One year ago Sunday, Mike Trout made his 2012 debut on the same day that Bryce Harper made his Major League debut. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports polled executives around the game and asked which player each executive would prefer to build a franchise around, if they had to choose one. While the consensus was that there was no wrong answer — one scout told Morosi, "That's like choosing between two $1 million bills" – 36 of the 48 participants chose Trout. Morosi goes against the majority, agreeing with one scout who notes that you can't teach Harper's intensity, historic leverage and bat speed, among other factors. Morosi also adds that Harper is more conditioned to handle pressure, having been in the national spotlight since age 16.
Regardless of your preference, Harper and Trout have given fans a lifetime's worth of debates over the past year. Here's more from around the league for your Friday reading pleasure…
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the last-minute Marlins pitching change in Tuesday's double-header this week came directly from owner Jeffrey Loria. The owner insisted that Jose Fernandez start the day game while Ricky Nolasco start the night game, despite the fact that the opposite was supposed to happen. The move went over poorly with both pitchers and infuriated the Marlins' players. Loria overstepped his boundaries as "no other owner in baseball would dare," Passan writes, and in doing so embarrassed and undermined rookie manager Mike Redmond.
- Loria spoke to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and flatly denied the report, stating that he was engaged in discussions regarding his business as an art dealer at the time.
- Rays minor leaguer Jose Disla was suspended 50 games for violating MLB's drug policy, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The 17-year-old was signed in March and has yet to play a pro game (Twitter links).
- A rival GM told Rosenthal that the 2013 version of the Pirates are the best Pirates team he's seen in 20 years (Twitter link).
- The Mariners can't panic yet and replace half their roster with prospects from Triple-A, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. The Mariners' front office spent an entire winter devising a plan for the season, and pulling the plug in April would be akin to surrendering. The team hasn't played close to its potential, he writes, but there is time to turn the season around yet.