Spring stars: Mets' Alonso, Indians' Bieber, Cards' HudsonKansas City Royals' Billy Hamilton celebrates his run scored against the Cincinnati Reds with teammates in the dugout during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Friday, March 8, 2019, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
A weekly look at some of the standout players during spring training, with statistics through exhibition games played on Wednesday:
PETE ALONSO, NEW YORK METS, 1B: The power-hitting prospect has made a strong case to open the season with the Mets after batting .360 with four homers and nine RBIs in spring training games. Alonso is fighting for the first base job with Dominic Smith, who has also played well. Alonso had 36 homers and 119 RBIs last season in the minors while splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A.
DAKOTA HUDSON, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, RHP: The 6-foot-5 right-hander could be a bigger part of the Cardinals' pitching plans after a strong spring that includes a 1.72 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings. The 2016 first-round pick out of Mississippi State had a 2.63 ERA in 26 relief appearances for the Cardinals in 2018.
A.J. POLLOCK, LOS ANGELES DODGERS, CF: The 31-year-old free agent acquisition came to the Dodgers after seven impressive but injury-filled seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He's made a positive impression so far this spring, batting .289 with three homers and three doubles in 45 at-bats.
TANNER ROARK, CINCINNATI REDS, RHP: The 32-year-old has been impressive for his new team, with a 2.29 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings. He joined the Reds after pitching the last six seasons for the Washington Nationals, trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 that included a 9-15 record and 4.34 ERA.
BILLY HAMILTON, KANSAS CITY ROYALS, CF: The speedster came to the Royals after six seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and has performed well this spring with a .318 batting average, six doubles and four stolen bases over 17 games. The 28-year-old is trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2018 season when he hit .236 with a career-low 34 stolen bases.
SHANE BIEBER, CLEVELAND INDIANS, RHP: The 23-year-old has a 1.42 ERA this spring with 23 strikeouts in 19 innings. He's given up just eight hits and two walks. Bieber's hoping to build on a promising rookie season that ended with an 11-5 record and 4.55 ERA over 20 appearances, including 19 starts.
JOSE ABREU, CHICAGO WHITE SOX, 1B/DH: The 32-year-old has had a strong spring with a .333 batting average and four homers in 45 at-bats. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound slugger has been one of the game's most consistent power hitters over the past five seasons, but he was down a bit in 2018, batting .265 with 22 homers.
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