Spring Training Watch: Rookies

Is Yoenis Cespedes the real deal?
For all the talk of how HUGE Cuban free agent Yoenis Cespedes will be, it seemed like most people weren’t ready to go all in on him this year in fantasy land.  Well, after his BIG Spring Training debut (walk, RBI single and a solo home run) people started jump on the bandwagon.  Then Cespedes went 0-6 and people couldn’t jump off the wagon fast enough.

While it was announced today that Cespedes is in CF, shifting Coco to LF, the thoughts of Oakland’s crowded outfield still have people doubting his playing time.  Will guys like Coco Crisp, Seth Smith, Josh Reddick, Jonny Gomes and Colin Cowgill block Cespedes?  We have heard from Bob Melvin himself that DH will most likely be a combo of Gomes and Smith.  That leaves the outfield to Crisp, Reddick, Cowgill and Cespedes.

So with only 4 competing my thought was that the A’s would defer to the big money Coco and Yoenis to be on the field, while Reddick and Cowgill (who is have a torrid ST) will compete for playing time.  Melvin has recently said “without tipping my hand, I don’t know how he (Cowgill) hasn’t made the team this spring.”

All double negatives aside, Cowgill should break camp with the A’s, but really won’t poach many at bats from Cespedes as he can slide to CF and spell Coco whereas Reddick can play corner outfield but not center as well.  Obviously, I also think that Billy Beane is gonna spin off one of his many outfielders for a third baseman at some point.

We can’t bank on that, but as a guy who drafted Cespedes in 2 of 3 leagues this weekend (only because Clave poached him from me in the other) I will roll the dice that Cespedes will in fact get plenty of playing time this season and has the tools to take advantage of all his at bats!

How many at bats might Mike Trout get in that crowded outfield?
The only real problem with the Angels lineup is that they have a weirdly crowded outfield and need their DH spot for their crowded 1B situation.  Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Peter Bourjos and Bobby Abreu all logged in a lot of time in the outfield last year. Now add young stud Mike Trout and you have quite the bottleneck.

Like wise, with the addition of Albert Pujols and the pending return of Kendry Morales, the DH spot could be locked up almost exclusively by Morales.  I haven’t even mentioned the forgotten Mark Trumbo.

What will the Angels opening day line-up look like?  How is the outfield time share gonna break down?  Will Mike Trout suffer a prolonged stay in the minors because of the bodies in front of him on the big league squad?

It would be a crime if Bobby Abreu or Vernon Wells are all that are blocking him, but it’s likely he’ll start in the minors this year. Plus, that pesky virus he’s had has prevented his Sprint Training debut. Watch his first few games closely though, because who knows?

Will Bryce Harper break camp?
There is no confusion here. He’s been sent to Triple A.

For Harper to have broken camp as a teenager would’ve been surprising, but not unbelievable.  He is nothing short of the real deal 5 tool kid: he can hit, hit for power, throw, field and run…all extremely well! Monitor his status and be ready to grab him later this season, although it might not be until September.

Tags: Bryce Harper Mike Trout Spring Training Yoenis Cespedes