While the start of meaningful baseball is so close that we can almost taste it, let’s not discount the ball that’s already being played. There’s baseball going on right now? You better believe it. The game’s best players are gearing up for a long season (back to 162 games) and they’re putting on quite the show. Whether your favorite team or favorite player is suiting up in Arizona or Florida, the highlight caliber plays have been flying in from both Spring Training sites. Diving plays, mammoth HRs, and pure cheddar from the bump have us texting our friends to say ‘Did you see that!?’
It’s a beautiful time of the year, friends. Let’s take a quick look at the top Spring Training Highlights for 2021.
Flash the Leather
Alright, let’s start it off with a nice grab from the Angels’ Jordyn Adams. The former first-round pick back in 2018 is the 3rd ranked prospect in the Angels farm system and is, according to MLB.com, expected to make his MLB debut in 2022. More HR robbing plays like this and we might see him in the Show even sooner than that.
Staying on the defensive side of the diamond, watch as the Mets turn one of the fastest triple plays you’ll ever see. And for those of you that are still upset about the Houston Astros World Series scandal, you’ll certainly get a kick out of who they turned it on.
Even when it’s only Spring Training and it means absolutely nothing, a triple play is a beautiful thing. pic.twitter.com/XMIdFN55hc— Daron Vaught (@DaronVaught) March 22, 2021
Need one more Web Gem to satisfy your baseball cravings? Try this one on for size. Jose Iglesias, no stranger to the highlight reel, ranges to his left and fires the ball across the diamond from the seat of his pants. Baseball is coming folks, and it’s going to be awesome!
Another day, another Jose Iglesias web gem pic.twitter.com/XXCbyM4uoE— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) March 24, 2021
Did somebody order a couple of Oppo Tacos? Bo Bichette, son of former MLB slugger Dante Bichette, just showed why so many have pegged him as a dark horse candidate for AL MVP. The raw power was on full display as he hit not one, but two opposite-field HRs in the Blue Jays game against the Yankees.
A couple of opBo tacos. 🌮 pic.twitter.com/xR8ryXOJAR— MLB (@MLB) March 24, 2021
Ok ok ok… Is every young superstar just the son of a former player these days? We’ve been talking about the likes of Fernando Tatis Jr, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and others for the past few seasons. *Bobby Witt Jr. has entered the chat* Labelled as the top prospect in the Royals farm system, Witt Jr. appears to be well on his way to becoming the face of baseball in Kansas City for the next decade. Don’t believe us? Peep this 484’ blast he hit in Surprise, AZ.
The two-time Cy Young award winner, Jacob deGrom appears to have taken his 3rd place finish in the award voting last year, quite personally. The following is an overlay of both his 100mph fastball & his 93mph slider. Still think you’ve got what it takes to stand in the box against MLB pitching? Good luck to ya…
Jacob deGrom, 100mph Fastball and 93mph Slider, Overlay.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 16, 2021
The Yankees continue to flaunt their embarrassment of riches. Loaded with a roster that is currently the odds on favorites to win the AL Pennant, the last thing the rest of the league needs is for them to add to their already abundant assortment of talent. However, the Yankees may have scored a diamond-in-the-rough with 34-year old journeyman, Lucas Luetge. Having only drank a sip of Major League coffee during his career, Luetge has been lights out this spring and it’s easy to see why when he’s got pitches like this.
Those widely versed in pitching theory know that changeups from right-handed throwers to left-handed batters can be rather effective. What can make them even more effective is when the changeups offer “run” or action towards the arm side of the pitcher. A ball that tails away from the hitter and causes all sorts of problems. Would you like to see the perfect example of this?
Heard Simeon Woods Richardson was pitching so I had to turn the game back on. Here's Woods Richardson striking out Jay Bruce on a nasty changeup.— Jason (Hanshin) Lee (@Jasons_JaysHub) March 24, 2021
Can't wait to see this guy pitch in the MLB. Maybe the future ace for Toronto.#BlueJays | @simeon_woods pic.twitter.com/WsX1tSIY17
Big Names on New Teams
One of the biggest moves of the 2020-2021 offseason was the trade between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Mets. Six players, in total, were moved in the trade but by far the biggest name involved was now Mets SS Francisco Lindor. The 27-year old, 4x All-Star, will make New York his home this next season (and potentially longer depending on contract negotiations.) If Spring Training is any indication of Lindor’s future productivity, the Mets are going to want to lock him up for a long, long time.
Another one of the blockbuster trades this winter involved a former 5x All-Star and 8x Gold Glove winner. In fact, Nolan Arenado, has never played an MLB season in which he didn’t win the Gold Glove at third base. But after eight seasons in the Rockies, Arenado will suit up under the Arch to hold down the hot corner for the Cardinals. And from the looks of it this spring, the Cardinals are in good (gold) hands.
Nolan will make plays anywhere on the diamond. pic.twitter.com/2CvYKrLot2— MLB (@MLB) March 23, 2021
Does anyone remember Game 6 of the 2020 World Series? The Rays held a 1-0 lead entering the bottom of the 6th inning against the eventual WS Champion Dodgers, with their young ace, Blake Snell, absolutely dealing. He was unhittable (quite literally) for the majority of the game. Fast forward to the present day and Blake Snell is now pitching for the San Diego Padres. The lanky lefty hopes to be the key piece to toppling the Dodgers’ dynasty and bringing home the NL West title. Pitches like this will go a long way towards doing so.
Striking out Fletcher often requires a nasty pitch.— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) March 21, 2021
This was a nasty pitch. pic.twitter.com/XY3e1TsR4I
We hope you enjoyed this breakdown of the best plays from Spring Training. We’re just a few days away from Opening Day and hope you all enjoy a great baseball season. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always with ya from Click to Hit!
P.S. Enjoy these last two videos. The first is a breakdown of Spring Training “pickles” from Jomboy Media. The second is simply 30 seconds of Braves’ 2B Ozzie Albies laughing. They were too good to leave out.
Spring training rundown blunders, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/nboRqCrBZo— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) March 17, 2021