mike trout and bryce harper have been linked for over a decade, largely due to the volume of publicity attached to them as prospects, harper appeared on the cover of sports illustrated with the headline, “chosen”, when he was 16 , and trout drawing comparisons to Mickey’s mantle before he was selected in the first round in 2009.
Both were called up to the big leagues for good on April 28, 2012 and both won rookie of the year awards that season, Trout with the Angels and Harper with the Washington Nationals.
The star outfielders have met in eight games in their distinguished MLB careers, during a three-game series at Washington in 2014, a two-game series at Anaheim in 2017 and last weekend’s series.
Trout got the better of Harper in their much-hyped first matchup, going 5-for-14 with a double, an RBI and three runs as Los Angeles won 2-for-3 at Washington in 2014. Harper went 1-for-11 with three strikeouts in that series.
their second meeting was a push, the teams split the 2017 series with trout homering and harper going four for four with a home run as los angeles won game one, and harper didn’t win washington’s win in game two .
the third round was no competition. Harper went 4-for-10 with three home runs and eight RBIs to lead the Phillies to a three-game weekend sweep at Citizen Bank Park, hitting two home runs in Friday night’s 10-0 victory. and a grand slam that tied the score in the eighth inning on Sunday. 9-7 win from behind.
trout, playing every game in front of a large contingent of fans from his hometown of millville, n.j., went 0-for-11 with four strikeouts and one walk in the series, extending what has now become the worst losing streak of his 11-year career.
The three-time AL MVP is hitless in 26 at-bats with nine strikeouts and two walks in his past seven games, the longest drought of his career.
Los Angeles has lost 11 straight games and Trout hasn’t been able to pull his club out of its slump, batting .095 (four-for-42) with a .364 on-base plus slugging percentage, one home run, one double, two RBIs. , 16 strikeouts and two walks during the streak.
“I think everyone goes through times like this,” Harper, the current National League MVP, said of trout. “I have done it in my career. is one of the best of all time. everyone knows how good it is.
“He’ll get out of this, and by the end of the year, no one will even think about this stretch he’s in. it will be the same mike trout and he will hit .300 with 40 home runs.”
Prior to last week, trout’s longest hitless streak was 21 at-bats from May 11-18, 2018. trout came out of that slump in a big way, hitting .458 (11-for-24). with five home runs, nine RBIs, 11 runs, 11 walks, and five strikeouts in eight games after snapping the streak.
A similar trout escape would be a relief for the faltering Angels, who open a four-game series against the resurgent Boston Red Sox in Anaheim on Monday night and host the East-leading New York Mets. the national league, in a three-game series that begins Friday night. the trout, however, were in no position to make such a prediction.
“It’s baseball,” Trout said after Sunday’s loss. “You’re going to go through good times and bad times, and right now is a bad time.”
Timing is at the root of most trout depressions. the key for the slugger has always been to get the front foot down in time to start his ferocious swing.
trout seemed to be locked in for the first month of the season, hitting .344 with 1,247 ops, six home runs and 11 RBIs in his first 19 games, but that momentum has faltered over the past five weeks, his season average dropping at .274 and its operations at .953.
The result: Trout enters Monday night’s game with a 28.6% nose rate according to the baseball expert, above his career average of 20.7%, and a chase rate 19.2%, similar to his career average of 19.5% but above his chase rate of 17.6% in 2021 and 14.4% rate in 2020.
his strikeout rate of 26.8% is above his career average of 21.7%. his walk rate of 12.4% is below his career average of 15.2%.
“The last two weeks I’m trying to be on time,” Trout said. “I arrive a little late. I’m trying to get in a good position to hit. that’s baseball I’ll figure it out.”
The sooner the better for the Angels, who will need more consistent production from their best hitter if they are to salvage their suddenly sinking season.