It seems like every spring there's a few players that go above and beyond in their efforts to solidify a spot on a Major League roster. Last season, Jake Fox led the way with 10 home runs and 17 extra base hits. Sure, those numbers were pretty ridiculous, but Fox found himself designated for assignment on June 1st. Spring Training numbers really don't accumulate to much, unless you're fighting for one of the last roster spots or a top prospect trying to impress your club (I.E. Bryce Harper). It's hard to grasp if the numbers are a fluke because of the hitter friendly ballparks in Arizona and the fact that veterans are facing guys fresh out of A ball or guys that haven't hit their stride on the mound.
With that said, let's take a look at the 2012 Spring Training All-Stars!
*All stats were compiled on March 13, 2012*
(I'll keep it traditional and do NL/AL teams)
C - Hector Sanchez : San Francisco Giants
The young backstop for the Giants has a .438/.389/1.063 line this Spring with 3 HR and 8 RBI's in 16 at-bats.
He won't be taking playing time from a healthy Buster Posey anytime soon, but he's definitely turning heads this spring.
|Mat Gamel of the Milwaukee Brewers (Yahoo Sports)|
Mat Gamel has done his best Prince Fielder impersonation this spring and his .300/.364./.750 triple slash line indicates that. He's also added 3 HR and 7 RBI's in 20 at-bats.
2B - Daniel Descalso : St. Louis Cardinals
Having a great spring is nothing new for Descalso and so far this year he has a .438/.609/.625 line. He's done this in 16 at-bats and it doesn't look like he's going to slow down soon.
SS - Freddy Galvis : Philadelphia Phillies
At one point during this offseason, Galvis looked like he could be taking over for long time Phillie Jimmy Rollins, but Rollins signed an extension and Galvis will play this season in the minors. Galvis hasn't let that stop him from having a great spring. So far, he's hitting at a .364/.393/.455 clip.
3B - Todd Frazier : Cincinnati Reds
Todd Frazier is still considered a "prospect" by the Reds, but many might consider the 26 year old a AAAA player. This spring he's showing why many still believe in his "prospect" status. So far he has a .286/.348/.810 line with 3 HR and 6 RBI's (in 21 at-bats).
OF: Alfonso Soriano : Chicago Cubs
.529/.529/1.412 4 HR 6 RBI
Alfonso Soriano is essentially a DH playing the outfield at this point in his career, but he's mashing in Mesa for the Cubs and he might be helping his trade value.
OF: Jaff Decker : San Diego Padres
.350/.435/.850 2 HR 5 RBI
Jaff Decker is showing why many scouts consider him a solid prospect. The Padres are loaded with young talent and Decker could and should be given a chance to prove himself at the Major League level. This spring is definitely helping his cause.
OF: Gregor Blanco : San Francisco Giants
.522/.593/.565 0 HR 3 RBI 6 SB
Gregor Blanco is competing for a reserve role on the Giants and he's done an excellent job so far. He's had previous stints in Atlanta and Kansas City and is a slap hitter with decent speed. He can play decent defense, but he's nothing you really want starting on a consistent basis. The Braves essentially have the same player in Jose Constanza on the current roster.
P: Mike Minor : Atlanta Braves
0-0 0.00 ERA 9 IP 5 H 0 R 0 ER 4 BB 7 K
Mike Minor has had a great spring for the Atlanta Braves. He's backed up his words and is showing the Braves why he should be given a legit shot in the rotation. He's been efficient and has came right out and had no issues thus far in his 9 innings of work.
C- Max Ramirez : Kansas City Royals
The former top prospect of the Atlanta Braves is having a tremendous spring for the Royals. In only 10 at-bats, he has hit 3 HR and has 7 RBI. He's doing this with a .400/.571/1.300 line. The odds of him keeping this up are slim to none, but he's had an "All-Star" spring so far.
1B - Billy Butler : Kansas City Royals
Another former top prospect, Billy Butler has had a fine career thus far with the Royals. This spring he's hitting at an elite level .455/.500/.818. Add in his 2 HR and 4 RBI and Butler is having an amazing spring.
2B - Alexi Amarista : Los Angeles Angels
Ranked as the 8th best prospect in the organization by FanGraphs, he's lived up to that billing this spring. So far, he's hitting .438/.471/1.000 with 2 HR and 6 RBI. I'm sure the Angels will send him down to play full time, but he's leaving a lasting impression on the Angels coaching staff.
SS - Eric Sogard : Oakland A's
Eric Sogard is probably more known for his awesome goggles over his awesome numbers this spring, but A's fans should take notice of Sogard. So far, he's been more like Eric So-good! Hey, I'm trying here! All joking aside, this spring he's hitting .387/.457/.677 with 2 HR and 6 RBI. He's definitely having a spring to remember for the A's.
|Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays (SBNation)|
I think every baseball fan knows who Brett Lawrie is and if you don't you must live a sad life. Brett Lawrie was the major piece in the Shaun Marcum trade. He destroyed pitching in the minors and in the majors last season and now he's giving Grapefruit League pitchers nightmares! This spring he's compiled a .579/.600/.842 slash line. He hasn't hit any home runs, but he has 5 doubles in 19 at-bats. Basically, Lawrie is a machine...
OF: Ryan Raburn : Detroit Tigers
.467/.471/1.467 4 HR 14 RBI
I think Ryan Raburn has a legit shot at earning Grapefruit League MVP honors this season. I guess Jake Fox wasn't able to defend his title from 2011.
OF: Carlos Peguero : Seattle Mariners
.308/.333/.654 3 HR 6 RBI
I'd like to see Peguero work on his plate discipline, but you can't argue with his power this spring. He may be the next Willy Mo Pena, but I have no problems putting him on my Spring Training All-Star list.
OF: Trayvon Robinson : Seattle Mariners
.538/.538/.846 1 HR 2 RBI
Acquired from the Dodgers, Robinson has put together a solid spring for the Mariners. He'll likely open the season as a starting outfielder and his spring numbers aren't anything to laugh at.
P : Blake Beavan : Seattle Mariners
1-0 2.38 ERA 11.1 IP 9 H 3 R 3 ER 1 HR 2 BB 6 SO 0.97 WHIP
Beavan has looked great this spring and I went with him because he's thrown the most innings and has very solid numbers. Plus, pitching in Arizona can only hurt your numbers, but he hasn't had any issues with that.
I didn't mean to overload on Mariners players for my AL team, but they are tied with Oakland for the best record in the Cactus League and you have to reward a talented team when it comes to naming All-Stars.
It's interesting to see how some of the players with the best spring numbers, are the ones who are trying to catch the eye of a coaching staff or trying to hang onto their Major League career. The players mentioned above aren't sure bets to have great seasons, but they are definitely making it tough for teams to demote or release them. Whether you're young or old, Spring Training always brings one thing and that's: HOPE. Every team has a chance and every player has a chance to make the big league roster.
Thanks for reading!