The Tampa Bay Rays have a lot to be happy about after the first two weeks of spring training. The team is 5-2-2 in their first nine games of exhibition play, which could be a positive indicator of things to come in the regular season.
Although the spring games do not count and do not include major leaguers facing major leaguers, they correlate to regular-season success for the Rays. They have won at least 15 spring training games in each of the team’s four seasons that ended with a postseason appearance. The only time they failed to reach the postseason after 15 spring training wins was 1999.
Aside from the team performance, there have been some individual efforts that have went above and beyond expectations with breakthrough performances.
The criteria for consideration for the breakthrough performances has been limited to hitters that have played in at least six games and pitchers that have started two or appeared in at least three of the Rays' spring training games.
Simply put, it is hard to consider a player to have a breakthrough performance with two at-bats or two innings pitched.
Here are five players that have turned some heads already in two weeks of Grapefruit League play.
All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference unless otherwise noted.