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Boston Red Sox
Bracho still got a seven-figure bonus because his hit tool and pitch selection are so advanced, he is a switch hitter, and he was seen widely in game situations as an amateur. He's still a teenager and has played only 38 pro games, so he could shoot up the list with a higher level of proof that the hit tool is what I'm suspecting -- and even higher if the power is too.
The difference this Spring Training is that Mills is entering a position battle with the confidence of having held a starting spot for a whole season, albeit a shortened one.
Team Logo Face Masks
The Dodgers finished the abbreviated 2020 season with the second-best starters earned-run average (3.29) in the majors. Their 3.11 starters ERA in 2019 was first. Their starter rotation projects to be even better in 2021.
Setting up a preseason depth chart in baseball is as much art as science. You weigh track records of durability, comments from the teams and anticipated performance, then come up with a number that makes sense at the time. Nothing can swing a team's projection more in one direction or the other than misfired playing time projection. There are two reasons we bring this up for Boston: Sale and Perez. In Sale's case, despite coming off a missed season, he is head and shoulders above his Boston rotation mates but isn't expected to return to the mound until well into the season. Perez, on the other hand, carries the worst projection among those in consideration for major rotation roles, but he also might be the one Boston pitcher capable of working a large volume of innings. The Red Sox have tried to temper expectations for a rapid return by Sale. Yet the ultimate fate for the Red Sox's rotation might be decided by the final tally of innings for Sale in relation to those of Perez. Suffice to say, the more Sale, the better.
Kansas City Royals
Santos is one of the most notable pitching prospects who has displayed a spike in stuff since the pandemic began. He was added to the 40-man roster this winter after hitting 100 mph and flashing three plus pitches during the summer and fall.
What does the deal mean for Tatis, the Padres and the rest of the sport? Will San Diego win its first World Series with Tatis as the face of its franchise? Where does the newly paid Friar rank among MLB's best players? And who could be in line for the next major extension? We asked ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield and Bradford Doolittle to weigh in.