I was trying to think of things that are as boring and meaningless as spring training, but are extremely exciting because their conclusion signifies the start of something great. Immediately I thought of breast implants, because that’s what I immediately think of for everything. Then I tried to think of actual analogies. Political campaigns are beyond boring, but meaningless? Maybe, I guess. Michael Clayton was boring and meaningless, and exciting because I was able to get out of theater when it ended, but it didn’t lead to anything wonderful except an Auntie’s Anne’s cinnamon-sugar pretzel. Oh, well. I’m at a lost. Maybe one of you readers can think of something (I’m actually positive Rudy Gamble will think of an analogy). Until then, let’s run down some more players to look out for in Spring Training.
Jeremy Sowers – Finished strong in his final Triple A games last year (4-1 with a 2.95 ERA in his final nine starts) and now does battle with Cliff Lee and Aaron Laffey for the final spot in the Indians rotation. Sowers is a talented young kid and the Indians’ fifth starter will have value, whoever ends up with the nod.
Evan Longoria – Last year, I watched Ryan Braun in spring training and made sure I got him in a keeper league (only to lose him during the season, but that’s another story). This spring watch Evan Longoria. All indications point to him being the Rays’ opening day third basemen, so try and watch how good he is at reading pitches in spring training to see if you want to invest in him at your draft.
Kosuke Fukudome – A) You want to see how he looks against major league pitching to avoid an Iwamura disaster (BTW, Iwamura isn’t half as bad at 2nd base. Actually, he’s exactly as bad, but it’s a better position to draft him for. B) You want to see if he’s playing center at all, cause if he’s there and Pie’s on the bench then Murton gets a shot (finally!). Murton has a lot of talent, hopefully he can find some place to play this year. Redheads guys aren’t cute, but what is being done to Murton is a disgrace.
Michael Barrett – It’s been written here before how the town bully (Big Z) pantsed Barrett in front of the whole world and he never recovered even after moving to a new town. But if Barrett can get hot and Bard slumps in spring training, Barrett could be a great draftable 2nd catcher.
Chase Headley – Sticking with the Padres theme, watch Chase catch fire in the spring and he will have to at least be drafted in keeper leagues. Watch Edmonds get injured (it’s only a matter of time) and Chase could reposition himself in the outfield and be a huge sleeper.