Maybe Mike Trout and Bryce Harper haven't lit the world on fire in brief big league exposure in 2012. However, we know there is excitement to come, and we can't help but wonder how they will figure in the rookie of the year voting at the end of the season. That, plus talk of the Baltimore Orioles' hot start and the Texas Rangers' dominance in today's Triple Play.
1. Who will get more rookie of the year votes: Mike Trout or Bryce Harper?
Mark Saxon (@markasaxon), ESPN Los Angeles
My guess is Trout will get more votes, which is different from saying he'll be a better player. For one thing, he's a year older, which isn't saying much since he's still 20. The fact he got into 40 major league games last year should help him understand what pitchers are trying to do to him. His slumps should be shorter since, with his speed, he gets so many infield hits.
Christina Kahrl (@ChristinaKahrl), SweetSpot
Trout, because he's ready to be a good big league regular right now, while Harper's going to be more of an exceptionally gifted spectacle to just sit back and see this season. Harper reminds me of watching Bo Jackson when he first came up; it was sort of like watching Superman learn the rules as he was going along. You knew -- barring injury -- that Bo would figure it out, but at first it was a matter of waiting for moments of brilliance.
Jon Shepherd (@camdendepot), Camden Depot
Harper, because Yu Darvish is in the American League, and I think he could end up as the unamimous choice for ROY. There is no equivalent candidate in the NL, which will make it easier for Harper to pick up support.
2. Are the Orioles better than we realized?
They're getting a little bit better, but I don't think they're that much better than we realized. They've been winning series against pretty bad teams, and it just seems like they lose so many lopsided games to the Yankees, it breaks their spirit before long. I do think the extra wild card will give hope to mediocre teams and, who knows, maybe they're good enough to be called mediocre.
They are, but that's because they've been slowly accumulating talent on the mound to complement a good group of homegrown hitters, and Chris Davis isn't that far removed from top-tout status. They piled up enough stuff that they have something going right. And think about how much hasn't gone their way early: Nick Johnson's looking DOA, Brian Roberts is out and Mark Reynolds has been terrible. All things considered, they're closer to an 85-win team than folks probably realized.
3. Are you ready to call the AL West for the Rangers?
Saxon: This will be depressing for our readers, but yeah, I am. I didn't think the Angels were as good as Texas going into the season, and while I'm as shocked as everybody else at the Angels' bizarrely bad start, Texas is proving to be so much more well-rounded in so many areas. The starting pitching probably isn't as good as it has shown so far, but everything else might be even better.
Kahrl: I'm not, but that's because I'm not losing faith in the Angels just yet. Self-inflicted dopiness like Vernon Wells aside, Albert Pujols will hit, Kendrys Morales is back and they still have a great rotation. I'm not jumping off their preseason bandwagon after a rough month.
Shepherd: One month does not make a team a playoff team, just ask the 2011 Cleveland Indians. The Rangers are incredibly talented and are a great bet to go wire to wire, but let's not hand them the title just yet.