This won’t get too in-depth, but I just wanted to list a few of the things I’ve enjoyed seeing during spring training so far. There are a few .gifs, so let that be a warning to those of you with slower computers.
- Ryan Howard is mashing
Howard has 10 hits in 24 spring training at-bats, including three doubles and these three home runs:
The first two were hit off of Craig Kimbrel and defending NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey. Not exactly scrubs. The third was hit off of lefty Brett Cecil. In the early going, Howard has looked very comfortable against left-handed pitching. Even better is that he is hitting to the opposite field regularly, something he did not do last year.
No one expects Howard to recapture his 2006 ways, but a 30-homer, .850 OPS year from him would be a boon to the Phillies’ otherwise questionable offense.
- Domonic Brown is mashing, too
UPDATE 3/19/13: Added three more Brown homer .gifs:
Brown has a third homer which was not captured on video. He has seven hits in 20 at-bats this spring, and has added six walks just for good measure, tied for the most across both the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues. It is looking more and more likely that he opens up the season with a starting outfield job.
- Kevin Frandsen continues to hit
I’ve gone on record countless times saying that Frandsen’s success in 2012 was fluky, that he won’t be able to maintain such a high batting average going forward. And he probably won’t. But he’s hitting .364 with five extra-base hits in spring so far, which is nice to see. If he can be a reliable pinch-hitter and occasional fill-in, he will be quite a value. Remember, the Phillies intended on Frandsen being the every day third baseman before they traded for Michael Young.