Spring Training has lost some luster
This will be an old man rumbling. One of the beauties of spring training for me was getting the first look at a prospect you may have read about but had no way of ever seeing them play unless you watched their minor league games. There was no Baseball America telling how good they were, there were no youtube video’s up the wazoo showing you the skill set. No MLB pipeline.
There was only the sporting news or sometimes the local beat writer who gave out nuggets about the prospects. Back then I don’t think beat writer paid any attention to the minor league system. It sure didn’t feel like it.
For most fans when Candido Maldonado made his first appearance in major league camp in spring training of 1981 it was the first time anyone had glimpsed him. I was already 23 years old and yet getting a glimpse of Candido made my day back in the spring of 1981. That is why I watched spring training for those moments, getting the first look at the future.
I don’t miss that.
I like having all the information about the prospects from the time they are drafted or signed, but it has taken away a big part of why spring training was an exciting part of my journey as a Dodger fan.
Sometimes a prospect will still make spring training worthwhile such as the 2013 Puig version who blew minds after a pedestrian start to his professional career in 2012.
Those stories are few these days for anyone who pays attention to the prospects.
Can someone blow our minds this spring who isn’t exactly on the radar? Chris Taylor did it last spring.
Does this come back to Wilmer Font again?