KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Before they were All-Stars, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout suited up with Red Sox rookie Will Middlebrooks for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League last year.
The team finished 14-22 despite all that talent. Trout hit .245 with five RBIs over 25 games while Middlebrooks lasted only 13 games before being shut down with a thumb injury. Only Harper (.333, six homers, 26 RBIs) hit well.
“We didn’t play as well as we wanted to. Long games,” Trout said Tuesday. “It was tough for me, tough for Harp. We had a long year.”
Both players had high praise for Middlebrooks, who is hitting .298 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs in 48 games for the Sox.
“Great dude,” Trout said. “Hung out with him, got a chance to meet him and know him a little bit. We talk maybe three times a week, shooting each other texts.
“He’s a great player and he’s got a great glove. He’s got pop in his swing.”
Said Harper: “He’s an unbelievable ballplayer. He has power to all fields and he’s going to be a great talent for the Red Sox for years to come. The wall is going to be a lot of fun for him to hit some balls over. He’s an unbelievable talent, great guy and a lot of fun to hang out with and be around.”