As for Harper and Trout, they've long since established themselves as two of the best players on the planet. Trout won the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 2014. Harper won the National League MVP Award in 2015.
This All-Star Game presented by MasterCard (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX), will be Trout's fifth, Harper's fourth. In that way, they're established stars. Think about this one: Only five of the 68 players selected so far for next week's All-Star Game have more All-Star experience than 24-year-old Mike Trout.
That's it. Trout and Harper seem to have compelled lots of baseball people to change the way they think of player development.
Some teams believe it's now acceptable to push their best young players through their systems and to constantly challenge them at higher and higher levels.
If a player has talent, he'll survive and eventually thrive. That's what happened with Harper. Young players came in droves after Harper and Trout. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, another extraordinary young player, also made his All-Star Game debut in 2012. He was 22 at the time.
Now look around. There's young talent everywhere. It's flourishing, too. According to Baseball-Reference.com's Wins Above Replacement rankings, six of the top 11 players this season are 24 or younger. Among the top 15, only one of them -- 33-year-old Robinson Cano -- has had a 31st birthday.
This youth movement has impacted this All-Star Game in a huge way. Specifically:
1. Twenty-six first-time All-Stars are among the 68 players named so far.
2. Fifteen more players have two All-Star selections, meaning 41 of 68 players are All-Stars for either the first or second time.