Setting the Bar: Six Players to Look Out For in Spring Training 2024

Six Players to Look Out For in Spring Training 2024 image

📖 Published on: February 19th, 2024

✍️ Updated: February 22nd, 2024

⏳ 11 mins read

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Spring Training has arrived for the 2024 season! It is now time to see the biggest teams prepare for the big stage ahead of the campaign as they now seek to establish their rosters ahead of the season. It is time to see the bigger games en route to the season as the league prepares for another grueling season to look out for.

 

No one can deny the fact that Spring Training is starting to be an avenue for players to come up with their best chances to surprise the rest of the league with high-octane performances and star-level outings before the season begins. This is why many fans are keen to see the Spring Training unfold as teams field their players to see what they can bring to their championship hopes in the season.

 

What is Spring Training?

 

Spring Training is considered to be the equivalent of the various American sports leagues’ preseason, where teams get to play ahead of the regular season. This allows clubs to try out their new roster and experiment on player rotations, finalize starting lineups, and establish team chemistry before they actually play games that would count into season records. These are considered exhibition games as mostly young players are given a chance to play heavy minutes, including players returning from injuries as well.

 

What is Spring Training image

 

The Grapefruit League and the Cactus League host teams close to Florida and Arizona, respectively. This is annually slated to begin in the middle weeks of February and will continue all the way before Opening Day, which is usually scheduled for the last week of March or the first week of April. Over the years, fans have been allowed to watch these games to see their favorite teams play ahead of the action-packed season.

 

Who Should You Look Out For in this Year’s Spring Training?

 

As said before, Spring Training is a time of calm baseball action that sees the return of all 30 clubs in the league. It is an avenue for clubs to determine which players can help their respective rosters and even consider signing some talents who shine bright on this stage. From young rising stars all the way to veterans, players are given a chance to strike away and come up with a shot to play in the regular season.

 

Here are some of the top players that you should look out for in the Spring Training:

 

Michael Kopech - Chicago White Sox

 

Returning from a season-ending injury on his right knee, many fans are expecting bigger strides from the White Sox’s right-hand pitcher to make a comeback and show off extraordinary performances to prove that he is ready to roll on the big stage again. It cannot be denied that it will take some time for Kopech to get back into his groove, but he is definitely not running from the grind. This is the best time for him to prove that he can still make more than 27 starts – the most he had in 2023 before the injury.

Prior to his injury, Kopech had 8.10 ERA and 42 walks in just 43 ⅓ innings thrown in just the second half of the 2023 season, a mark of consistency that was halted by an untimely injury.

 

Michael Kopech image

 

That already says a lot about his potential as a core player for the White Sox who could also be a major contributor in their pitching. He is feeling healthy and ready to go for more action, which further proves that he is likely to shine bright in the Spring Training.

 

Leody Taveras - Texas Rangers

 

Leody Taveras image

 

While the Texas Rangers have no need for certain upgrades or roster changes, it does seem that Leody Taveras needs to prove his worth further this Spring Training so that he could get valuable minutes with the defending champions in the coming season. It can be remembered that Taveras once robbed a crucial home run in their series against the Houston Astros in the ALCS to prevent them from scoring massive points in Game 3.

With hits of .266 and .733 OPS last season, Taveras was much of a liability in the postseason after hitting just .175. He needs to step up his game further if he wants to earn more minutes.

 

With top prospects Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford already in the mix, Taveras has to prove that he can do what he does best for years to come and ensure that he will get the nod to start for the Rangers on Opening Day. This makes his Spring Training run important like any other player seeking a contract.

 

James Outman - Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Outman finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, and his value is still challenged with Shohei Ohtani coming in to take some of his minutes as well. However, the young Dodger is still slated to continue battling hard in the upcoming season as he hopes to regain his confidence after that struggle at the plate to wrap up the previous campaign. Of course, he isn’t a ROTY candidate for nothing, which is why the Spring Training will be perfect for him to get back into his groove.

As a key player on the plate, Outman should be able to build his confidence in clutch moments and come up with fast-paced performances down the stretch.

 

James Outman image

 

It cannot be denied that the Dodgers are already pacing for a deeper playoff campaign, which is why he has to be ready for the high rollers and come up with huge games down the stretch, and this season will demand more of him as well. That makes him a key player to watch for the Dodgers this Spring Training.

 

Johan Rojas - Philadelphia Phillies

 

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As one of the standout rookies from the previous season, the expectations are high for Johan Rojas to prove that he is capable of showing off his big game to the next level for the Phillies. He managed to slash at .302/.342/.430 while also putting up some elite-level defense last season, showing flashes of Ohtani’s current two-way game. The Phillies know that they have found a gem in Rojas, and they are keen to see him develop into a star who can come up with a huge spark in their campaign.

The postseason struggle is common among rookies, but then Rojas giving some increased production on his end would make him a key player to hold on to for the Phillies.

 

Offensive improvement should be the main focus of his rally in the Spring Training as he needs to stay on the prowl and help the outfield squad for Philadelphia. There are even talks that Rojas may be opening the season in the Triple-A if he does not show any growth this Spring Training.

 

Jake McCarthy - Arizona Diamondbacks

 

The D-backs are considered a team that has a lot of struggles in bringing the best potential of their squad. True enough, Jake McCarthy is expected to be in improvement mode despite showing off how he can be the most impressive player in the roster – especially in the postseason. As a two-way talent, Arizona expects him to make some strides in the Spring Training to ensure that he gets a lot of minutes in the upcoming season.

With the team signing names such as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Joc Pederson, Rojas will have to prove his case that he is still capable of thriving in any of the three outfield spots that the team can offer.

 

Jake McCarthy image

 

On top of that, his defense is still a treasure for the team, and it has helped them in some of the tight spots that they have encountered in the postseason before their hopes came crashing down.

 

Vaughn Grissom - Boston Red Sox

 

Vaughn Grissom image

The expectations are high for Vaughn Grissom’s transition to the Red Sox roster with the hopes of making him their primary second baseman. There are a lot of what-if’s for the right-hander as he aims to make his offense known on the big stage, but his defense will need to catch up in Spring Training if Boston wants to really consider him for bigger playoff hopes in the 2024 season. That makes him a key player to look out for in Spring Training so far.

Traded from the Braves for Chris Sale, Grissom has some shoes to fill in his new club as he is slated to boost a massive offense with his slashes of .280/.313/.660.

 

The 2024 campaign will be a big run for Grissom if he can convince the Red Sox to give him a chance to shine on the season – and the first hurdle that he has to get through would be the Spring Training.

 

What to Expect in Spring Training 2024?

 

Spring Training is slated to see all of the prospects and veterans from each club in the MLB. While this is just the preseason, the Spring Training opens up opportunities from various teams across the league for players to bring the best of their games and earn a promising chance to compete at the highest level in the MLB. Who knows, maybe this will determine the winner of the World Series – eight months from now.

 

Get ready to place your wagers on your favorite clubs as the MLB sets the stage ready for your favorite clubs and players. Don’t miss the chance to win handsome prizes like no other when you bet on the coming baseball games today.

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