs might not last long; Bourjos is unlikely to go on the disabled list and could take advantage of the All-Star break to heal.
Even if Trout is back in the minors next week, it's worth bookmarking his player page on milb.com. This kid is worth watching.
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