The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 16, 2013

Boys of summer

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

Jersey sales for Harvey, Harper and Trout rank among the top 10 this season based on purchases of Majestic tops at MLB.com, the league and the players’ association said last week.

Harper is 20, and Trout is all of 21. Barely old enough to vote, let alone buy a drink.

Machado’s jersey ranked eighth, one spot behind Jeter, even though the Baltimore third baseman has spent less than a year in the majors. That didn’t stop him from earning his first All-Star selection on his 21st birthday.

“In today’s era, young dudes are getting better and more prepared to come up to the big leagues,” said Orioles teammate Adam Jones, an All-Star himself. “It’s just an improvement in the game. These young dudes are phenoms, and he’s put his name up there.

“He’s probably more mature than I am, and I’m 27.”

Machado was voted in by players, a significant sign of respect from his peers.

Well, mostly elders, actually. He certainly deserved it at a power-packed position after hitting 39 doubles in the first half, threatening the single-season record of 67 set by Earl Webb in 1931.

“Swing and hit the white ball coming at you. That’s all it is,” Machado said. “There’s no secret to it.”

Just like Little League, apparently. Sometimes he makes it look that easy, too. But take a swing around the majors and you see it’s not only Trout, Harper and Machado.

There is Miami rookie Jose Fernandez, a 20-year-old All-Star with a Cy Young future. Don’t forget lefty Patrick Corbin (23), who is 11-1 with a 2.35 ERA for Arizona. And second-year shortstop Jean Segura in Milwaukee, who leads the NL in hits at age 23.

“I feel pretty good when they compare me with those guys,” Segura said about his place among baseball’s new breed.

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