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SWFL 2018 Spring Training Review: Wrapping Things Up

Mar 12, 2018 01:58PM ● By Kevin
The 2018 Major League Baseball regular season begins on March 29, with Grapefruit League Spring Training action ending on March 27. In light of that, we're highlighting some of the most talked about prospects around Southwest Florida.

Atlanta Braves (8-8)

Ronald Acuna, Jr. (OF)

The 20-year-old Venezuelan is one of the most talked about prospects around the league, and his performance at the plate thus far would back up that very sentiment. Acuna has 13 hits at 31 at bats for a .419 batting average. He's scored 3 runs, including a homerun, and batted in 4. Acuna has also stolen 4 bases.

Mike Soroka (P)

One of the team's top 10 prospects, the non-roster invitee was selected in the first round of the 2015 draft out of Calgary, AB, Canada, by the Braves. He's played in 3 games for a total of 5 innings in Grapefruit League action, registering a 1.80 ERA. Soroka has struck out 5 batters. He was reassigned to Minor League camp on March 9.

Baltimore Orioles (9-8)

Chance Sisco (C)

Sisco played in 10 games for the Orioles in last year's regular season action, and his role with the team was further solidified after Welington Castillo declined his option to return to the team this past winter. The organization will place its confidence in the young catcher, who's off to a great start in spring training. He's earned a .400 batting average in 20 at bats, scoring 5 runs on 8 hits, including a homerun. Sisco has also batted in 6 runs.

Hunter Harvey (P)

Harvey's been around the pro's since 2013, spending his entire career in the minors. The North Carolina native has played in 3 games for a total of 7 innings in Grapefruit League action, picking up a win on the mound. While his ERA is a whopping 3.68, he has struck out 7 batters. Manager Buck Showalter has shown a lot of faith in Harvey, as he was recently quoted, "He's staying. He's getting something out of this."

Boston Red Sox (8-8)

Sam Travis (1B)

The 2014 second-round draft pick saw extended action in the majors in 2017, especially after Eduardo Nunez went down with a right knee injury in late September. The 24-year-old Chicago native played in 33 games last season, putting up 20 homeruns for his efforts. He's worked hard in spring training, heading to the plate 37 times and registering a .270 batting average. Those numbers include 7 runs on 10 hits, 3 homers, and 9 RBI.

Chris Sale (P)

Known around the league as "Stickman," Sale was a highlight reel for the Red Sox in 2017. He finished the season with a 17-8 record, 2.90 ERA and 308 strikeouts in 214 1/3 innings. He's only played in 4 innings this spring training, but has struck out five batters.

Miami Marlins (10-5)

Monte Harrison (CF)

Harrison was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2014 and has never made it to the major league. He was acquired by the Marlins along with three other players in January for centerfielder Christian Yelich. Ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 2 prospect (71st league-wide), he was reassigned to Minor League camp in the team's first wave of roster adjustments on March 9. The 22-year-old was a non-roster invitee to spring training, stepping up to the plate 15 times. He registered 2 hits and drove in 3 runs. He's expected to be a cornerstone of Miami's future.

Sandy Alcantara (P)

Miami Outfielder Marcell Ozuna was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in December, acquiring right-hander Sandy Alcantara as part of the deal. Alcantara, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the organization's No. 9 prospect, debuted in the majors in September and made 8 relief appearances for the Cardinals. Thus far in spring training, Alcantara has pitched 12 innings across 4 games. He's struck out 7 batters and registered a 2.25 ERA. He also recorded 1 save.

Minnesota Twins (8-6)

Nick Gordon (SS)

The 22-year-old is a Florida native, graduating Olympia High School in Orlando. He was selected by the Twins in 2014 as the fifth overall pick in the draft. His father, Tom Gordon (also known as "Flash" Gordon), played in the majors from 1988 to 2009. Nick suffered a mild right wrist strain recently, but returned to the lineup on Sunday. The non-roster invitee is touting a .462 batting average in 13 plate appearances. He's driven in 2 runs on 6 hits, with 1 run batted in.

Fernando Romero (P)

Romero was activated late in the season in 2017, but was not used. Thus far in spring training, he's pitched 8 innings over 4 games and hasn't allowed a run in. His most recent outing was perfect through 3 innings. Romero also struck out 8 batters. The 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic is in the plans for the Twins' future. He's ranked the league's 68th-best prospect by MLB.com.

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