2012 best rookie class ever?

Harper, Trout lead a historic class but 2013 could be even better

Updated: September 26, 2012, 2:12 PM ET
By Jason Churchill | ESPN Insider
US Presswire, Getty ImagesBryce Harper and Mike Trout are part of a historic class of rookies in 2012.

The 2012 rookie class has shaped up as an historic crop, and perhaps it will be viewed for decades as the best of all time. Led by Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout, the runaway favorite to win the American League MVP, the class has surpassed the production of recent great classes and is poised to make history.

Using the best measure of production and overall value a player gives to his team -- wins above replacement (WAR), as formulated by Baseball-Reference.com -- a glance through more than a century of Major League Baseball tells us the current collection of rookies might already be the best.

"It's a special year, it really is," said one front-office executive. "You wish they were all on your team, but it's incredible to sit back and watch how well these young kids are performing. I've never seen anything like it."

There's a good chance nobody has, until now.