Buxton played just 31 games in 2014 due to wrist and concussion issues and finished with a .240/.313/.405 line along with four home runs, 16 RBI and six stolen bases in 121 at-bats with high Class A Fort Myers. He also went 0 for 3 at the Double-A level. Buxton is making his second straight appearance atop MLB.com's top prospect list.
The rest of MLB.com's top-five prospects (in order) are Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, Astros shotstop Carlos Correa, Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Cubs shortstop Addison Russell. None of the quartet appeared in the top five of last year's MLB.com prospect list, though all four cracked the top 12.
The 28-year-old Dominguez received 17 at-bats in the majors last season. He spent most of the season in Triple-A, where he hit .274/.307/.460 over 496 at-bats. Dominguez had to be removed from the 40-man roster in order to make room for Ryan Vogelsong.
“I took a more of an aggressive approach in the postseason,” Carpenter said, per STLBaseballWeekly.com. “Part of that was from the experience that I had gathered the year before. After a long season, going into the playoffs I felt like I wasn’t as prepared as I felt like I could’ve been. It kind of snowballed and my approach and the way I took the regular season at-bat in the postseason it wasn’t playing out well.”
Carpenter said his postseason success could have a positive impact on his power numbers in 2015.
"Certainly, I’m always going to be a guy who’s patient at the plate, but that was a good learning experience for me -- being aggressive," he said. "I don’t remember the exact numbers but out of the four home runs I hit, I think three of them were on the first pitch. That’s something typically I don’t do a lot of, and it was a good learning experience.”
"I see that spark in him again this offseason," Cuddyer said, per NJ.com. "I see that enthusiasm, that excitement and the strength. He looks strong right now, which is good to see."
Wright, whose injury was diagnosed as a rotator cuff contusion, failed to make the All-Star team last season for just the second time since 2006. He hit .269 with a career-low eight home runs in 134 games. Wright even had 14 home runs in 69 games as a rookie in 2004.
Unfortunately, Reynolds is also known as an all-or-nothing hitter and strikes out quite a lot. He has 1,398 strikeouts in 1,118 games.
Still, the Cardinals have no plans to dramatically overhaul Reynolds' swing, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“We need to capitalize on what his strengths are and not to focus on the weaknesses,” Matheny said, “and realize that he’s got a power component that is very rare. There are going to be some swings and misses.
“But we’re not necessarily going to go up and ask him to completely overhaul that. Make some subtle changes to maybe improve, but not be afraid to drive the ball. That’s why we did bring him in, and also to give us some options against tough lefthanded pitching.”
"We are not going to speed up that clock," Hoyer said, per ESPN.
Bryant, who was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2013 MLB draft, has developed into one of the top prospects in baseball. He hit .325 with 43 home runs and 110 RBI in 138 games in the minors in 2014.
Amaro indicated that Franco will "be bounced around a little bit, and we'll see if he's ready to help us at the big-league level,"
"He may not be. I think in a perfect world he starts in Triple-A and continues to progress there and then we bring him when he's ready. But we'll see. Hopefully he creates some competition for (Cody) Asche and pushes him a little bit."
With an eye on the future, Philadelphia would get an extra year before Franco eventually hit free agency, if he spends the first month and a half of the season in the minors.
"This will be an interesting spring training for him," Amaro said. "He had a great year coming into last year's spring training, and I think he pressed a little bit. I think it was a new experience for him, to be in big-league camp, trying to hit a lot of home runs and trying to do a lot of things. But it will be interesting to see how he handles this experience. He's not a lock for our team, but he'll be competing."
Frazier is eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason. He hit .273/.336/.459 with 29 home runs, 80 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 597 at-bats in 2014.
Nine Pirates were able to avoid arbitration, but the team has yet to settle on deals with Walker, Alvarez and Vance Worley. Walker was offered $8 million, while Alvarez was offered $5.25 million.
McGehee, who came over from the Marlins in a December trade, is eligible for arbitration for the final time this offseason. He hit .287/.355/.357 with four home runs and 76 RBI in 616 at-bats in 2014.