The arrival of spring brings eternal optimism and hope for baseball fans, as each of the 30 MLB teams starts fresh. All the right things are said and the idea that your club can go all the way doesn't seem that unrealistic.
Let's take a look at one must-watch player for each team this spring:
Arizona Diamondbacks, Carson Kelly: Prior to the Paul Goldschmidt trade, the Diamondbacks didn't boast much talent behind the plate. The team will now take a close look at one of the main pieces in that deal, as the 24-year-old Kelly will challenge Alex Avila, John Ryan Murphy, and Caleb Joseph for the starting job in Arizona.
Atlanta Braves, Johan Camargo: Camargo finds himself without a starting job after a solid sophomore season. Atlanta signed Josh Donaldson to play the hot corner, but his recent injury troubles and Camargo's versatility in the infield make the 25-year-old an intriguing player to watch as the season progresses.
Baltimore Orioles, Nate Karns: The right-hander joins Baltimore fresh off a season in which he didn't pitch. Karns dealt with injuries for much of the past three campaigns after a promising start to his career with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2015, he logged 147 innings, including 26 starts, and pitched to a 3.67 ERA.
Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia: The former American League Most Valuable Player enters camp as a big question mark for the reigning World Series champs. Pedroia played only three games in 2018 as a result of multiple knee surgeries and the team already acknowledged he may no longer be an everyday player. The 35-year-old second baseman is still under contract for three more seasons.
Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant: The Cubs are hoping Bryant can recapture the form that led to him being named the 2016 National League MVP. He missed 50 games in 2018 as a result of a right shoulder injury, which sapped most of his power. He collected only nine extra-base hits in September after returning from a second stint on the injured list.
Chicago White Sox, Eloy Jimenez: There is an unbelievable talent at Chicago's camp who everybody will be watching and talking about. Sorry White Sox fans, but it isn't Manny Machado - at least, for now. Jimenez's spring training at-bats will be must-watch despite the team's expected mandate to delay his official arrival until mid-April to manipulate service time.
Cincinnati Reds, Yasiel Puig: The enigmatic outfielder may not be the best player in Cincinnati, but he's about to bring Hollywood to the Midwest. A big bat, bigger arm, and perhaps the biggest personality make Puig the one to watch for the Reds, in the spring and beyond.
Cleveland Indians, Jake Bauers: The 23-year-old enters his first camp with the Indians after a three-team trade that sent him to Cleveland from the Tampa Bay Rays. Bauers will get plenty of reps at first base during the spring, though he could move to the outfield or slot in as the designated hitter if the team prefers Carlos Santana at first.
Colorado Rockies, Daniel Murphy: The 33-year-old makes an already dangerous Rockies lineup that much better. Colorado will see how Murphy handles playing first base during the spring, as Ryan McMahon is the projected second basemen following the departure of DJ LeMahieu via free agency.
Detroit Tigers, Daniel Norris: The Tigers are still waiting for Norris to be the top pitcher the team thought it acquired for David Price in 2015. In the battle for rotation spots, the left-hander may find himself on the outside looking in, as injuries and struggles resulted in a 5.68 ERA over just 44 1/3 innings last season.
Houston Astros, Alex Bregman: The 24-year-old should be ready to go for Opening Day if he doesn't suffer any setbacks. The star third baseman is progressing from arthroscopic elbow surgery in January. He's already hitting and fielding but the team is expected to bring him along slowly this spring.
Kansas City Royals, Brad Keller: The right-hander could end up being the Opening Day starter for the Royals. The 23-year-old burst onto the scene in 2018 with a 3.08 ERA in 140 1/3 innings, including 20 starts.
Los Angeles Angels, Cody Allen: The former Indians closer comes into camp with a solid resume. Allen collected 147 saves between 2014 to 2018 but struggled last season to the tune of a 4.70 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over 67 innings. Los Angeles will be counting on him to be an anchor in the bullpen, and a strong spring will help the coaching staff sleep a little easier.
Los Angeles Dodgers, Russell Martin: What's old is new again, as Martin is back with the Dodgers after being traded to the franchise he started his career with in 2006. The veteran catcher is expected to compete with Austin Barnes for playing time behind the plate while Keibert Ruiz develops in the minors.
Miami Marlins, Lewis Brinson: The 24-year-old was terrible in 2018 after being the big piece in the Christian Yelich deal last offseason. Brinson's job as the Marlins' starting center fielder isn't in jeopardy during camp, but his performance will constantly be linked to the 2018 NL MVP.
