So much has been said about Bryce Harper, but Mike Trout is having just as insane a rookie season.
Last night Trout either drove in or scored all of the Angels’ runs. The last one was set up by him drawing a walk and then stealing second base. Throw in the earlier homer (and an earlier stolen base) and you’re aware of just how complete a package this kid is.
Trout leads the AL in stolen bases besides being in the minors for almost the entire month of April. Since he’s been called up he’s been an on-base machine. And the Angels have gone 27-15 and find themselves a mere 2.5 games out of first place.
There are reasons why we are hearing more about Harper than Trout. Harper was on the cover of SI when he was 16 and was the number one overall pick. Most of his games are played and end when most of the sporting press is awake. But let’s not forget about this kid out west. Because he’s been absolutely astounding.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.