The quote below is from Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby and it describes how most true baseball fans feel.
People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring #OpeningDay
— Matt (@MGoldie451) April 2, 2017
We are only days and hours away from Major League Baseball Spring Training, but who’s counting?
The Cleveland Indians have not officially announced a date for pitchers and catchers to report.
However, most folks feel the Tribe will start sometime around the same date as the Baltimore Orioles, which is February 16th.
Here are 3 Indians players to keep an eye on during Spring Training.
1. First Baseman / Outfielder Nolan Jones
— Chris Blessing (@C_Blessing) July 7, 2019
We would be willing to bet large sums of money that all Tribe fans knew this name would make the list.
Cleveland has been foaming at the mouth for Mr. Jones to fully develop and make the Big League club.
The 22 year old top prospect has shown flashes of big-time power in both single-A and double-A.
Jones smashed 19 homers in A-ball back in 2018 as well as 15 homers in 2019 at Akron (AA) and Lynchburg (A).
The lanky 6-2 left-handed hitter should continue to add muscle mass and keep increasing his power at the plate.
Jones’ natural position is third base, but the Tribe already have an MVP threat at third in Jose Ramirez.
The Indians’ front office has asked Jones to learn to play both first base and the outfield.
This should give Jones a decent chance at making the Indians 25-man roster with a big Spring Training.
2. Pitcher Triston McKenzie
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) January 6, 2021
McKenzie was a pleasant surprise for the Tribe after Mike Clevinger was traded.
The 23-year old right-hander was dogged by injuries for most of the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The Tribe gave him a surprise call-up and McKenzie posted a very respectable 3.24 ERA in his 6 starts.
It will be interesting to see if McKenzie can keep the positive momentum going in the 2021 Spring Training.
3. First Baseman Bobby Bradley
About a month ago I posted that #Indians 24yr old (1B) Bobby Bradley was down 22lbs since October. Bradley looking leaner & quicker in current video. Big guy knows opportunity knocking in 2021!@b_bradley_44 #Assassin pic.twitter.com/GkqOLKmsoS
— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) January 2, 2021
Perhaps no other Indian has a more important Spring Training upcoming than Bobby Bradley.
According to the video above, Bradley knows how important this opportunity is for him in 2021.
Bradley got a brief cup of coffee with the Big League club back in 2019.
The 6-1 225 pound power hitter appeared in only 15 games but did hit his first Major League home run.
2020 was tough on Bradley in that he did not get a chance to see any live pitching due to Minor League Baseball cancelling the season.
With former First Baseman Carlos Santana leaving for the Kansas City Royals, this opens the door at first base for Bradley.
One possible roadblock for Bradley would be if Nolan Jones takes over the starting first base job.
However, even if Jones does win the first base slot, Bradley could still see plenty of at-bats as a designated hitter.
Wrapping It Up
We took a brief look at 3 Indians to watch during the upcoming 2021 Spring Training.
Tribe fans will not have to wait long to see these 3 prospects.
The Indians first Spring Training game is scheduled for February 27 against the Reds.
What Indians player are you most excited to watch in Spring Training?
Tell us in the comments section below!