- Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals: 5 1/3 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 4 K. The Cardinals are being coy with information about their fifth-starter battle, but Martinez has more upside than Joe Kelly and has pitched well enough to win the spot. That doesn’t mean that he will, as both have pitched well in relief before and either could make the transition to the bullpen, but Martinez has certainly done everything he can to prove he’s worthy of a spot.
- Matt Davidson, 3B, White Sox: 2-4, R, HR, 2 K. As was pointed out by my astute readers just a few days ago, it appears the White Sox may be leaning toward going with Conor Gillaspie at third base to start the season. Whether that is due to genuine concerns about Davidson or simply a cover for financial manipulation, we may never know, but even in his current developmental state, Davidson is the better on-field option. He has his flaws, certainly, but games like he had on Wednesday are what you’re going to get. There is going to be some issues with contact, but he’s going to run into more power production than will Gillaspie.
- Billy McKinney, OF, Athletics: 1-1, BB. One hit doesn’t usually get you on this list, and spring training stats don’t matter, but McKinney, the A’s first-round pick last year out of Plano West High School in Texas, is only 19 years old and is now 5-for-11 this spring. Which is really cool.
- Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians: 2-4, R, 2B. If the Indians are good, it will be tough to justify moving Asdrubal Cabrera, either to another team or simply around the field, to make room for Lindor this summer. But the way Lindor is progressing, he’s going to be ready for the big leagues before Cabrera’s contract is up at the end of this season.
- Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Astros: 2 IP, 2 H, 4 K. The Astros got a nice little glimpse of what Folty can do in short bursts, a situation he may find himself in frequently in a few years. The jury is still out on whether or not he can be a starter, but there are few who doubt his eventual success in a relief role.
- Billy Hamilton, OF, Reds: 1-3, R, HR, K. Hamilton doesn’t have much power, but his ability to pop one every so often is what separates him from the Dee Gordons of the world.
- Javier Baez, SS, Cubs: 1-2, R, HR, K. It’s almost as though Baez knows how irrationally excited Cubs fans are by his impending arrival and tries to match their enthusiasm with every swing, only to hit baseballs 450 feet like he did on Wednesday and further fuel their excitement. For the record, I’m irrationally excited about Baez as well.
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