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We know there is a whole lot of 2017 left, and things can change. With that being said, it's hard not to already be taken in by what Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have managed in the first month-and-a-half of the season. Harper is batting .384/.500/.752 for an NL-leading 224 OPS+. He's walked more than he's struck out, and has 12 homers and 22 extra-base hits even with opponents intentionally walking him roughly once per week. Whether it was injury or swinging at everything that hurt Harper last summer, neither seem like problems now.
As for Trout, his raw batting line is a little worse than Harper's on the surface, but recall that he plays in a pitcher's park: his .352/.449/.738 line translates to a 230 OPS+ that inches out Harper's own. Those OPS+ figures are what really stand out, too. Just three players in MLB history have managed entire seasons at least that good: Barry Bonds (four times), Babe Ruth (five times), and Ted Williams (twice).
There's a whole lot of 2017 left, yeah, but that still sticks out. It wouldn't be so noticeable or worth mentioning if Harper and Trout were basically anyone but who they are. However, we're talking about the undisputed top player in baseball and the only guy in the game with a chance at making that fact disputed. Trout's never had a campaign quite this good, as his career OPS+ is 170 and his career-best is 179, but Harper managed a 198 mark at age 22 that was historic in its own right. At 25 and 24 years old, respectively, Trout and Harper are maybe just now coming into their peak years, so never having approached these new figures in the past might be meaningless, anyway.
That's a terrifying thought, isn't it? That Trout and Harper might not have even shown us what they're capable of at their best yet? Again, it's real early in 2017, like more than three-quarters of the season to go early, but it's not hard to believe these two could give us a race to watch over the rest of it.
- Byron Buxton made a ridiculous catch on Mother's Day, slamming into the wall with such an impact that he bounced right back off of it. He held on, though!
- David Price could return to the Red Sox this week, giving their rotation the boost it needs to avoid seeing Kyle Kendrick in it again.
- The Yankees' retirement ceremony for Derek Jeter's number was a lot of fun.
- It was definitely more entertaining for Yankees' fans than the game that followed, which saw the Astros making sure fans had souvenirs to remember the day by.
- Mike Schur, aka Ken Tremendous, aka the guy who has helped create a few of your favorite shows, riled up Twitter with a pre-ceremony thread that was all a joke.
- Nick Stellini wrote about moving on from the Jeter Era now that his number is retired.
- The Nationals are the top team in the NL, but as Michael Baumann notes, they need to fix their horrific bullpen.
- The Cardinals have long made pitching the focus of their player development. Should that change?
- There are service time considerations to take into account before the White Sox can promote top prospect Yoan Moncada.
- Former MLB umpire Steve Palermo passed away on Sunday at the age of 67.