What do the following all have in common?
Dime Store Cowboy.
Juke Box Hero.
Vice President of the United States.
Spring Training Sensation.
What do they have in common? They’re all wannabes, phantoms, mirages. They may seem impressive, they may look real for a while, but they’re not.
And yet, even though the stories of the Spring Training hero who fades back into oblivion are legion, sometimes, just sometimes, a great Spring Training is the difference between the Majors and the obscurity of AAA. Tyler White was on the cusp going into Spring Training in 2016. He hit 1.031 OPS in Spring, made the 25-man roster, and made player of the week after Opening Day. He’s been up and down since then, but he figures to start at DH on this Opening Day, 2019. A great Spring Training got the 33rd rounder his first shot.
Who got noticed this Spring Training? Whose reputation soared? Who gave us to believe that their future may be better than we thought?
Here are a few of the leading candidates along with their statistics.
3B Nick Tanielu: Spring Training stats .342/.405/.789, 4 home runs, 15 RBI.
In 2016 our own Astros Future wrote a profile warning us that Tanielu had a future. But in 2017 he had an ACL injury, and 2018, although good at AAA, (.289/.337/.412) was a season of recuperation.
He came to camp ready, having just finished a season with Aukland in the Australian league.
3B Abraham Toro: .324/.375/.568/ 2 HR, 13 RBI
Toro is a 2016 5th round draft pick. He only hit .688 OPS last year at AA but had a very successful Fall season at Scottsdale.
C Garrett Stubbs: .300/.333/.650
Left hand hitting catcher who can run, reputedly a good defender, the 25 year old only hit .726 OPS in 2017 at AAA, but improved to .836 last year.
OF Yordan Alvarez: .300/.404/.376
The 21 year old has been included in most Top 100 prospect lists. Alvarez hit 1.006 OPS at AA last year.
P J.B. Bukauskas: 10 IP, 1 ER, 5 BB, 13 K’s, 1.10 WHIP
The first round, 2017 draft pick, now 22, and a Top 100 Prospect, advanced 5 levels last year in limited time, and had a 1.61 ERA at A+ ball.
P Brandon Bielak: 9 IP, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K’s, 0.76 WHIP
The almost 23 year old Bielak was an 11th round draft pick. He had a 2.35 ERA at AA last year.
P Brendan McCurry: 9 IP, 1 ER, 6 BB 13 K’s, 1.11 WHIP
The 27 year old 22nd round draft pick, acquired from the A’s in the Jed Lowrie trade, had a 3.69 ERA last year in AAA.
Which Astro prospect’s stock rose the most during Spring Training?
This poll is closed
none of the above. It’s just Spring Training damn it!