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MLB Non-Roster Invites To Spring Training: My Picks on Who To Watch

I always like to peruse through the list of non-roster invites to Spring Training to see if any names pop up that I may have followed over the years, friends in the game or just a player looking for that one last opportunity to stay in the show. Below are a few names that stood out to me.

Jackson Holliday (Baltimore Orioles)- The Top overall MLB prospect, gets his second invite to big league camp in two seasons.  In 2023, he batted .429 (6 for 14) in 16 spring games. So far in 2024, he is 0 for 3, but the projection for the Orioles phenom is that he is MLB ready now and should be making his debut in 2024. After 101 wins for the Orioles in 2023, adding Jackson will make them that much better and more.

Oddanier Mosqueda (New York Yankees) – another young arm to come out of the Boston Red Sox organization, but to find the path to the majors through other organizations. First it was Jhonathan Diaz, then Denyi Reyes and Enmanuel De Jesus. All good arms who the Red Sox passed on and made their MLB debuts ovre the past few seasons. Mosqueda is no different and after pitching in Triple A in 2023 and appearing in 48 games, the New York Yankees have signed him to a minor league contract and invited him to camp to give him an opportunity to follow the same path as his buddies above. Mosqueda, a lefty who may not miss many bats, but has held opposing batters to a career .219 batting average. Always great to have a lefty who can get guys out in any MLB bullpen.

Eduardo Escobar (Toronto Blue Jays) – At 35 years old, Escobar is looking to stick with his seventh organization since he made his MLB debut in 2011.  His last productive season was in 2022, just two years ago when he hit 20 home runs for the New York Mets. In 2023, he spent part of the year with the Mets before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at mid season. He didn’t have a favorable 2023 season and now looking make the Blue Jays roster and possible revive his career.

Kevin Pillar (Chicago White Sox) – The 35 year old outfielder is more known for his death defying full out dives in the outfield then he may be for his offensive prowess. Pillar is attempting to make his eighth MLB team since he made his MLB debut in 2013. Every team needs a good glove to track down balls in the outfield, or make that spectacular play, but is it enough for the White Sox.

Carlos Carrasco (Cleveland Guardians) – Carrasco returns to try and make the team that he played 10 seasons with before joining the Mets for the 2021-2023 seasons.  Back in 2017 he won 18 games in Cleveland and from 2015-2018 he was their star pitcher, winning 60 games. Now he tries to avoid the injury bug that plagued him with the Mets and help the Guardians get back to winning baseball. Can he do enough this spring to make the squad?

Luis Cessa (Kansas City Royals) – Cessa has that story that not many other ball players can relate to. He was signed by the Mets as an International free agent to play the infield back in 2009, but the organization decided to offer a change to switch to the mound and the rest is history.  But the key to his story is that it was not the Mets who actually gave him an opportunity to live out his dream of making it to the MLB as a pitcher, but their crosstown rivals, the Yankees. In 2016, Cessa made his debut with the Bronx Bombers and spent five and half seasons with the Yankees. In 2021, the Yankees traded Cessa to the Cincinnati Reds and after three seasons was released. He is looking to grab a spot with an organization that is looking to make some noise in 2024.

Jhonathan Diaz (Seattle Mariners) – As I shared above, Diaz is one of the Red Sox minor leagues that made his MLB debut with another organization. After spending 2021-2023, within the Angels system, and appearing in 11 MLB games, Diaz is looking to join the Mariners big club for 2024. So far in one spring start, he tossed two shutout innings, striking out four batters.

 

 

 

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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