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Six Tom Sox Taking Part in 2024 Spring Training

Six former Tom Sox players are taking part in Major League Baseball’s Spring Training, being held across Florida and Arizona from February 22-March 26. The six players include four players who appeared on Major League rosters during the 2023 campaign, while two additional ‘Sox will appear as non-roster invitees for their respective clubs.
Derek Hammond/DLH Sports Shots

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Six former Tom Sox players are taking part in Major League Baseball’s Spring Training, being held across Florida and Arizona from February 22-March 26. The six players include four players who appeared on Major League rosters during the 2023 campaign, while two additional ‘Sox will appear as non-roster invitees for their respective clubs. The six players are as follows and appear in order of their MLB service time.

 

1B VINNIE PASQUANTINO – KANSAS CITY ROYALS (TOM SOX ’17)

Vinnie Pasquantino enters his second full season in the Majors after being called up by Kansas City in June 2022. He is looking for his first complete season in the show after his 2023 season was cut short due to a shoulder injury which came close to a year after his debut. Newly married and fully recovered from his June injury, Pasquantino looks to play a major part in a Royals lineup that includes newly-extended shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. alongside veterans Adam Frazier and Salvador Perez. FanGraphs’ RosterResource currently projects him to be Kansas City’s cleanup hitter, where he can build on his 19 career home runs and .799 OPS. Pasquantino without a doubt will make a major impact for Kansas City in the 2024 season.

 

LHP EVAN JUSTICE – COLORADO ROCKIES (TOM SOX ’18)

The first of three Tom Sox players to be called up within a month of one another, NC State star closer-turned Rockies reliever Evan Justice looks to find his footing in the uber-talented majors. Justice was called up on August 25 of last year and pitched in nine games for the Rockies, who are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 103-loss campaign. Justice himself looks to build on last season during his month of spring training and compete to make Colorado’s Opening Day roster.

 

RHP CARSON SPIERS – CINCINNATI REDS (TOM SOX ’17)

Called up just nine days after Justice, fellow ‘Sox arm Carson Spiers looks to solidify a spot on an up-and-coming Reds roster in 2024. Spiers made four appearances – two starts – for Cincinnati in his debut season, allowing ten runs in his first ten innings before settling down in his final three-inning appearance at St. Louis to end the year. Spiers knows he has a competition to take part in – they currently have nine starting candidates for a five-man rotation – but he told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon that he’s ready to roll:

“I am a competitor so I’m ready for camp. There’s a lot of new faces and a lot of young guys on the staff too. It’s going to be a competitive atmosphere. There really aren’t too many roles that are locked up. It’s going to be an awesome competition out there and that’s what I’m built for.”

Spiers will compete in a clubhouse full of talented pitchers, no matter what level or role he begins at – the Reds’ starting rotation includes names such as former Valley Leaguer Graham Ashcraft (Waynesboro ’18), Virginia alum Andrew Abbott, top prospect Chase Petty, and former Strasburg Express hurler-turned Wake Forest star Rhett Lowder, to name a few.

 

RHP KYLE NICOLAS – PITTSBURGH PIRATES (TOM SOX ’18)

The highest draft choice in Tom Sox history at the time (61st overall) and one of the Valley’s top pitchers during the 2018 season, Kyle Nicolas was the final of the three Tom Sox alums to be called up in 2023. Although Nicolas made his Major League debut in 2023 – throwing in four games for Pittsburgh – he is no stranger to Spring Training, making the trek to Bradenton, FL for the third-straight year. After receiving a total of 6.2 innings over his first two campaigns, Nicolas looks to be receiving more of a look in ’24, as he has already logged an appearance through the first full day of Spring Training on Saturday. Like Spiers, Nicolas will have to compete in a young, uber-talented organization that includes recently-resigned franchise starter Mitch Keller, 2023 No. 1 overall pick Paul Skenes, 2019 first rounder Quinn Priester, and others.

 

OF WYATT LANGFORD – TEXAS RANGERS NON-ROSTER INVITEE (TOM SOX ’21)

You know the name, now watch him rake. Drafted fourth overall by the Rangers in 2023 after back-to-back All-America seasons for Florida in 2022 and ’23, Wyatt Langford looks to make his mark and earn a spot on the defending World Champions in 2024. Langford was recently named MLB Pipeline’s No. 6 overall prospect and worked his way from rookie ball to Triple-A in under three months, where he maintained an OPS over 1.000 in all four levels. He’ll have some tough competition – the Rangers’ starting outfield is already filled with three bonafide starters, including World Series breakout star Evan Carter – but the Rangers still have a hole at DH following the departure of Mitch Garver. Anything is possible for Charlottesville’s brightest star, though – including a nod on the champs’ Opening Day roster.

 

C BRYCE WINDHAM – CHICAGO CUBS NON-ROSTER INVITEE (TOM SOX ’17)

The final of the six former ‘Sox participating in Spring Training, 2017 VBL Champion-turned-Cub Bryce Windham is looking to earn his way into a spot on the Cubs in 2024. A former collegiate shortstop moved to catcher following his 2019 draft selection, Windham has paid his dues in the minors through 3 ½ professional seasons (not including the canceled 2020 season). Throughout the way, he has progressed from rookie ball in Arizona to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, where he spent all of last year. Now in his second year of spring training, Windham looks to gain playing time in 2024 and make it to the show.

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