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Monday Morning Manager: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout have buzz, but will they have staying power?

By April 30, 2012

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The two best prospects both made their debuts on Saturday night, and it will be interesting to see how much of a leash the Nationals will give to Bryce Harper and the Angels will give to Mike Trout.

The Angels placed Trout right into the leadoff spot on Saturday and Sunday in Cleveland, but he failed to get a hit in eight at-bats after pitchers could barely get the 20-year-old phenom out in Triple-A. With Albert Pujols struggling the Angels need a spark, and Trout might be in the big-leagues for good if he can shake off those two bad games.

I have a feeling Harper will head back to Triple-A when the Nationals get Mike Morse or Mark DeRosa back from the DL, however. Right now, the Nats need Harper. Yet he's only 19 and there's a lot of pressure on him. The Nationals feel like they can contend, and the maturity level might not be there quite yet. Harper has only played in 129 minor-league games, and almost all of them were in the lower minors.

And remember this: By calling him up now, it could cost the Nationals millions if he becomes a "Super Two" player who is eligible for arbitration a full year sooner. Sending him back down would diminish that possibility. He needs to produce, and the Nationals need to stay toward the top of the NL East.

But their promotions have given baseball a little buzz during a tough time to compete for attention in the sports world, with the NFL draft dominating the airwaves and the NBA and NHL playoffs entering full swing.

What else has some buzz? This week's Monday Morning Manager:

WHO'S HOT

Jay Bruce, Reds: My preseason pick as a wild-card team, the Reds are heating up, and after a slow start, Bruce hit .455 with three homers and 10 RBI last week.

Jake Peavy, White Sox: After so many injury struggles, it would be nice to see Peavy return to form at age 30. And so far, so good. He's 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA after two great starts last week.

Matt Kemp, Dodgers: He's staying on this list until his average dips below .420. Hit another game-winner, his 11th homer, on Saturday night against the Nationals.

WHO'S NOT

Yankees starters: Freddy Garcia is headed to the bullpen, and Phil Hughes might not be far behind. Michael Pineda is out for the year, and their collective ERA is over 6. Andy Pettitte, come back soon.

Javy Guerra, Dodgers: Remember when you were told to pick him up in fantasy leagues? Uh... scratch that. He's blown his last three chances.

Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks: The young first baseman's hot finish last season delivered so much promise. But he's batting just .185, is striking out at a tough clip (18 so far) and he hasn't hit a homer since the opener.

TOP 5

1. Texas Rangers (16-6, last week No. 1)

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (12-4, last week No. 2)

3. Atlanta Braves (14-8, last week unranked)

4. St. Louis Cardinals (14-8, last week No. 5)

5. New York Yankees (12-9, last week No. 4)

BOTTOM 5

26. Chicago Cubs (8-14, last week No. 27)

27. Houston Astros (8-14, last week No. 26)

28. San Diego Padres (7-16,  last week No. 28)

29. Minnesota Twins (6-15, last week No. 29)

30. Kansas City Royals (6-15, last week No. 30)

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