Up until now players have been working themselves into shape and shaking off the winter's rust. From here on out the competition will get a lot tougher as the major league players are in playing form and ready to focus on the season. The guys who have shown promise and are still fighting for jobs will need to prove themselves.
Here are ten players to watch over the last two weeks of spring training.
Benson was named as one of the candidates for center field when spring training started. He got off to a slow start, while his main rival Aaron Hicks, got off to a good start. But he has had a couple of good games recently. Most encouraging, they did not include a lot of strikeouts. He needs to continue that. At the very least he could have a shot as a fourth or fifth outfielder if he does.
Escobar seems to have moved himself up on the list of middle infielders. He is very likely to be on the roster as a utility infielder, but he has a shot at taking the starting spot at either second base or shortstop.
Deduno has been pitching well in the World Baseball Classic. In particular, he has been avoiding the walks that have plagued him as a big league pitcher. If he can continue to show he has mastered his control when he returns to major league camp, he will have a shot at a spot in the rotation. As Baseball Outsider points out, he still needs to show he can pitch deeper into games. But his stuff is nasty and if he can control it he will get a hard look for a rotation that is pretty thin.
Hendriks has pitched well enough that he would have a spot in the rotation if the decision were made today. He needs to use the next couple weeks to cement his spot.
After his three run homer game, a lot of people handed Hicks the center field spot. He cooled off a bit after that. He is still the front runner, but he will need to demonstrate he can lead off against major league pitching and avoid rookie mistakes on defense.
Dozier looks like the front runner for second base. His defense at second appears to be much better than it was at shortstop. He still needs to show he can hit major league pitching over the next couple weeks.
Burnett went into spring training as one of the established guys in the bullpen. He has really struggled. He has an option left, so he needs to turn it around or he may start the year at AAA. I still don't think he really needs to win a spot in the bullpen so much as avoid losing one. His major league experience gives him a leg up on other options.
Pressly is Rule 5 draft choice who has to be returned to the Red Sox if he doesn't make the team. He has pitched very well so far. He needs to show he can continue to do that as the competition heats up. If he does, he will very likely have a spot in the bullpen.
Perkins and Duensing are the lefties set in the bullpen. The Twins would like to carry a third lefty and Robertson is the only lefty still competing for a bullpen spot. He had a rough start, but seems have settled down. In the past, he has been very hard on left-handed hitters, but has struggled against right handers. He needs to show he can at least do nominally well when facing a right hander. If he can, he will probably have a spot in the bullpen.
Colabello was hitting well when he headed off the WBC. He hit well in the WBC. He is still a real long shot to win a roster spot. He needs to continue to hit these last couple weeks and hope he can claim a place as an extra bat on the bench.