USA TODAY Sports
With Spring Training games starting on Saturday, we start to see some prospects playing in game action, and with the bonus of MLB.tv we can take a look at how some of them did in their first game action.
We have actual baseball to talk about! Well, sort of. It's Spring Training baseball, which means pitchers going an inning or two, lineups which are turned over entirely by the fifth inning, and of course a bunch of prospects actually playing in games. While the statistics aren't particularly useful, especially given that it is just one or two games so far, we can see players in game action thanks to MLBTV. They aren't televising all games, but there are a few each day being shown, which allows us to see some early action from some of the top prospects in the game.
Zack Wheeler saw his first spring training action, throwing two innings against the Nationals. He had a very smooth delivery, but was overthrowing at times which appeared to be nerves or adrenaline. He was sitting 93-96 with his fastball, throwing it almost exclusively. He did mix in his curveball a couple of times as well as a changeup. He looked good overall, but as expected this early in spring training a bit raw.
Jarred Cosart threw two innings for the Astros, not allowing a base runner and striking out one. The feed from this game didn't have the radar gun readings, but he did get three groundouts (including a bunt attempt he fielded by Ben Revere). The strikeout came against Ryan Howard, with Cosart getting him to swing over what appeared to be a changeup for the second strike, and catching him looking with an impressive fastball on the corner low and away. He threw just 15 pitches to get his six outs, and also mixed in a curveball to go with his fastball and changeup.
Xander Bogaerts came into the Red Sox' game in the 6th inning as a defensive replacement for Will Middlebrooks at 3B, and had one relatively easy chance out in the field there. In addition, Bogaerts went 1 for 2 with an RBI single in his second at bat. He took an extremely close pitch for a ball with two strikes and fouled off another before singling up the middle on a breaking pitch. Bogaerts isn't expected to make the team, but could get a cup of coffee at the end of the season this year.
Matt Skole had one plate appearance in the Mets-Nationals game on Saturday, getting behind in the count 1-2, fouling off two pitches, and eventually drawing himself a walk. This matches up with the reports on Skole as a player with solid plate discipline. Skole is a personal favorite of BP's Bret Sayre, but it remains to be seen whether Skole will get an opportunity with the Nationals given the current depth at both 1B and 3B.