MLB Opening Day: Who Finished Spring Training Hot, Who Did Not?

Fox needs a permanent position!

The 2011 MLB season is right around the corner, as spring training wraps up in these next 10 days. Every season we have players who explode with hot starts in spring training, trying to make the MLB roster. We also have those players who struggle, and start off the season cold. This could lead to a player making a MLB roster, or being sent down to the minor leagues. Here’s the hot/not list for the 2011 MLB spring training.
Jake Fox (Baltimore Orioles)
With the Orioles lineup pretty much set, Fox is just trying to make their roster. Signing Vlad Guerrero in the off-season to DH hurt Fox and his chances to make the team. The problem with Fox is, he doesn’t have a natural position. He’s listed as a catcher, but hasn’t played there for most of his career. The benefit is he can crush the ball. Fox is leading the majors during spring training with eight home runs, to go along with his .860 slugging percentage. He boosts a solid .333 average, and has 13 RBI’s. If you watch this kid play, you know he can crush the ball.
Marlon Byrd (Chicago Cubs)
Byrd could be one of the most underrated players in the MLB. He’s had a few solid .300 seasons, and a few seasons hovering around .298 and .283. He’s off to a hot start in spring training, which is hopefully a good sign to Cubs fans. Many people talk about Soriano and Ramirez having monster seasons if the Cubs want to compete, but Byrd could be the key for the Cubs in 2011. He’s hitting .479 with a .529 OBP.
Carl Pavano (Minnesota Twins)
Pavano figures to be a centerpiece in the Twins rotation this season. Coming off a AL Central Division title, the Twins are looking to take the next step in 2011. Pavano is having a hot spring training. In five games he has a 0.95 ERA and has allowed just two walks to go along with his 10 strikeouts.
Roy Halladay (Philadelphia Phillies)
Did you really expect Halladay to struggle? Ever since joining the Phillies last season, he’s been dominate. He continues that into spring training with a 0.48 ERA in four starts this spring. He hasn’t allowed a home run, and has struck out 13 batters.
Ben Francisco (Philadelphia Phillies)
Francisco has been a big surprise this spring for the Phillies. He’s hitting .365 with a .450 OBP so far this spring. He has 3 home runs, which is surprising, as he hasn’t been recognized for his power in the past.
Erick Almonte (Milwaukee Brewers)
Almonte is having a monster spring for the Brew Crew. He’s slugging .672 with a .414 average, as he fights for a roster spot. He’s got 3 home runs and 12 RBI’s to go along with his 24 hits in the spring. Almonte could be a surprise this season for the Brewers.
Josh Johnson (Florida Marlins)
Johnson is expected to have another good season for the Marlins in 2011, but his spring training has got off to a bad start. He’s got a 4.95 ERA in five starts so far this spring. He’s given up 11 earned runs, and 25 hits in 20 innings. Marlins fans shouldn’t be too worried, as I expect Johnson to rebound with a good 2011 season.
Carl Crawford (Boston Red Sox)
Along with Adrian Gonzalez, Crawford was a big pickup for the Red Sox in the off-season. He’s a playmaker that can change any game at any time. So far this spring he has struggled for the Red Sox. He’s got a .205 average and just eight hits in 39 at bats.

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