MLB players to watch at Spring Training 2023
Even if winter isn’t officially over, now is the perfect time to start thinking about what MLB players to watch at spring training in 2023.
We’re not necessarily looking at players at the top of their position rankings or established stars. In fact, many of the top players will be busy this spring with the World Baseball Classic.
Instead, we’re interested in following potential spring training breakout stars and players with interesting storylines.
MLB players to watch at Spring Training 2023
With that in mind, who are the MLB players to watch at spring training in 2023? Obviously, the answer to that question could depend on your rooting interest.
But if we were to take a more objective approach, here are some of the players MLB fans should be watching closely this spring.
After all of the money the Rangers have spent over the last two offseasons, they are expecting to be a contender this season. With Jacob deGrom being given a five-year, $185 million contract this offseason, they expect him to hit the ground running and lead their rotation.
However, deGrom has been plagued by health issues over the last few seasons and saw his spring training delayed by a minor injury. That created an early start to the drama that will surely follow deGrom and his health this spring and throughout the season.
Few players have ever had as chaotic an offseason as Carlos Correa had. He agreed to contracts with three different teams, ultimately ending up back with the Twins.
The entire baseball world is now familiar with his injury history, specifically with regard to his ankle. Obviously, it didn’t hinder him much last year and the Twins were comfortable bringing him back. But there are bound to be more eyes than usual on Correa after that saga.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
It will be an interesting spring for Fernando Tatis Jr. after not playing at all last season. On top of that, Tatis will be suspended for the first part of the 2023 season and will be moving to a new position.
That’s no less than three interesting subplots surrounding one player, making him one of the obvious MLB players to watch at spring training in 2023.
Grayson Rodriguez might be at the top of the list among the young MLB players to watch at spring training in 2023. He’s one of the top prospects in all of baseball despite an injury preventing him from making his MLB debut last year.
Nevertheless, Rodriguez will be competing for a spot in Baltimore’s rotation. For a young team that made significant strides last year, it’s a big deal to see a prospect like Rodriguez make the jump to the majors, and his readiness in spring training could end up having a huge impact on the Orioles this year.
Since he could end up being the everyday shortstop for the Yankees, Oswald Peraza is surely a player worth watching closely this spring.
The 22-year-old made a strong first impression during the first 49 at-bats of his career last season. Now he’ll have a chance to beat out Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the opening day job. After the Yankees decided not to go after a high-priced shortstop over the winter, this is one of the more intriguing position battles this spring.
If the Red Sox are going to be a playoff contender this year, they’re going to need a few things to break their way. One of those x-factors is the health of Chris Sale. The lefty made just two starts last season but appears to be fully healthy heading into spring training.
But whether he can regain his all-star form is another question.
Boston is counting on him to lead the rotation, so it’s important that Sale is sharp during the spring; otherwise, it could signal another long season for the Red Sox.
With Jazz Chisholm moving to center field, he’ll be one of the most intriguing players in baseball to watch this spring who’s going through a position change.
Chisholm had a breakout season with the bat last year but has never played the outfield professionally. Keep in mind that Chisholm will be playing for Great Britain during the WBC, so the reps he gets in spring training as a center fielder will be valuable.
As the latest in a long line of Japanese pitchers to make the jump to the majors, Kodai Senga will be fascinating to watch this spring.
He’s been an elite pitcher in Japan for the last decade, won a Gold Medal with Japan at the 2020 Olympics, and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2017 WBC. He looks ready for the big leagues, but how smooth will his transition be?
Will a change of scenery be what Cody Bellinger needs to get his career back on track?
Keep in mind he was the MVP in 2019, winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award that year as well. But he has endured three disastrous seasons since then.
Of course, Bellinger is still only 27 years old, so there’s no reason why he can’t turn things around and become an elite player again. We’ll be curious to see if getting out of Los Angeles and finding a new home with the Cubs this spring helps him to relax and hit the reset button.
Trade rumors have long followed Bryan Reynolds, and they continue to follow him into spring training. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Reynolds this spring and what his frame of mind appears to be.
Will he get traded? Will he sign an extension with the Pirates? Will he be distracted by questions over his future? Among former all-stars, few players have a future as uncertain as Reynolds does heading into spring training.
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