3/1/2013 4:34 P.M. ET
Trout, Harper, Posey land cover of Men's Health
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
Gain muscle. Crush calories. Sweat buckets.
Win a World Series ring and an MVP Award. Lead the Majors in runs, steals and OPS+.
Steal home. Make an All-Star roster. Produce more total bases than anyone younger than 20 ever has.
All of that will go together in the April issue of Men's Health magazine, which will focus on Major League Baseball's wave of electrifying young talent by putting Giants catcher Buster Posey, Angels left fielder Mike Trout and Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper on the cover. The issue goes on sale nationwide and on iTunes on March 12.
"Three brilliant new stars of the national pastime are right here, right now and they are making history on the field and on the cover," reads the magazine.
For the first time in its history, the No. 1 men's mag on newsstands is offering four distinct covers -- three "RIPPED RIGHT NOW!" covers, each bearing a power portrait of one of baseball's hottest young stars, and a fourth featuring the trio together in their familiar home whites.
"Having me, Trout and Posey on there was a pretty cool deal," Harper said, noting that they were "Photoshopped" together in the group-cover version. "I think, of course, Trout is one of the best guys in the game right now. And also Posey, one of the best catchers in the game. So it was cool to be on the same cover with them, and it was good for the fans also."
When asked if he was happy with how his solo shot came out -- pointing his bat at the camera -- Harper said: "Yeah, I love it. I absolutely love it.
"It was quick, easy. Men's Health is a lot fun to work with. Everybody is really easy with things. To be able to do that, to be on the cover, I really thank them for that. It was a blessing, really."
For the April issue, Posey, Trout and Harper open up about getting started in Major League Baseball, and also share personal and professional tips to live and play by. The issue further expands the reach of MLB into a world of men who turn to the publication for advice on fitness, women, health, nutrition, weight loss and style.
Posey, 25, was drafted out of Lee County High in Leesburg, Ga., as a pitcher but opted to play shortstop at Florida State. Men's Health covers not only the journey from his devastating 2011 ankle injury to his 2012 glory, but also his journey to catcher, which happened when an FSU coach suggested he try the position for the first time since Little League. It was obviously a sage idea, and his work ethic offers many lessons.
"I can still picture it now, in the cage at FSU," Posey says in the article. "The gear felt natural. I just kind of went from there, and fell in love with it."
Trout, 21, was the obvious American League Rookie of the Year choice in 2012, and he probably would have added MVP honors had it not been for a rare Triple Crown from Detroit's Miguel Cabrera. The article states that the Angels star "looks more natural for football" and asks him for the secret to his nonpareil baserunning and plate discipline.
"I just run as hard as I can," Trout says in an excerpt. "I used to get made fun of in the Minor Leagues. I'd be 0-for-2, and then in my last at-bat, I'd hit a chopper that wouldn't even reach the shortstop, and I'd get a hit out of it. The guys would be all over me, but a hit's a hit. I'll take 3,000 of 'em."
Harper, 20, was called up by the Nationals during the 2012 season, became the youngest position player to make an All-Star roster and helped the club bring postseason baseball back to Washington. His 254 total bases and 57 extra-base hits were the most ever for a player under age 20, and his 22 homers, 98 runs scored, .340 on-base percentage, .477 slugging percentage and .817 OPS were the best regular-season totals for a teenager in the past 45 years.
After his sophomore year of high school, Harper earned his GED so he could be eligible for the Draft a year early, and Men's Health delves into the way he "turned the tables" on those who doubted he would be mentally ready for the rigors of big league ball. As the article states, he "stepped up and studied each movement, making long-term Major Leaguers look like unfocused 19-year-olds. Now, at age 20, Harper continues to thrive."
"Mentally, you have to be as strong as you can be," Harper tells the magazine. "I had a lot of veteran guys who really helped me out this year with that. All year long, not just on the field but off the field."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. Paul Hagen contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.