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Spring training is only a few days away. Camps across Arizona and Florida open this week, and a week after that, Cactus League and Grapefruit League games will begin. I can't wait. I am so ready for the offseason to be over. Spring training games are fun in their own way, mostly because they allow us to see players we usually don't get to see during the regular season. Top prospects, reclamation project veterans, and many other minor leaguers will rub elbows with the big league team during exhibition games before heading to the minors at the end of March.

Over the last few weeks, the 30 MLB clubs announced their non-roster invitees (NRIs) to spring training. Those are players who will be in big league camp despite not being on the 40-man roster. Some NRIs are top prospects, some are journeymen veterans, and most are somewhere in between. The big league coaching staff will get a look at all of them.

As always, some NRIs are more interesting than others. A few years ago Yordan Alvarez and Pete Alonso both went from NRI to Rookie of the Year. Bryson Stott went from NRI to starting at shortstop in the World Series last year. Inevitably, a few NRIs will make an impact in 2023. And, inevitably, some will have a big spring and show it was all a fluke in April. That's baseball.

With spring training arriving and exhibition games on the horizon, let's examine each team's most interesting and exciting NRI. As a reminder, all players on the 40-man roster will be in big league camp automatically, a list that includes top prospects like Gunnar Henderson and Corbin Carroll. Now here are the top 30 NRIs to watch.  

SS Jordan Lawlar. The top of the Diamondbacks' system is nearly unmatched, yet Lawlar is an easy call here. Outfielder Corbin Carroll and catcher Gabriel Moreno (who is technically no longer rookie-eligible despite limited MLB experience) are already on the 40-man roster, and outfielder Druw Jones, Andruw's son and the No. 2 pick in last summer's draft, is rehabbing from shoulder surgery and won't be in big league camp. Lawlar was the No. 6 prospect in the 2021 draft and he managed a .401 on-base percentage while reaching Double-A as a 19-year-old. Prospects don't get much more exciting.

LHP Jared Shuster. Trades and graduations have left the Braves with a thinned out farm system, and considering the quality of their MLB roster, I don't think they mind one bit. Atlanta is loaded. None of their top three prospects will be NRIs this year, so Shuster, the No. 25 pick in the 2020 draft, gets the nod almost by default. He reached Triple-A last year and the Braves had him pitch to their hitters as part of their preparation for last year's NLDS. Shuster is behind a few others on the rotation depth chart, but he's not far away from helping Atlanta.

SS Jackson Holliday. You won't see many 19-year-olds strutting around big league camp in spring training, but Holliday is not the typical 19-year-old. The No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft (but only Baltimore's No. 3 prospect) is the son of former All-Star Matt Holliday, and a gifted all-around player with a chance to be the sport's No. 1 prospect come the end of 2023. The Orioles have a very bright future and Holliday represents the next wave of talent now that Gunnar Henderson and Grayson Rodriguez are poised to join Adley Rutschman in Charm City this summer. (Henderson and Rodriguez are the No. 1 and 2 prospects in the system, though they're on the 40-man roster and will be in big league camp automatically.)

IF Matthew Lugo. The Red Sox might have another NRI announcement coming. As of this writing, their NRI list includes only 15 names (including zero outfielders), which is 8-10 fewer than the typical NRI list. It's not uncommon to announce NRIs in dribs and drabs, or maybe Boston is just planning a small camp. Either way, Lugo is the most interesting name of the bunch. The 2019 second rounder had a big season in High Class-A last year and reached Double-A. He has no shot at winning a big league roster spot, which means spring will be the last time Red Sox fans get to see him for a while.

OF Pete Crow-Armstrong. Acquired in the Javier Báez trade two years ago, Crow-Armstrong is arguably the best defensive outfielder in the minors, and he hit a tidy .312/.376/.520 at two Single-A levels last year. His offensive ceiling is up for debate, but no one doubts the glove. Crow-Armstrong still has minor league seasoning ahead of him and Cody Bellinger will get a long look in Wrigley this summer, so spring training will likely be your last chance to see the 20-year-old on a field with big leaguers until next spring training.

