I thought we'd take a look at who surprised us this spring. We'll use surprised in a positive way, tomorrow we'll look at the disappointments of the spring.
- Drew Hutchison: Drew had a great spring. I didn't think he had a chance at winning a job out of spring training, I figured the best he could do was look good and position himself to be called up if/when there was an injury, but his good work and the failings of others earns him MLB per diems. In 15 official spring innings, Drew allowed just 8 hits, 4 walks with 19 strikeouts with a 1.80 ERA. Beyond that, he was throwing hard right from the start of camp, getting 94 and 95's on the radar gun right from his first game action. He helped make me more optimistic about the rotation this year. When it was Happ and Redmond or Rogers in the rotation, I was less than excited, but, even though I'm not expecting a 1.80 ERA from him during the season, at least there is some chance that he'll pretty good. .
- Melky Cabrera: What I wanted to see from Melky was that they had untied the piano that he was dragging around last year. And he did look like he was running better. He even stole a base. Beyond that, he was hitting line drives all spring. in 74 at bats, he had 30 hits, 11 doubles, the one home run, yesterday, in Montreal. Even most of his outs were hard hit balls. His line for the spring: .405/.423/.595. I'm not expecting a great season, but at least he shouldn't look as awful as he did last year.
- Jose Bautista: Not that he was really a surprise, but I like that he had 6 home runs on the spring. It makes you feel like he had a big season coming. His line .375/.455/.786.
- Aaron Sanchez: He had a great spring. It is nice to see one of our big prospects do well, in our first chance to really see him. He threw 15.1 innings, allowed 10 hits, 6 walks, 0 earned runs with 11 strikeouts. Of course, a lot of the time he was throwing against fellow minor leaguers. And he did seem to have some troubles with the strike zone. But, it does make you think that he could be a part of the rotations sooner rather than later.
- Dustin McGowan: For him, the surprise is that he made the rotation. Two weeks ago I would have said there was no chance that he would be part of the rotations this year, but he looked good and the only choices for the rotation didn't. He only pitched 7 official spring innings, but he threw in a couple of minor league spring games (and has a minor league start today). In the 7 official innings he allowed 3 hits, 3 walks, 3 earned, with 7 strikeouts.
- Erik Kratz: Erik had a great spring, hitting .400/.444/.720 with 2 home runs in 25 at bats. All that, and the Jays take Josh Thole with them to start the season.
- Brett Lawrie: He hit .339/.373/.484 in 62 at bats, with 3 doubles and 2 home runs. He was kind of inconsistent, sometimes he looked good, driving the ball and sometimes he looked like much like last year, making soft contact and beating things out with his speed.
- John Stilson: He was great, and then he had a terrible inning in his last spring appearance, allowing 5 hits and 4 runs in that game, last Tuesday, that J.A. Happ started (and as equally terrible in). Before that he had 8.1 innings allowing 3 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks and 7 strikeouts.
- Edwin Encarnacion: Not a surprise but I'm glad he showed us that his wrist was ok. He hit .328/.386/.563 with 6 doubles, and 3 home runs.
So who surprised you the most this spring?