MLB Spring Training: Hot start
Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
For some players, such as Mike Trout or Christian Yelich, spring training is a time to start up conversations with teammates and get back into superstar stride. But, for players not as fortunate with their talent, spring training becomes a time to shine and show coaches and general managers the reason why they were drafted.
Following the short spring training, numerous players stood out in their respective ranks and proved just how vital a position they can play for their team. Although spring training statistics never count towards winning games and pushing for a playoff run, it could prove their abilities to coaches, and ensure playing time when the regular season rolls on in.
Franmil Reyes of the Cleveland Indians showed just how lethal of a hitter he can be. Reyes posted a .444 batting average, hitting five home runs and four doubles in just 27 at-bats. In 2019, he powered 37 home runs, but only ten came in the last two months of the season. For Cleveland fans, they hope to see consistency in this upcoming season that will boost them towards a playoff run, unlike they have seen with Baker Mayfield for the Browns.
Another familiar face that showed his rookie campaign was not a fluke was extra-base machine Bo Bichette. Bichette’s line consisted of a .290 batting average, yet what stood out was his four home runs, one double, and triple in 31 at-bats. It is safe to say that he is yet again shaping up to have a full season where he can prove just how special of a talent he is.
Dylan Carlson of the St. Louis Cardinals is a name to remember, considering he is their number one ranked prospect, and proved that he is ready for major league play. At only 21 years of age, Carlson showed off the tools that will eventually get him called up to the bigs. He posted a .313 batting average, yet what stood out the most was the fact that he once reached base in eight straight appearances. Last year, according to the MLB, he was named Double-A Texas League’s MVP at the fresh age of 20.
On the other side of the ball are the pitchers who look to prove themselves for yet another year in the major leagues. Jesus Luzardo and Kyle Wright are two prospects who look to shine for their respective ball clubs. Luzardo is MLB’s number 12 ranked prospect in all of baseball and posted a 1.08 ERA in about eight innings pitched, including 13 strikeouts and only one walk. Wright looks to be in the loop for the Atlanta Braves fifth rotation spot, and as the Brave’s number four prospect, he is bound to get the call very soon, especially after posting a 2.03 ERA.
A notable name that looks for a huge bounce back year is power hitting Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles. Davis posted a .467 batting average with three home runs in just 15 at-bats in the spring, and looks to take that into the regular season. After almost retiring after a historically bad season last year, Davis looks to contend as the comeback player of the year in 2020.
For a team who just moved stadiums and looked towards a new home, the Texas Rangers utility man Isiah Kiner-Falefa looked strong in what will be his third year in MLB. IKF, as they call him, posted a .378 batting average with four home runs and two doubles in just 37 total at-bats. Kiner-Falefa has a total of five home runs in 558 at-bats as a Ranger, yet it took him just 37 in the spring, the Rangers look to him and numerous up and coming stars to take center stage in pushing Texas to a playoff run.