OF Oscar Colas. The White Sox will have shortstop Colson Montgomery, their No. 1 prospect, in camp as an NRI, though I'm more interested to see Colas, their No. 3 prospect. The 24-year-old reached Triple-A last season and slashed .314/.371/.524 with 23 home runs at three minor league levels. Chicago's right field situation can best be described as 😬, so it's not completely crazy to think Colas could tear up the Cactus League and force the ChiSox to consider putting him on the Opening Day roster. 

1B/3B Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Shortstop Elly De La Cruz is arguably the most electrifying prospect in the minors. He's also on the 40-man roster, so he'll be in big league automatically. Encarnacion-Strand headlines the Reds' NRIs. He came over in last summer's Tyler Mahle trade and was surprisingly nimble at the hot corner in 2022 after playing first base in 2021. On top of that, he performed well in limited Double-A time. I'm curious to get a look at his defense; the first base to third base transition is uncommon, though Encarnacion-Strand handled it well.

LHP Logan Allen. No, not that Logan Allen, the other one. The old Logan Allen, the one who made 15 starts and 18 relief appearances for Cleveland from 2019-21, will be in camp with the Rockies as an NRI. This Logan Allen was a second round pick in 2020 and is a classic Guardians pitcher with command and a deep arsenal. He had a tough time following a promotion to Triple-A last year, though I expect him to shake it off and be a factor for Cleveland at some point in 2023.

OF Zac Veen. Colorado's NRI list is heavy on journeymen this year, partly because top prospect Ezequiel Tovar is already on the 40-man roster. Veen had a rough go of it in Double-A late last year, though he's an exciting power/speed prospect who could conceivably reach the big leagues sometime in 2023. The Rockies are willing to be aggressive with their top prospects and Veen has the ability to crush the minors and force his way into an uninspiring outfield picture in Denver.

3B/LF Justyn-Henry Malloy. Over the last two seasons, the Tigers rank 30th in walk rate (7.3 percent) and 29th in on-base percentage (.296). They badly need an infusion of hitters who don't make outs and Malloy, who came over in the Joe Jiménez trade, posted a .408 on-base percentage last year while walking nearly as much as he struck out. He reached Triple-A in September and should begin 2023 back there. By midseason, he could be getting on base in Detroit.

RHP Ty Buttrey. The Astros have a few interesting prospects in camp, most notably outfielder Justin Dirden and infielder Will Wagner, but I'm going to zag instead of zigging here, and go with Buttrey. The veteran righty was a quality late-inning arm for the AL West rival Angels a few years back, then stepped away from the game for personal reasons in April 2021. Buttrey made a comeback last season and pitched in Triple-A before signing a minor league deal with Houston. The Astros are as good as any team at getting pitchers to level up. Spring training will be our first opportunity to see whether they'll be able to unlock the old version of Buttrey, who could get outs in high leverage situations.

OF Nick Loftin. It's a toss up between Loftin and Tyler Gentry, two similarly rated 24-year-old second-tier outfield prospects. Loftin gets the nod here because he plays the infield as well -- six games at short, seven in left, 19 at second, 28 at third, and 62 in center last season -- and I'm a sucker for multi-position guys. Loftin reached Triple-A last season and I suppose it's not completely impossible he wins a spot on the Opening Day roster this spring. More likely, he'll come up at midseason and serve as the quality super utility guy every good team seems to have.

RHP Ben Joyce. The hardest thrower in the 2022 draft class, Joyce hit 105 mph with Tennessee last spring, then struck out 20 batters in 13 Double-A innings after signing. Joyce is a pure reliever and you don't take a guy like this in the third round and give him a $1 million signing bonus only to slow play his development. The Angels have promoted prospects very aggressively the last few years -- 11th rounder Chase Silseth became the first player from the 2021 draft to reach MLB last year -- and if Joyce lights it up in spring training, I don't think the Halos would hesitate to put him on the Opening Day roster.

RHP Bobby Miller. The Dodgers seem to break in a new and exciting starting pitcher prospect every season, and this year it could be Miller, a hard-thrower who impressed in Double-A and Triple-A last season, so much so that he was reportedly off-limits in trade talks this winter. Los Angeles has a good deal of injury risk in their rotation and I suspect spring training will not be the last time Miller rubs elbows with the big leaguers this year.

