It’s only Spring Training, but several players are finding their strides immediately. Now, they must carry their new found success for the upcoming weeks, and then to the regular season. Though we still have weeks of the Spring Sessions to go, each team is showing potential bright spots for 2019.
The Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues have hinted towards who to look out for the upcoming. Here are some of the names starting out their preseason strong, starting with the Grapefruit League.
Grapefruit League MVP: Position Players
1. Byron Buxton: Center Fielder, Minnesota Twins
The 25-year old center fielder has struck gold during this spring training. Buxton has cashed in four home runs, 13 RBI and an above .400 batting average. Plus, these are all career high for no. 25 for Spring Training. The Twins have benefited from players like Buxton. Minnesota currently stands 10-8 and sits fifth out of 15 teams in the Grapefruit League standings. Hopefully, Byron can replicate this fortune when the regular season finally arrives.
2. Brandon Lowe: Second-Baseman, Tampa Bay Rays
The current leader Spring Training leader in RBI, Brandon Lowe is turning into a formidable batter. With a .448 batting average, striking out Lowe has become much harder this time around. If he can keep this up, the future of the Rays can become brighter and Lowe can become a potential Silver-Slugger for Tampa Bay. The important thing he needs to do is take everything that’s working now and learning to trust it with the game on the line.
3. Lewis Brinson: Center-Fielder, Miami Marlins
For Marlins fans, seeing one of their own doing exceptionally is a pleasant surprise, despite is being in the pre-season. Lewis Brinson finished last regular season with a below .200 batting average. But it seems that Brinson may have something planned for 2019. No. 9 currently leads the Spring Training pack in home runs. He is also boasting an above 350 batting average along the way. The road ahead for Miami will still be long and bumpy. But if Brinson can do this during the 2019 regular season, the rebuilding process can become less painful for Fish fans.
4. Austin Hays: Right-Fielder, Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are in the midst of a massive rebuilt of their own. One of their more promising players to help raise the team back up is right-fielder, Austin Hayes. The 21-year old is posting four home runs and 12 RBI in the Spring Games. Hayes has a .364 batting average in tow as well. Meanwhile, Baltimore is sitting around the .500 range. Although they still have plenty of rough patches to tackle, players like Hayes can ignite sparks needed to propel the team upwards.
Grapefruit League MVP: Pitchers
1. Drew Anderson: Philadelphia Phillies
When on a team that boasts Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, and Andrew McCutchen, it’s a little hard to get noticed. But 24-year old Drew Anderson has put his name out this preseason. So far, Anderson has gone 2-0 from the mound, along with a 0.71 ERA. Very few batters have been able to connect with his pitchers, only recording a .143 batting average against no. 63. With Philadelphia doubling down on a World Series bid in 2019, Anderson can be the one person fans could miss, and pay dearly for doing so.
2. Luis Cessa: New York Yankees
The Pinstripes have stocked up on their pitchers this past offseason. But Luis Cessa has shown he can shut down the best of them. With a Spring Training best 0.69 ERA, Cessa stands undefeated as of this point. The 26-year old has not caught many big breaks in the regular season. But with his outing so far, he has the potential of becoming the Yankees’ secret, as well an All-Star in the making. It will take more than an impressive Spring Training to get Cessa into the spotlight along the elite arms of baseball. As the Yankees hold a slight lead over the rest of the Grapefruit League, Cessa and company are eyeing revenge for their eruptive 2018 season getting cut short.
Featured image courtesy of Florida Sports Foundation
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