Spring Training news and notes

Baseball is back and in full swing! I’ve had the opportunity to attend many Grapefruit league games in South Florida, and am counting down to opening day.

Who’s off to a great start?

At the plate:

Tyler O’Neill LF (STL) – in 21 ABs, 5 hits, 4 HRs, 5 BBs

Brian Anderson 3B (MIA) – in 20 ABs, 7 hits, 5 RBIs, 3 BBs

Juan Soto LF (WSH) – in 17 ABs, 6 hits, 5 RBIs, 4 BBs

Byron Buxton CF (MIN) – in 14 ABs, 6 hits, 3 HRs, 11 RBIs

Aaron Judge RF (NYY) – in 15 ABs, 6 hits, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs

Carlos Santana 1B (CLE) – in 16 ABs, 7 hits, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF (BOS) – in 13 ABs, 6 hits, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs

Kris Bryant 3B (CHC) – in 11 ABs, 4 hits, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 4 BBs

Freddie Freeman 1B (ATL) – in 13 ABs, 4 hits, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs

On the mound:

Jack Flaherty SP (STL) – in 8.0 IP, 14 SO, 1.13 WHIP

Robbie Ray SP (ARI) – in 7.2 IP, 13 SO, 1.3 WHIP

Jon Gray SP (COL) – in 9.0 IP, 10 SO, 2 hits, .071 AVG, .33 WHIP

Jordan Zimmermann SP (DET) – in 5.0 IP, 8 SO, 3 hits

Prospect watch:

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B (TOR) – the number one prospect in baseball has had a quiet spring so far, with flashes of elite power at the plate (16 ABs, 4 hits)

Fernando Tatis Jr. SS (SD) – Padres fans should be excited for their future starting shortstop, and he’s looked great this spring (18 ABs, 5 hits, 2 HRs, 3 BBs)

Victor Robles CF (WSH) – the 21 year old Robles might find himself on the roster before the All-Star break if he keeps hitting like this (18 ABs, 6 hits, 5 RBIs, 4 BBs, 3 SB)

Rule changes:

The pitch clock experiment this spring has been welcomed by fans who appreciate the pace of play it brings, but not by players. Max Scherzer spoke out last week saying that it messes with the integrity of the game. The MLB has since announced it will forego the pitch clock for 2019 season, instead revisiting it next year.

A three batter minimum for pitchers has also been discussed, in hopes to increase pace of play.

The universal DH will likely be implemented in the next couple of seasons. It has recently been generating a lot of momentum among NL teams.

Remaining free agents:

Dallas Keuchel – The lefty who spent his first 7 seasons with the Astros remains unsigned. Recent rumors are linking him to the Phillies, Yankees, and a possible return to Houston.

Craig Kimbrel – The 30 year old closer was seen this week near the Braves spring training camp. He’s also been linked to the Phillies and Nationals.

Others include: Gio Gonzalez, Adam Jones, and Evan Gattis.

22 days until Opening Day!