RHP Eury Pérez. Extremely easy call here. Pérez, a 6-foot-8 behemoth, struck out 106 batters in only 75 innings as a 19-year-old in Double-A last season. He is simply one of the best and most exciting pitching prospects in baseball. Say what you want about their (lack of) offense, but the Marlins know how to develop pitchers, and it won't be long until Pérez is part of their MLB rotation. I can't wait to get eyes on him in spring training.

OF Sal Frelick. It's a toss up between Frelick and fellow outfield prospect Joey Wiemer, who reportedly hit a ball 122 mph last season. That is exceptional exit velocity for a minor leaguer. I am more interested to see Frelick, however, as a bat control guy in an era of big exit velocities and big strikeout rates. The No. 15 pick in the 2021 draft reached Triple-A in his first pro season and had more walks (19) than strikeouts (16) in 46 games at the highest minor-league level. With all the new incentives to promote prospects, it's not out of the question that Frelick opens 2023 in the Brewers' outfield.

SS/CF Austin Martin. Pick your poison between Martin and shortstop Brooks Lee, the No. 8 pick in last summer's draft, but Martin is the more interesting player to me. He came over in the José Berríos trade and was the No. 5 pick in the 2020 draft, though his game has regressed, so much so that he slugged only .316 at Double-A last summer. With Carlos Correa back in Minnesota, Martin figures to see more time in the outfield moving forward. Mostly though, what are the Twins doing to get his bat on track? We'll see whether there are any swing changes or the like in spring training. 

C Kevin Parada. The Mets have two of the best catcher prospects in baseball in No. 1 prospect Francisco Álvarez, who is on the 40-man roster, and Parada, the No. 11 pick in last summer's draft. Similar to Álvarez, Parada is a bat-over-glove backstop, and it's a bat that has a chance to be among the very best at the position. I should note young, inexperienced catchers like Parada are often among the first players reassigned to minor league camp each spring. Enjoy his Grapefruit League bats (however many he gets) while you can.

SS Anthony Volpe. As far as prospects go, few NRIs show up to camp with a legitimate chance to win a big league job. Teams typically have a development plan in place and stick to it. Volpe is one of the few that might be able to play his way into the majors. At the Winter Meetings, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the team intends to hold a shortstop competition that will include Volpe, fellow top prospect Oswald Peraza (who is on the 40-man roster), and incumbent Isiah Kiner-Falefa. The bet here is Volpe starts the season in Triple-A, though I wouldn't rule out a big spring and an Opening Day spot in the Bronx.

C/1B Tyler Soderstrom. Most of the big names the Athletics have acquired during their sell off are MLB-ready or near-MLB-ready players on the 40-man roster, so their NRI list is a bit unexciting. Soderstrom, the club's No. 1 prospect, is the easy call here. The kid can really, really hit, though his defense behind the plate is a work in progress, and he saw more time at first base as last season went on. Will the A's stick with Soderstrom behind the plate in spring training, or continue working him out at first base? Shea Langeliers is the catcher of the present and future. First base is the quickest way to get Soderstrom to the big leagues. I'm curious to see where he plays this spring.

RHP Andrew Painter. There are very few players I am more interested to see this spring than Painter. Philadelphia's No. 1 prospect is one of the few minor leaguers with legitimate "ace" ceiling, and after reaching (and dominating) Double-A last summer, the soon-to-be 20-year-old is on track to join the Phillies this summer. Painter is a significant prospect, significant enough that he could be their No. 3 starter behind Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola come October.

RHP Quinn Priester. The Pirates will have the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft (catcher Henry Davis), the No. 4 pick in the 2022 draft (second baseman Termarr Johnson), and the No. 7 pick in the 2020 draft (second baseman Nick Gonzales) in camp as NRIs, but I'm going with Priester, who at this time last year looked like one of the game's top pitching prospects. He had a down 2022 and regressed a bit, so I'm curious to see how he looks this spring. The difference between Priester becoming a capital-G Guy or merely a guy -- a frontline starter vs. a No. 5 -- will be a major factor in the success of Pittsburgh's latest rebuild.

