With Adam Eaton, who started 119 games last season as Chicago's leadoff hitter, off the Washington, Anderson is being given the first crack atop the batting order in 2017. He's not an ideal leadoff hitter, as evidenced by a 27.1 percent strikeout rate and .306 on-base percentage in 2016. He's cognizant of what's needed from a leadoff hitter -- seeing more pitches, reducing strikeouts -- but Anderson said he doesn't plan to change his approach too much. White Sox manager Rick Renteria is confident in Anderson's ability to adapt, but also indicated others will get opportunities.
The lineup order should be disregarded as Crawford won't be batting leadoff come Opening Day. The 29-year-old saw his power numbers dip back to regular levels in 2016 after exploding for 21 homers the year prior. While the homers regressed, Crawford actually improved his batting average (.275) and on-base percentage (.342) while maintaining the 84 RBI high watermark he set in 2016. If he can maintain those levels, he will have value as a shortstop despite not hitting for plus power or stealing a ton of bases.
Gregorius' role with the team as the starting shortstop is secure, so provided the 27-year-old is able to stay healthy, his departure from the team in the spring shouldn't have much of an impact. He broke out last season with career bests in home runs (20), RBI (70), and batting average (.276), and while that still isn't in the upper echelon of the young shortstop talent that's emerged in recent years, Gregorius should provide a solid option up the middle for fantasy owners.
The 23-year-old has posted strong offensive numbers in the high minors over the last two seasons, but would still need a lot to go his way this spring to break camp on the Mets' 25-man roster. Cecchini will likely begin the season back at Triple-A Las Vegas to continue working on his defense, but could be among the first call-ups when injuries hit the team's infield.
It's another tool for D'Arnaud as he competes against Jace Pederson for a primary utility role this season. The right-hander played all other infield and outfield positions last season and now could be used as a spell for Freddie Freeman if all goes well. D'Arnaud hit just .245 in 84 games with the Braves last year and seems set for a reserve role this coming season, regardless of where he plays on the field.
Andrus has been running at only 50 percent speed thus far, a precautionary measure as he eases back into action. The shortstop is already participating in all baseball activities and is expected to participate in a live game sometime within the coming month. It appears Andrus is well on the road back to full health, but it's worth monitoring the situation as spring camp progresses.
Nats manager Dusty Baker made it clear that he hasn't decided on an Opening Day batting order, but Turner will most likely hit first or second during the regular season. The 23-year-old, who is 35-for-43 (81.4 percent) on the basepaths in 100 games to begin his big league career, figures to get frequent green lights in 2017 no matter what slot in the order he occupies.
The slugging infielder and the Rays were content with Miller's deubt effort at second in live action this spring, which drew praise from manager Kevin Cash following the game. Assuming the 27-year-old locks down his new position as expected, the team will be able to deploy Matt Duffy in the shortstop role that he's comfortable in. Miller is expected to see plenty of reps at the keystone this spring in preparation for the regular season.
Beckham opened the game with a hard-hit two-bagger to center and followed it up with a triple to right-center in his next at-bat. It was a superb start for the utilty man extraordinaire, who is expected to add outfield to his expansive defensive resume during Grapefruit League play. His opening performance earned him rave reviews from manager Kevin Cash, who lauded Beckham for his aggressiveness at the plate and commented that "he looked awesome".
The fact that Alcantara was able to make the start for Cincinnati would seem to indicate his thumb is feeling much better after spraining it back in December. The former Cub and Athletic is most likely a long shot at this point to make the Reds' opening day roster, but that could change with a very impressive spring training performance.