Arizona Diamondbacks rookie sensation Corbin Carroll took the league by storm in 2023, easily claiming NL Rookie of the Year honors after a sensational and historic campaign. But even a player with his talent and obvious major league abilities was starstruck during his first experience in MLB action.
In a recent AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit, using MLB's official account, Carroll was asked if he had been starstruck by anyone in the bigs. He answered with two names. The first was Philadelphia Phillies superstar and fellow NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper.
"I've got 2 - one wasn't when I met him," Carroll said. "But it was my first series, one of the games I didn't play in, so I was in our dugout on the third baseline and Harper was on 3B, and I was like ok wow this is pretty sweet."
Back in 2022, when the Diamondbacks' top prospect had just been called up, the Phillies were visiting the desert. After playing in his first two games in the big leagues (both Arizona victories) Carroll watched from the dugout as the Phillies absolutely crushed his team 18-2. Harper went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in the thrashing.
For the two-time MVP to inspire awe from a distance is impressive, to say the least. Little did Carroll, Harper, or any of us know just how impressive Carroll's first full season in 2023 would be, which included eliminating the Phillies in the NLCS in seven games.
Carroll became the first rookie to put up a 25-plus home run and 50-plus steal season since 1900. He eclipsed Harper's rookie year in 2012, in which the former Washington National put up 22 home runs and 18 stolen bases with a .270/.340/.477 slash line in 139 games. Carroll finished 2023 with a .285/.362/.506 slash line with 25 home runs and 54 steals.
Like Harper, Carroll was named to his first of many All-Star teams in his rookie year. While his future is bright, Carroll has a ways to go before catching up to Harper, who has seven All-Star appearances, a Home Run Derby title, and two Silver Sluggers, on top of his two MVPs, to his name so far.
In case you're wondering, Carroll's second answer was meeting Juan Soto for the first time in an elevator. And in one of the more hilarious questions and responses, he also mentioned that he thinks he could beat a giraffe — albeit not a full-grown one — in a fight.
After the Phillies' disappointing NLCS loss in October, hopefully the next time these two meet on the field — Carroll and Harper, not Carroll and the giraffe — Harper and the Phillies will get the better of the up-and-coming Diamondbacks.
The teams will face off for the first time in 2023 in June, when the Phillies host a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park from June 21-23.