While Rays first base/outfield prospect Jake Bauers has always considered himself a slow starter, this Spring Training tells a whole different story.The Rays' No. 4 prospect smashed his team-leading fourth home run of the spring during a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. It marked his second home run
While Rays first base/outfield prospect Jake Bauers has always considered himself a slow starter, this Spring Training tells a whole different story.
The Rays' No. 4 prospect smashed his team-leading fourth home run of the spring during a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. It marked his second home run in as many days.
"This is actually really unusual for me," Bauers said. "I'm not usually a Spring Training guy, but obviously I made it a point this offseason, coming into big league camp … just to try and be comfortable and be ready, and I kind of took a little more swings and a little more time to get ready. So I think I'm a little further ahead than I normally would be."
Acquired by the Rays in 2014 as part of a three-team, 11-player trade that sent former American League Rookie of the Year William Myers from Tampa Bay to the Padres, Bauers is batting .423 this spring and has driven in 10 runs. His powerful performance has even earned praise from a number of his teammates.
"I think the power is great, but I think the way of just kind of showing what a hitter he is, he just looks like one of those pure hitters," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He comes up, he's got the swing, he doesn't swing at many balls. I think somebody said he was 2-for-3 with a homer, walked five times and then comes up and hits a homer [Friday]. So the plate discipline in what he's done has been very impressive this spring."
More notable performances from top prospects on Saturday:
• Tyler Glasnow (Pirates' No. 1, No. 8 overall) continues to make a case for why he should win the final spot in the Pittsburgh rotation. He had another impressive outing, holding the Phillies to one run on four hits in four innings. He also struck out five.
"I think today felt more like a normal game. Went out and the game plan was just go treat it like a normal game," said Glasnow, who was coming off a rough outing against the Braves on Monday. "It was fun getting back out there."
Elias Diaz (Pirates' No. 11) belted his first home run of the spring in the ninth inning of the game.
• Robert Gsellman (Mets' No. 5) kept his name at the forefront for the Mets' fifth starter spot by tossing five innings of one-run ball in a 5-4 win over the Cardinals, lowering his Grapefruit League ERA to 2.65 ERA in four starts.
"He has no fear," manager Terry Collins said. "This kid's not afraid of anything in any situation. He knows what he can do and he goes out and does it. He knows he can throw strikes. He knows he's got a weapon that's hard to hit, and he uses it."
Gsellman's teammate Tim Tebow has begun to find his stroke at the plate, going 1-for-3 to raise his average to .235. He has a hit in four of his last 10 Grapefruit League plate appearances.
• Sal Romano (Reds' No. 9) pitched in relief but put his name in the mix to win a spot in the Reds rotation. He allowed one unearned run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings to lower his ERA to 1.17. Romano also struck out three in the 3-3 tie against the Rangers.
• Shawn Morimando (Indians' No. 17) tossed three innings in a 4-4 tie against the Royals, allowing one run on three hits and striking out three.
• Aneury Tavarez (Orioles' No. 24) had a fantastic day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs to help Baltimore to a 5-4 win over the Yankees. It was his first home run of the spring.
• Scott Heineman (Texas' No. 24) belted his first homer of the spring, a solo shot in the seventh inning of an 8-4 win over the Indians.
• Jacob Hannemann (Cubs' No. 26) went 2-for-2 in a 13-7 loss to the Brewers, belting his first homer of Spring Training. He's batting .333 in Cactus League action.
• Finally, although it was not in Spring Training, Rays No. 3 prospectJose De Leon (No. 33 overall) impressed in a start for Puerco Rico in the World Baseball Classic. The right-hander earned the win after racking up five strikeouts across 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and a walk as Puerto Rico defeated Venezuela 13-2 to improve to 6-0 and advance to the semifinals.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com.