On Monday night, Los Angeles Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout almost single-handedly delivered a victory for his Halos over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the resumption of the Freeway Series.
In a game that was sloppy from the outset, filled with baserunning blunders, errors and walks, Trout simply stole the show. A towering home run blast in the fourth, his sixth of the season, an opposite-field RBI single in the sixth to tie the game, and then his actions in the top of the ninth that set up the go-ahead run.
Trout drew a walk after falling behind 1-2 against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, then promptly stole his 15th base of the season. Albert Pujols drove Trout home with a broken-bat single to left that would lead to the 3-2 victory.
Count both Pujols and Angels manager Mike Scioscia among the biggest believers in Trout.
"He just doesn't take anything for granted," Pujols said of Trout. "He goes out there and plays hard every day -- dive for a ball, stealing a base, getting his walk, bunting. Everything you can ask for from a perfect player, he has it. He's just amazing."
Ditto from Scioscia.
"Mike in the batter's box is as advanced as any 20-year-old I've ever seen," Scioscia said.
Pretty heady stuff.
Conversely, Washington Nationals rookie outfielder Bryce Harper is creating his own waves in the nation's capital with his play as well. Harper was 3-for-4 on Monday night at the Rogers Centre, helping his Nats beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3. Harper is now hitting .295 on the season with six HR, 18 RBI and a .908 OPS. Harper is also hitting .364 in the month of June thus far, while Trout leads all major leaguers with a .354 since his call up on April 28.
So, where does the duo of Trout and Harper compare to rookie duos of the last 10 seasons? Let's take a look.