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Spring Training is Here!

Take a peak into this years best storylines and get ready for the MLB season.

A Different Look For the League’s Best

Star pitcher, and reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani signed a 700 million dollar deal with the LA Dodgers, keeping him close to his former Angels team. The whole world had eyes on this trade, tracking flights and looking at restaurant receipts, trying to figure out where in the world Shohei was. Finally, on December 9th the two-way superstar joins the other L.A. team on a record-breaking 10-year, $700M deal. We have yet to see Shohei make his spring training debut as a Dodger, but many Dodgers fans are excited to have a Cy-Young caliber pitcher back with the organization.

Watch Out for Broken Glass

Window shattering goes hand in hand with baseball games. Whether it’s little league or high school ball, you often hear stories of car windshields being hit with foul balls or even long home runs. We found out this year that this does not stop in high school. During batting practice, Cincinnati Reds phenom Elly De La Cruz was facing pitcher Hunter Greene, nothing out of the ordinary. Until a foul ball from De La Cruz smashed pitcher Hunter Greene’s car window. They are professional baseball players and this was nothing more than an inconvenience for Greene, it is still a story that they will laugh about for years.  

Expect the Unexpected

The Shohei deal was one we saw coming, however going into the first week of spring training we had yet to see many star players resign. Cody Bellinger was one that Cubs fans were waiting for. The Cubs’ lineup is largely built around right-handed hitters Dansby Swanson, Nico Hoerner, Christopher Morel, and Suzuki. Bellinger coming back adds significant balance from the left side. He has not been the same since his MVP season back in 2019, and with his high contract expectations, many Cubs fans thought they might see him in a different jersey this season.

But the NL Central seems as winnable as ever for Chicago this season. However, Bellinger isn’t seen as the kind of a difference-maker that he once was, so you wonder if he’ll be the tipping point between the Cubs being a contender or a winner. We will just have to wait and find out. 

Prospects on the Rise

Rookies made a monumental impact during the 2023 MLB season, and that trend is expected to continue. Jackson Holliday is ready to be that for the Orioles. The first overall pick in the 2022 draft and the son of former star outfielder Matt Holliday, is ready for the show. He has yet to be challenged by professional pitching, which is a good sign for his possibility of a debut this season.

Another number one pick that could be ready for the show is former LSU pitcher Paul Skenes, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. A national championship season led him to be the first pick a few short weeks after the conclusion of his college baseball career. Although he didn’t get many pro opportunities seeing as he had just played a full season of baseball.  However, Skenes should be given a good chance during spring training. And once he’s ready, there are plenty of spots available in Pittsburgh for him.

When is Opening Day Again? 

While spring training is very exciting for baseball fans who have been waiting to see their favorite teams play again, most just can’t wait for opening day. When it all matters. Last year we had some unexpected storylines leading up to the playoffs. And this offseason has been nothing short of electrifying, baseball fans and non-fans alike are ready for the anticipation of a new season. 

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About the Contributor
Emma Steele
Emma Steele, Writer
Emma Steele is a sophomore at MHS. This is her first year writing for The Auroran Today. If she is not writing stories she may be spending time with her family, drinking Diet Coke, arguing with someone about their opinion, or watching all of her favorite sports.
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