In a game that was never in doubt, the Los Angeles Angels out-slugged the Chicago Cubs in Cactus League play on the final day of February. This was the Spring Training opener for the Angels, where as the Cubs dropped their second in back-to-back days. The game featured five home runs in total, however all home runs are not created equal.
On the Angels side, long balls were hit by Chris Iannetta, Jett Bandy, and Mike Trout. Iannetta and Trout both went deep during a nine-run fourth inning against pitchers James McDonald and Jonathan Sanchez who are both trying to make the Cubs’ staff come Opening Day. Just days after receiving a record breaking contract extension, Trout went 2-3 in the game, and also drove in five of the 15 Angels’ runs. Going out on a confident limb during the spring and regular season, Trout will continue to prove that he is worth every dollar leading up to an even bigger contract in the near future.
Chicago’s home runs came from the unlikely Darwin Barney and the “Wrigley Wrecker” Kris Bryant. For Barney, it is a good start to a very important season for the second baseman. While Barney will likely be the starting second basemen this year, there are plenty of prospects waiting in the wings that could overtake him down the road. It will be key for the Cubs and Barney if he can jump out to a good start to the season.
Much like Trout, Bryant is making this hitting baseballs a long way thing look really easy. His resume is quickly building toward a player you need to get to know for years to come. After leading the NCAA in home runs last year and winning the Arizona Fall League MVP, Bryant is drawing major comparisons to Evan Longoria. In his first Spring Training game, the hits just keep on coming for the No. 9 prospect in baseball.
While the final scores are irrelevant in Spring Training games, the results are certainly not. This game saw two rising stars in Trout and Bryant go big fly through the Arizona spring air. Fans are already familiar with one of the players, but they will quickly need to get accustomed to hearing about the other one as well.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.