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A huge storm that made its way across the state of Florida on Thursday afternoon cancelled about half of the action in the Grapefruit League, but there’s still plenty for us to talk about.

The Good

  • Allen Webster, RHP, Red Sox: 3 IP, H, K. The Red Sox have a full starting rotation right now, but teams very rarely make it through an entire major-league season with just five starters. When they need to dip into starters six, seven, and eight this season, Webster will be among them.
  • Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians: 2 IP, 3 H, BB, 4 K. Reports have Bauer’s velocity back up in the mid-90s, and it’s a good sign to see him striking batters out, something he did in the minors but stopped doing last season.
  • Micah Johnson, 2B, White Sox: 3-5, 2 R, SB. Johnson demonstrated what his speed can do atop a lineup on Thursday when he’s able to get on base. His top-end speed can be a real weapon, but most of his power is speed-based (legged out doubles and triples).
  • C.J. Cron, 1B, Angels: 1-1, R, HR. Cron’s power is one of the few standout tools in the Angels system, and he will need it to play to its potential to be an above-average player at first base.
  • Addison Russell, SS, Athletics: 2-2, R, 2B, 3B. Russell has yet to be slowed down by any level of competition he’s faced, and that appears to include spring training.

The Bad

  • Garin Cecchini, 3B, Red Sox: 0-4, 4 K. Ouch. We can analyze things all we want, but anyone who has played baseball at any kind of high level knows that sometimes these days just happen. Cecchini generally doesn’t strike out much (and last year actually walked more often), so there’s no long-term concern here. He wasn’t going to make the Red Sox roster, so it’s nothing he can’t sleep off.
  • Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs: 0-2, 2 K. Big tree fall hard. Even though it is still a plus tool, his hit tool is the weakest part of his offensive game. He’ll be a good hitter with great power, but he could rack up some big strikeout numbers in the process. No one will care if he hits 40 home runs as a third baseman, but there will be a few days like this in the process.
  • Reymond Fuentes, OF, Padres: 0-2, 2 K. Fuentes was likely slated to return to Triple-A until Cameron Maybin went down with an injury, leaving Fuentes as the best defensive option in the organization for the Padres’ center-field needs. The bat will probably struggle if forced into action this year.
  • Chris Anderson, RHP, Dodgers: 1 1/3 IP, H, 2 R, 2 BB. The first spring training appearance for the Dodgers’ 2013 first-rounder didn’t go as he would have liked.

Thank you for reading

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It's been on my list for a long while, and finally this year I am attending a few Cactus League games (with a particular eye towards seeing some prospects first hand). My observations from the Cubs/Indians game yesterday as they pertain to the notes above - Kris Bryant did wind up striking out twice, but both were legitimate ab's - he worked the count full both times, and he was the last batter of the game in his second ab, and likely should have worked a walk on a 3-0 pitch that really wasn't close...he did wind up fouling off a few tough pitches as well (contrast this to Albert Almora's K early in the game on 3 pitches in which he looked totally fooled). Bauer clearly showed promising stuff - but also looked very erratic with his command, more so than the one walk would suggest. For whatever this is worth, he did seem very engaged with his coaches in the dugout in terms of his pitching motion and delivery.
Thanks for the eyes-on report.