3B/OF Jordan Walker. The Cardinals have one of the most exciting crops of NRIs this spring -- shortstop Masyn Winn and righties Gordon Graceffo and Tink Hence are among their top prospects and all three will be in camp -- though Walker stands out . The 20-year-old has arguably the most power in the minors and is simply one of the best prospects in baseball. After playing third base most of last season, the Cardinals announced Walker as an outfielder this spring. He played 25 games in right field last year (plus a handful in left and center), so that makes sense, right? Nolan Arenado isn't going anywhere, so the outfield is the best way to get Walker's thunderous bat into the lineup.

SS Jackson Merrill. The Padres have traded a lot -- A LOT -- of prospects the last two years or so, but they still have a premium youngster in Merrill, their 2021 first-round pick. The 19-year-old slashed .339/.395/.551 in 55 games in the low minors last season and looks very much like a future All-Star middle infielder. Merrill is still a few years away from the big leagues (then again, the Padres aren't shy about moving prospects aggressively), which is why you should get a look at him while you can in spring training. He's going to disappear back to the minors in April.

1B/LHP Ronald Guzmán. Yes, first base and left-handed pitcher. Guzmán, the former Rangers prospect, began the conversion into a two-year player with the Yankees in Triple-A last season. He spent most of the season throwing bullpen sessions, but did get into a game late in the year, and walked two of the three batters he faced. Guzmán has always had a strong arm and lefties with velocity will get plenty of chances. There is some power in his bat too, though not much on-base ability. We don't see many players attempt the two-way thing. I'm curious to see how the experiment goes.

RHP Bryce Miller. Catcher Harry Ford is Seattle's No. 1 prospect and he will be in camp as an NRI, though he's going to play for Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic, so he won't be in Peoria that long. In that case Miller, a darn good prospect in his own right, is our pick. Miller's prospect stock has skyrocketed since being a fourth-round selection in the 2021 draft, and he should reach Triple-A this summer. He's working as a starter now and understandably so, though Miller could help the Mariners meaningfully later this year should they shift him into relief, even temporarily.

1B Kyle Manzardo. Manzardo, Tampa's No. 3 prospect, has an atypical profile as a hit-over-power first baseman, but gosh can the kid hit: .330/.427/.616 with nearly as many walks as strikeouts since being a second-round pick in 2021. He reached Double-A last season and should arrive in Triple-A before long. The Rays shouldn't have much trouble working Manzardo into their lineup when the time comes. The majority of their NRI list is pitchers with interesting analytical traits, though those guys only get me so excited. I want to see guys who can mash, and Manzardo can.

RHP Kumar Rocker. The Rangers have a really fun list of NRIs. No. 1 prospect Evan Carter will be there. So will veteran Danny Duffy, who did not pitch last season because of arm trouble, but is apparently healthy now. Righty Jack Leiter is one of the most famous prospects in the minors and he'll be in camp as an NRI as well. I'm most interested to see Rocker, who has twice been a top 10 draft pick (No. 10 in 2021 and No. 3 in 2022) thanks in part to his physical fiasco with the Mets. Reports on Rocker last year were mixed. Which version shows up this spring? The version that was oh so impressive at Vanderbilt, or the one who has been more up and down the last year or so?

LHP Ricky Tiedemann. I'm not sure any pitching prospect had a louder breakout than Tiedemann last year. Toronto's No. 1 prospect went from third-round pick in 2021 to pitching in Double-A as a 19-year-old in 2022, and the case can be made Tiedemann is the sport's best southpaw prospect. The Blue Jays have shown a willingness to move prospects aggressively -- Alek Manoah made only nine minor league starts and Alejandro Kirk played only 165 games in the minors before being called up to the big leagues -- so I would not rule out Tiedemann making his MLB debut this season. Either way, he will be appointment viewing in spring training. He's a talented prospect and talented prospects make spring fun.

LHP Sean Doolittle. The Nationals are the last holdout. They've yet to announce their NRIs, so Doolittle is a placeholder. He had his elbow ligament repaired last summer but it was not full-blown Tommy John surgery. Rather, it was the relatively new internal brace procedure that cuts down on the recovery time. Spring training will be our first look at the veteran lefty since his elbow was rebuilt. Outfield prospect James Wood, one of the top power hitters in the minors and a key part of the Juan Soto trade, is the name to look for once Washington gets around to releasing their NRI list. Wood can really mash.