As the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Diego Padres are set to face each other in a hotly contested National League Championship Series, it’s time to take a look at their biggest stars and where they come from.
Third baseman Manny Machado is the on-field leader of the 2022 Padres, playing at a really high level both offensively and defensively.
On the other hand, we have Bryce Harper, the 2021 NL MVP, leading the charge for the Phillies.
Both have very similar backgrounds.
Two of their generation's greatest are set for a meeting in the NLCS 🍿 pic.twitter.com/etUzQZJAAx
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) October 17, 2022
Leading up to the 2010 MLB Draft, Bryce Harper was far and away the best prospect available, seen as a generational talent capable of changing the outcome of a season or a series for his team.
Two Franchise Cornerstones
With two MVP awards and his excellent postseason performance this year, it’s fair to say Harper has lived up to expectations.
But there were other quality prospects on that draft, too, like Machado.
A shortstop at the time, Machado was picked third by the Baltimore Orioles.
Both made the majors two years after being drafted, in 2012, and both amassed enough numbers and accolades to earn $300 million contracts in February 2019.
Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million pact with the Padres, and Harper put pen to paper on a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies.
Their team’s investments are paying off: Philadelphia has a chance to return to the World Series for the first time since 2009, and the Padres could make it all the way to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1998.
Both teams lost in those years, so they are surely eager to bring some positive memories for their fans.
Who will come out on top, Machado or Harper?