Legends On Deck

First Day of Spring Training Games

Aaron Judge (Photo: Gabe Rodriguez)

One of the things that has always interested me about spring training games, is how the top prospects that see action do against major league talent.  Since Friday was the first real day of competition, I thought I would take a look at what each teams top prospects did.

Baltimore 2, Detroit 0

The Orioles scored one run in the second and one in the fifth which was enough to take down the Tigers.  The two teams combined for 12 hits in a game (according to the box score) didn’t have too much action.

Four of the Orioles top 30 (Aneury Tavarez #29, Trey Mancini #5, Preston Palmeiro #21, and Anthony Santander #15) made an appearance in the game.  They combined to go 2-for-8 with three strikeouts.

Detroit had three of their own top 30 (Mike Gerber #8, Dominic Ficociello #30, and Dixon Machado #14) appear in the game and went a combined 1-4 with a strikeout.

Mets 3, Red Sox 2

The New York Mets jumped out to an early 3-0 lead scoring one run in each of the first three innings.  The Red Sox made it interesting scoring two of their own in the seventh but it wasn’t enough.  Seth Lugo picked up the win for the Mets and Henry Owens took the loss for the Red Sox.

Within the course of the afternoon, the Mets sent out eight of their top 30 (T.J. Rivera #30, Dominic Smith, #2, Tomas Nido #18, Brandon Nimmo #5, Gavin Cecchini #3, Luis Guillorme #19, Amed Rosario #1, Marcos Molina #11) but other than a Cecchini homer they didn’t fare too well.  They went a combined 2-for-13 with eight strikeouts.

Boston only sent out half as many of their top 30 (Andrew Benintendi #1, Rafael Devers #2, Deven Marrero #15, and Kyle Martin #22) and were equally as unimpressive as the Mets.  Combined the Red Sox top prospects went 0-for-4 with a walk.

Yankees 9, Phillies 4

The New York Yankees wasted no time Friday afternoon taking it to the Phillies early.  The Yankees were holding onto a 4-0 lead heading into the seventh when Philadelphia finally got on the board.  The Yankees outslugged the Phillies sending three over the fence including a bomb by Aaron Judge.

It’s hard not hard to imagine the Phillies would bring an abundance of prospects with them as they are in the midst of a re-build.  Nine of their top 30 (Scott Kingery #13, Roman Quinn #7, Dylan Cozens #6, Nick Williams #3,  Rhys Hoskins #12, Andrew Knapp #11, J.P. Crawford #1, Nick Pivetta #17, and Elniery Garcia #19) all made the trip to Tampa.  Not that good of a showing for this group as they went 1-for-12 overall.  Pivetta was a bright spot for the Phillies as the big righty went two innings striking out three.

The “Baby Bombers” as fans like to call them, impressed everyone today.  Six of the Yankees top 30 were on hand (Dustin Fowler #13, Gleyber Torres #2, Miguel Andujar #7, Clint Frazier #1, Aaron Judge #4, and Jordan Montgomery #19) making their spring debuts.  They were actually a single away from the cycle as they combined for five hits which include a double, three triples, and a home run.

Giants 6, Red 4

The Giants had a three-run bottom of the ninth for a walk-off victory over the Cincinnati Reds in Cactus league action.  The Reds were clinging to a 4-3 lead until Chris Marrero hit the game-winner to left center.

Just like the Phillies, the Reds are re-building and trying to bring the storied franchise back to the top.  Six of their top 30 (Aristides Aquino #22, Phil Ervin #18, Jesse Winker #3, Blake Trahan #20, Rookie Davis #9, and Sal Romano #19) all made an appearance.  Romano had a decent outing coming out of the pen recording a hold in two innings of work.

The Giants are still in a position to contend in the National League West, but still had some young talent on display Friday.  Just like the Reds, the Giants had six of their top 30 (Christian Arroyo #1, Austin Slater #22, Steven Duggar #10, Clayton Blackburn #14, Steven Okert #11, and Kyle Crick #25) all saw action Friday.  Blackburn was the most impressive of the bunch going two innings while striking out three.

Rays 3, Twins 1

The Rays took a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning and added an insurance run, taking the first game of the spring from the Twins 3-1.  Austin Pruitt picked up the win for Tampa, while Brandon Kintzler was on the hook for the loss.

The Rays brought six of their top 30 (Daniel Robertson #11, Casey Gillaspie #10, Nick Ciuffo #26, Jacob Faria #6, Ryne Stanek #13, and Hunter Wood #20) on the road with them.  Faria had a nice afternoon on the bump picking a hold in two innings pitched with three strikeouts.

Minnesota was desperately needs to improve on a very tough 2016 only had three of their top 30 (Engelb Vielma #14, Daniel Palka #18, and Mitch Garver #21) make their way into the game.  None of them recorded a hit in their first action of the spring, but Palka and Garver did reach base by way of the walk.


John has recently graduated from the University at Albany with a B.A. in History and is currently finishing his Master's Degree there as well in secondary education. After being away from school for over two decades he decided to go back and work towards his dream of becoming a social studies teacher.

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