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Stanton vs. Harper

Perhaps it’s because it appears they will be playing against each other 18 times for the next decade or so, but a lot of people have begun to ask themselves who they would rather have on their team: Marlins slugger Mike Stanton or Nationals phenom Bryce Harper?

It was only a matter of time before the comparisons began. Both are corner outfielders. Each has a tremendous amount of ability, both in the field and at the plate. Both have a knack for home runs, and dramatically long ones at that. And, most importantly, both were considered destined for stardom at a young age.

If you focus just on the numbers, which is subjective considering Stanton has already played nearly two full seasons in the majors while Harper has only reached Double-A in his first professional season, it would appear that Stanton is a safer bet. Through the first 220 games of his career, he has posted a .260/51/135 line. Very respectable numbers for a guy who is just 21 years old. He has amassive amount of power in his swing and hits some of the farthest home runs you’re likely to see. He is also solid in the outfield, where he has posted 19 assists in less than two full seasons. But does he have the same type of potential as Harper?

Bryce Harper has been on the radar of most baseball fans since he made the decision to drop out of high school, thereby allowing him to earn his GED and enter Junior College a full year early. He has as much experience as a guy who played a year of JUCO ball, and is only 18 years old. His first year of pro ball has been up and down. Up in the box score, where he has posted a .297/17/58 line between two levels, and down in the area of maturity, where a cocky attitude and bad decision making on the field has led to some questions regarding his character. There is no doubting his talent, however, and his adjustment to a new position (he was drafted as a catcher) and his speed have only added to the speculation that he could one day become a perennial All-Star and potentially a Hall of Famer. He has a quick bat, a lot of power, though not as much as Stanton, and his 26 stolen bases are remarkable for a young man who is 6’3” and 225 pounds.

It still begs the question, who would you rather have? If it’s me, I’m taking Harper. I admit that Stanton is a fantastic young ballplayer, and the fact that he has already proven that he can play at the highest level, and play well, counts for a lot. But it is hard to ignore the potential that young Mr. Harper has. Some will point out his lack of maturity, but I believe it is his passion for the game that creates those issues, and once it is harnessed, it will just be another weapon for Harper to call on. I also love his 40-40 potential, especially since the move to the outfield should save his knees. In short, I think Harper is a more impressive prospect than Justin Upton was at his age, and all Upton has done is turn himself into an MVP candidate and the NL leader in Wins Above Replacement. Harper could very well be that kind of guy for Washington before his 21st birthday, which is pretty astounding.

Again, this is not an indictment of Mike Stanton. If you ask me who I want in a Home Run Derby, I’ll take Big Mike, but Harper is a little faster, a lot better from an average standpoint, and has just a bit higher ceiling than Stanton.

Who would you take? Tweet me @rwags614 and let me know.

Perhaps it’s because it appears they will be playing against each other 18 times for the next decade or so, but a lot of people have begun to ask themselves who they would rather have on their team: Marlins slugger Mike Stanton or Nationals phenom Bryce Harper?

It was only a matter of time before the comparisons began. Both are corner outfielders. Each has a tremendous amount of ability, both in the field and at the plate. Both have a knack for home runs, and dramatically long ones at that. And, most importantly, both were considered destined for stardom at a young age.

If you focus just on the numbers, which is subjective considering Stanton has already played nearly two full seasons in the majors while Harper has only reached Double-A in his first professional season, it would appear that Stanton is a safer bet. Through the first 220 games of his career, he has posted a .260/51/135 line. Very respectable numbers for a guy who is just 21 years old. He has amassive amount of power in his swing and hits some of the farthest home runs you’re likely to see. He is also solid in the outfield, where he has posted 19 assists in less than two full seasons. But does he have the same type of potential as Harper?

Bryce Harper has been on the radar of most baseball fans since he made the decision to drop out of high school, thereby allowing him to earn his GED and enter Junior College a full year early. He has as much experience as a guy who played a year of JUCO ball, and is only 18 years old. His first year of pro ball has been up and down. Up in the box score, where he has posted a .297/17/58 line between two levels, and down in the area of maturity, where a cocky attitude and bad decision making on the field has led to some questions regarding his character. There is no doubting his talent, however, and his adjustment to a new position (he was drafted as a catcher) and his speed have only added to the speculation that he could one day become a perennial All-Star and potentially a Hall of Famer. He has a quick bat, a lot of power, though not as much as Stanton, and his 26 stolen bases are remarkable for a young man who is 6’3” and 225 pounds.

It still begs the question, who would you rather have? If it’s me, I’m taking Harper. I admit that Stanton is a fantastic young ballplayer, and the fact that he has already proven that he can play at the highest level, and play well, counts for a lot. But it is hard to ignore the potential that young Mr. Harper has. Some will point out his lack of maturity, but I believe it is his passion for the game that creates those issues, and once it is harnessed, it will just be another weapon for Harper to call on. I also love his 40-40 potential, especially since the move to the outfield should save his knees. In short, I think Harper is a more impressive prospect than Justin Upton was at his age, and all Upton has done is turn himself into an MVP candidate and the NL leader in Wins Above Replacement. Harper could very well be that kind of guy for Washington before his 21st birthday, which is pretty astounding.

Again, this is not an indictment of Mike Stanton. If you ask me who I want in a Home Run Derby, I’ll take Big Mike, but Harper is a little faster, a lot better from an average standpoint, and has just a bit higher ceiling than Stanton.

Who would you take? Tweet me @rwags614 and let me know.