You can typically take minor league performances during spring training with a grain of salt. As Sandy Alderson said on the radio this weekend, “Most of the times you have the A’s against the A’s, but sometimes it’s the A’s against the B’s or the B’s against the C’s.” Minor leaguer’s who appear in games but are not part of the Major League camps are not playing against major league talent but it’s still good to see players primed to start 2017 on the right foot.
Of those players is Kevin Kaczmarski. He’s not a player that everyone is likely to know. He’s a former 9th round pick who split his 2016 season between Columbia and Port St. Lucie. As he enters the 2017 season at 25, you might think he’s not destined for much of anything. The mark against that logic is that he’s been cutting through the minors like a hot knife through butter.
He proved well above the heads of the competition in Rookie ball and then maintained an OPS above .750 in his first exposure to Low A and Advanced A baseball. Thus far this spring he’s played in 5 games, accrued 7 at bats and notched 4 hits (including a double). It’s not much, but it shows that he’s ready to enter AA with a will to succeed.
Here are some other performers from this Spring.
Rafael Montero has been defying our expectations – Through 9.2 innings he’s got a 0.93 WHIP and 14 strikeouts. I wonder if Montero could break into the 5th starter competition.
Gavin Cecchini has been a star this spring – 14 at bats, 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 doubles, 1 home run and a stolen base. He’s making a good case to replace David Wright or take over for Neil Walker in 2018.
Paul Sewald making a bid for the bullpen – He had 23 saves for Las Vegas and is boasting a 0.43 WHIP in 7 innings this spring.
David Thompson makes the most of three at bats – Three at bats and three hits (1 double) is a great way to make one’s mark considering it’s his first time appearing in spring training games.
Brandon Nimmo still looks like a leadoff man – He’s not going to steal many bases, like Champ Stuart, but he gets on base and gets on base regularly.
Luis Guillorme is the darling of spring training – He’s a defensive dynamo and his OPS is .783 which is much better than expected especially with him starting a couple games.
Luis Carpio seems healthy – After missing most of 2016 it’s great to see him healthy in games at all.
Blake Tiberi notches a double – For a player to appear in a game after only playing in Brooklyn is surprising for that player to notch a double in one of his two at bats is pretty great.
Travis Taijeron gives us what we’ve come to expect – His OPS is .793 but he has as many strikeouts as hits in 25 at bats. The good news is that he has more games played than strikeouts, but that might be because he hasn’t been playing full games.