Milwaukee Brewers, Jimmy Nelson: The right-hander missed all of 2018 with a shoulder injury, though he should be in the Brewers' rotation when Opening Day rolls around. In 2017, he threw 175 1/3 innings with a 3.49 ERA.
Minnesota Twins, Miguel Sano: Through a combination of issues related to conditioning, consistency, and health, Sano played just 71 games in 2018. When he did play, he rarely got on base. He's reportedly already dealing with a right heel laceration he suffered while in the Dominican Republic.
New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard: It will be critical for the Mets to keep the big righty healthy this spring. Syndergaard has already dealt with a torn oblique and hyperextended finger in his young career, but he was able to throw 154 1/3 innings across 25 starts in 2018.
New York Yankees, Troy Tulowitzki: Tulo needs a healthy spring. The Yankees are hoping the five-time All-Star can contribute this season while Didi Gregorius works his way back from Tommy John surgery. The 34-year-old last played in the majors on July 28, 2017, and it remains to be seen how much he has left in the tank after ankle and foot injuries.
Oakland Athletics, Franklin Barreto: The key piece in the Josh Donaldson trade is now at Athletics camp after resolving a visa issue which is delaying the arrival of many Venezuelan players. The 22-year-old shortstop could push incumbent Marcus Semien or newly acquired Jurickson Profar with a strong spring. He may also find playing time as a super-utility type.
Philadelphia Phillies, Rhys Hoskins: The 25-year-old slugger is back at first base after an unsuccessful experiment in left field in 2018. Hoskins should feel a lot more comfortable as he goes back to a position he played in high school, college, and the minors, and it could help boost his offensive numbers from last year's relatively underwhelming totals.
Pittsburgh Pirates, Jung Ho Kang: The battle for third base will be intriguing at Pirates camp. Colin Moran started 107 games as a rookie, but Pittsburgh re-signed Kang, who's back in the majors after missing almost all of the last two seasons due injury and off-field issues.
San Diego Padres, Wil Myers: The experiment at third base is over. The team is moving the former top prospect back to the outfield, as he will join a crowd of players looking to secure a spot during camp. A trade could be on the horizon as six players on the active roster spent time as outfield regulars over the last two seasons.
San Francisco Giants, Mark Melancon: It's safe to say Melancon isn't the pitcher the Giants thought they were getting when they signed him to a four-year, $62-million contract in 2016. The 34-year-old has collected only 14 saves with the Giants after registering 131 in three seasons before joining the team. Will Smith is currently pegged as San Francisco's closer.
Seattle Mariners, J.P. Crawford: Tim Beckham is projected to be the starting shortstop for the Mariners on Opening Day, but Crawford could make some noise during spring training. A key piece in the Jean Segura deal, Crawford is a toolsy player who could end up being a regular for Seattle sooner rather than later.
St. Louis Cardinals, Andrew Miller: The left-hander put together a 1.72 ERA to go along with 14.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 rates between 2014 to 2017. If the Cardinals are getting a healthy Miller, the $25 million they invested will be well worth it. However, the 33-year-old dealt with hamstring, shoulder, and knee issues in 2018.
Tampa Bay Rays, Austin Meadows: The 23-year-old is projected to be the Rays' starting right fielder after joining the team in the Chris Archer trade last season. Meadows tore up Triple-A following the deal and enjoyed a cup of coffee with Tampa Bay in September. The Rays view him as a big part of their future.
Texas Rangers, Matt Davidson: Davidson is trying to become the league's newest two-way player after back-to-back 20 home run seasons with the White Sox and didn't allow a run in 2018. Mind you, he pitched only three innings in relief.
Toronto Blue Jays, Aaron Sanchez: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is obviously the main attraction at camp, but he's not expected to crack the Opening Day roster due to the team manipulating his service time. Outside of that, the Jays need Sanchez to be healthy. Since winning the American League ERA crown in 2016, the right-hander pitched in only 141 innings the following two seasons as a result of various finger injuries. Sanchez will need to prove he can stay healthy.
Washington Nationals, Patrick Corbin: There are 140-million reasons to watch Corbin. The Nationals prized free-agent acquisition arrives at camp with big expectations and an even bigger contract. The left-hander is coming off an All-Star campaign in which he went 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 246 strikeouts in 200 innings with Arizona.
(Pictures courtesy: Getty Images)