Every year when Spring Training hits teams around the MLB are scrambling to find that last key player. Whether it's the last man in the rotation, the backup middle infielder, or who will be the designated hitter every team has those last minute personnel decisions that have to be made. However Spring Training is also a time for new faces in the organization to show off their talent, and for the Red Sox, with much of their roster from last season returning, this may be the most interesting portion of the preseason. Last season fans got a chance to watch Jackie Bradley and Jose Iglesias show off their talents at Fort Myers but who will show up with a bang this year? Here's my 4 non roster invitees that will leave an impression on Red Sox fans and coaches alike.
Henry Owens – This young pitcher who most recently threw for the Portland Sea Dogs may leave an impression based simply off of his incredible stature. Standing at 6'7'' and only 21 years of age the young lefty seemingly has the perfect lanky body type to become a strong starting pitcher. Owens is undersized as of now weighing just over 200lb but at the age of 21 he has more than enough time to grow. If Owens is able to showcase his strong off speed pitches and consistently hit the strike zone with his fast ball he will leave Red Sox fans and organization members excited for the future.
Dalier Hinojosa –Hinojosa at the age of 27 was an under the radar signing for the Red Sox this off-season, but he could give another strong arm to an already strong bullpen if he pitches well this Spring. A finesse player listed at only 6'0'' Hinojosa defected from Cuba after the conclusion of last season and became an MLB free agent. Known for more for his changup and curve Hinojosa shows craft on the mound and is known for making batters miss. If he can bring those same “swing and miss” pitches to the Red Sox bullpen he will be a welcome addition.
Deven Marrero – With Stephen Drew consistently being injured and Will Middlebrooks showing inconsistency at the plate last season having several infielders in reserve is a must for the Red Sox. Jonathan Herrera, recently acquired from the Rockies, will be the opening day back up infielder but with injuries and slumps piling up over the course of the season Marrero could get a good opportunity if he plays well this spring. This is especially true if he has a good showing at the plate because Herrera doesn't provide much hitting for the Sox.
Blake Swihart – Last but not least is the player I will personally be watching this spring. Swihart the 21 year old catcher out of high school in Cleveland looks to have incredible potential. Swihart is not the stereotypical slow hulking catcher behind the plate, at 6'1'' and weighing around 180 Swihart is on the opposite end of the spectrum, but he does bring incredible versatility at the catcher position. Swihart can run the bases, shows excellent athleticism behind the plate, and is a switch hitter. With the aging AJ Pierzynski and David Ross Swihart has an opportunity to show he can start when those players leave.
Spring Training provides an excellent showcase for all of the non roster invitees and should provide an exciting watch as the games start to be played.
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