Every year a phenomenon sweeps into each team's big-league camp in the form of a prospect who explodes and has a truly great showing, leading fans and front-office members alike to wonder aloud if there's a spot for said player on the Opening Day roster and in the organization's long-term plans.
Last year, this phenomenon was most beautifully embodied by 23-year-old Dave Sappelt, who hit .564 in 20 games with Cincinnati. He entered camp as filler and left it as a top-10 prospect. Unfortunately, he wasn't as lucky when he received some big-league playing time later in the season. He failed to recapture his "spring-swing," struggled to a .243 average and struck out in one-fifth of his at-bats.
Other players who had big spring campaigns include Bryce Harper, Manny Banuelos, Lonnie Chisenhall, Tyler Flowers, Eric Hosmer, David Cooper, Zach Britton and Ivan Nova. Their results, while impressive and eye-opening, earned no guarantees of spots on the big-league roster.
Some of those players went on to have stellar rookie campaigns (Britton, Hosmer and Nova), while some headed back to the minors for more seasoning (Harper, Banuelos and Cooper).
Some are featured on this year's list of prospects who could really open some eyes this spring, along with several other names you'll likely recognize.