Who's better: Harper or Trout?

Comparing two of baseball's brightest young stars in a side-by-side analysis

Originally Published: March 25, 2013
By Jim Bowden | ESPN Insider
Bryce Harper and Mike Trout US PresswireBryce Harper and Mike Trout are two of baseball's best budding superstars.

Insider debuts this week "Who's Better?" a side-by-side breakdown of two of baseball's young superstars. ESPN Insider and former general manager Jim Bowden breaks down Mike Trout and Bryce Harper and determines who's better.

With good reason, the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout and the Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper are two of Major League Baseball's brightest young stars. Like it or not, the symmetry in age, early success and endless potential has intertwined their careers and inevitably begs for comparison. So who gives his team the best chance to win over the long term? Who's better: Mike Trout or Bryce Harper?

In this exercise we used the standard five "tools" with which baseball players are evaluated and included a sixth -- intangibles -- to compare their abilities. We also used the 20-80 scouting scale baseball uses to grade players' abilities in each of those tools.

The difficult part in comparing these two is they are completely different types of players. Trout is a leadoff hitter, while Harper is a middle-of-the-order power hitter. Both will start the season playing left field for their respective teams, and both will come with expectations that only players of this caliber could normally handle.

As a former general manager, I've seen my share of superstars, and both Trout and Harper fit the bill. Here is my breakdown and comparison of both players from a GM's perspective.


To read Jim Bowden's side-by-side breakdown of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, become an Insider today.

Jim Bowden

Baseball, Insider