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10 MLB Players Who’ll Overperform/Underperform This Spring

Spring training is important, but you cannot always judge regular-season success based on how people perform in this month of exhibitions. For example, some guys do great all spring but never seem to stick on a major league team.

On the flip side, some of the best players in baseball aren’t very good at spring training for some reason. They struggle but then get it together in time for the games that really count.

I want to highlight five overachievers and five underachievers for you today. They are active in Major League Baseball right now, and we will see how this spring will progress for them.

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Philadelphia Phillies: All the Initial Reports from Spring Training

2013 was disappointing for the Philadelphia Phillies, and it is safe to say that I was not the only one waiting for Spring Training to get underway. We are all hoping that this season will be better than last, and how the Phillies perform in Spring Training can give us a pretty good indication of what we might see coming our way this season.

That’s why I’m here to help out. I have put together a list of the important things that have gone down already even though we are only three games into the affair.

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Ranking MLB’s 7 Smartest Spenders This Offseason

Spring training has begun, and there are many players wearing brand-new uniforms. Some teams did a great job with this over the winter, and they used their money wisely. They brought in quality talent for a reasonable price. They did not waste needlessly, but they made the moves that they needed to make to be prepared for 2014.

These are the basic criteria that led me to conclude that the following seven teams were the smartest spenders of this past offseason.

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5 MLB Players Who Showed Up to Spring Training in Amazing Shape

Pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training, and I am happy to see baseball finally starting to get underway again. As the players are getting ready to start the campaign, some of them seem to be in great shape already. For some, they seem to have made major physical changes over the winter. For others, perhaps they are coming off of an excellent performance in winter baseball, and they are looking forward to a huge season potential.

Either way, they are in some type of great shape, and I want to give you five examples of this.

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10 Starting Pitchers Poised for Big Breakout Seasons in 2014

We have almost made it to spring training, and 2014 is looking like a bright year for several young pitchers. Young pitchers seem to have a tendency to break into the majors with authority.

It has been said that one of the hardest things to do in sports is to hit a baseball, so you can imagine that young pitchers might have an advantage. If they have not been seen yet by the competition, they have the element of surprise on their side. Hitters will not be able to perfectly anticipate everything that each individual young pitcher has, and as a result, you do see several pitchers burst into the majors.

Here are the 10 pitchers that I think are most likely to do that this season.

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MLB’s Biggest Waste of Money of the Month

Masahiro Tanaka is supposed to be a star. After all, he went 24-0 last season in Japan, and he seems to have all of the tools necessary for success. Read this analysis by our own Adam Wells if you want a more technical breakdown of this phenom, but let me give you a few highlights.

He throws a fastball that tops out at 97 mph, a devastating splitter and a serviceable slider. He is only 25 years old and has plenty of time to get even better. I’m sure that that is some of the justification behind his seven-year contract. The New York Yankees get him through his prime, and they will be off the hook before he begins to get very old.

All of that being said, I am not sure about this contract. The $155 million over seven years plus a $20 million posting fee is an awful lot of money, and for a team that has spent approximately $500 million this winter, I don’t think it was the best use of its money.

Let me provide you with four key reasons why I think this deal could end up becoming a major waste of money for the New York Yankees.

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7 MLB Players Who Will Become Household Names in 2014

I want to take you back to 2007. The Dodgers had a young outfielder by the name of Matt Kemp, who had just completed a very strong season in which he appeared in 98 games, hit .342, and collected 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

However, he wasn’t garnering very much media attention outside of Los Angeles. He was off to a fast start but hadn’t quite hit the national news yet.

In 2008, he began to show his potential. He stayed in the majors for an entire season and hit .290 with 18 home runs. He also managed to steal 35 bases, and he established his reputation as a talented all-around player.

Some players will do the same thing this season. Maybe they had promising debuts last year, but when they finally remain in the majors full time, they will show everything they are capable of.

Most of my predictions here will be based on strong showings in 2013. These seven players seem to be right on the edge of becoming established stars, and it will take just one more season to get them there.

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5 MLB Players Who Have Been Way Overpaid This Offseason

At times, it seems as if the only way to score that major free-agent signing is to pay way more than the player’s estimated value.

This is an obvious consequence of the nature of the open market. Teams bid against each other and the price rises as a consequence. It is not surprising that this happens, but it sometimes leads to players who are paid an awful lot more than they’re worth.

Even though there are still plenty of free agents left on the market this winter, we can already see this phenomenon taking place. Following, are five players who must feel pretty good about the way their offseason negotiations went for them. I would have never thought that deals like this would be coming their way.

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Ranking the 5 Most Shocking Winter Meetings Moves of the Last 5 Years

Even though baseball season is technically off right now, there is something particularly exciting about the winter meetings. Everyone converges at one location, and what you thought was going to happen at the beginning of the meetings is not at all what has happened by the end.

Even within the past five years, we have seen some pretty crazy stuff happen at these meetings. Here are the five craziest ones in my opinion, ranked in descending order.

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10 Reasons MLB Fans Should Root for the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series

I am a Philadelphia Phillies fan, so when the playoffs started, I decided that I would hope for either the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Tampa Bay Rays to come away with the championship. You can obviously tell how well that worked out, but the one kind of strange advantage that I have gained is some sense of objectivity regarding the World Series. I don’t really have a vested interest in either team.

As a result, I have been able to weigh the relative merits of each of the teams involved, and I have come up with 10 reasons why I will be rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals as we come towards baseball’s ultimate stage.

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