Have a coin? Well, get one.
You're going to need it by the time we're done here.
That's how I intend to solve the dilemma of the first overall pick this year, should I face it in one of my leagues. You could try something more scientific like crunching numbers or even just reasoning your way through it, as I usually do. But whether you design a projection system based on exit velocities and average fly-ball distances or simply make a list of pros and cons, you'll probably arrive at the same destination.
Here's what I know: Bryce Harper just put together a historically dominant season at age 22, delivering the sixth-highest OPS+ -- a number that's adjusted for era -- in the last 45 years. Here's what else I know: It didn't make him as valuable to Fantasy owners as Mike Trout was in 2012 and 2013, at ages 20 and 21.
Of course, back then Trout was a 40-steals guy. In each of the two years since, he has fallen short of 20. His 11 in 18 attempts last year make him not even a likely contributor in the category anymore, which is one less advantage he has over this latest version of Harper.
You know where else he has fallen off the last couple years? Batting average. And while you could say it's all BABIP, the ebb and flow of random chance, his rising strikeout rate tells a different story.
Understand we're looking for flaws in the Mona Lisa here. The sky isn't falling, and worry should be the last thing you feel when selecting Trout. But Harper hit .330 last year, and I'm just not sure this version of Trout is capable of doing the same.
Unless, of course, we're to believe that his miserable August last year, when he hit .218, was the result of a wrist injury he suffered in late July and not more of that pesky "random chance." Take it out of the equation, and Trout is a .316 hitter last year, which is within shouting distance of that Harper mark.
And we're right back where we started. To recap, the better source of stolen base is ... well, it's Trout. No, Harper. No, neither. But the better source of batting average is, of course ... Harper. No, Trout. No, neither. The truth is that if either of those categories is your first priority, your best bet with the first overall pick might just be Paul Goldschmidt.
But let's not even go there.
Honestly, it's a dilemma that's not really a dilemma because you can't get it wrong, and applying that logic, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Judging by more recent history, Harper may have the greater upside, but he doesn't have the four-year track record of Hall of Fame-caliber numbers that Trout does. So why chance it? Because it's not like nobody saw Harper's 2015 coming. It was only the expectation for him since his days as a high schooler in Las Vegas.
It's a classic case of safety vs. upside, but with the added wrinkle that both are realistically safe and studly. And if your gut doesn't gravitate toward one or the other, well, you might just have to make a little random chance of your own.
So let's fish out whatever's rattling around in that piggy bank and live a little.