It's not a major surprise that the Yankees' presumptive leadoff hitter, Brett Gardner, would hit well. He's a good hitter. But it is impressive considering he missed almost all of 2012 with a major wrist injury, yet is showing almost no signs of it. He's 12-for-30 (.400) and looks ready to go come April 1.
Juan Rivera was brought into camp to compete with Matt Diaz for the right-handed backup outfielder/part-time platoon partner with Ichiro Suzuki, but that job description changed when Curtis Granderson broke his arm. Now the starting left field spot is open at least through April, and Rivera has seized the moment. He's taken advantage of the opportunities Joe Girardi has given him and is 12-for-32 (.375). At this point, it would be a major surprise if he does not travel north with the club.
Coming into spring training, Ivan Nova and David Phelps were set to compete for the fifth starter job. Then Phil Hughes got hurt, which created a potential opening for both starters to open the season in the rotation. But now that Hughes looks back on track, Nova and Phelps are back in competition with each other and both have been, somewhat surprisingly, exceptional.
Nova has allowed just one run on eight hits and one walk in nine innings, while Phelps has also let up just a run on ten hits and three walks in 14 innings. Girardi has a difficult decision to make between the two, but on the bright side, it looks like there is no wrong answer.
There are also three minor league pitchers who surprised while in major league camp: Preston Claiborne (5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K), Brett Marshall (12.2 IP, 2.84 ERA, 9 H, 2 BB, 11 K) and Jose Ramirez (9 IP, 0.00 ERA, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K).