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Spring training doesn't matter, so they say. And they're mostly right ... mostly.

But you know, it's not always so cut and dried. For players on the bubble, spring performance means a heck of a lot, and not every spring development is tied to performance anyway. The exhibition season represents our first look at players who've been working on themselves for four months -- maybe longer for the ones that didn't get to play minor-league ball last year -- and the adjustments they've made, as well as what their team has to say about those adjustments, can tell us a lot, particularly when the performance backs it up.

As long as you're careful not to turn your rankings upside-down, reading concern into players that have no reason for any, there's no harm in following along with what happens in spring training -- again, particularly for players on the fringes.

Or you can just let me summarize it for you with these 20 winners and then, uh ... five losers. I was planning on going 10 and 10, but I guess I just like to keep things positive.

Also, the Fantasy Baseball Today Draft Guide is LIVE! It's a one-stop-shop to help anyone dominate their drafts that includes sleepers, breakouts, busts, rankings, analysis, tiers and more. The best part about it? It's free!  

Winners
LAA L.A. Angels • #17 • Age: 28
Spring Stats
AVG
.571
HR
5
OPS
1.701
IP
8
BB
5
K
14
From tape-measure home runs in the batter's box to devastating splitters on the mound, the two-way player has restored the hype, making headlines every time he's on the field.
SD San Diego • #24 • Age: 29
Spring Stats
AVG
.391
HR
6
OPS
1.346
AB
46
BB
7
K
13
Though the big spring performance doesn't necessarily mean hitting coach Kevin Long fixed whatever went wrong with Josh Bell's swing last year, it becomes easier to make the case now that Bell is wrecking the scoreboard like in 2019.
BOS Boston • #65 • Age: 33
Spring Stats
IP
8.1
H
4
ER
1
BB
4
K
17
Kept on the backfields for much of spring training, the former ace has seen his velocity restored since returning, striking 17 in 8 1/3 innings over two outings.
CHW Chi. White Sox • #25 • Age: 24
Spring Stats
AVG
.271
HR
2
OPS
.834
AB
59
BB
8
K
14
The White Sox always talked like Vaughn would win the job, but the top prospect's performance has made it more than just talk. And now he might pick up outfield eligibility with Eloy Jimenez sidelined.
DET Detroit • #57 • Age: 29
Spring Stats
ERA
2.63
WHIP
0.95
IP
13.2
BB
2
K
15
Even if his recent dead arm phase pushes back his opening day start, Eduardo Rodriguez has proven this spring he's no worse for wear after last year's bout with COVID-related myocarditis. And remember, he was a 19-win, 200-strikeout guy in 2019.
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #55 • Age: 30
Spring Stats
IP
9
H
5
ER
0
BB
1
K
13
The circumstances surrounding Domingo German's return gave the Yankees added incentive to turn the page to Deivi Garcia, but the former 18-game winner has so thoroughly dominated with his three-pitch mix that he'll get another chance.
MIL Milwaukee • #51 • Age: 26
Spring Stats
ERA
3.95
WHIP
1.24
IP
13.2
BB
3
K
23
The 24-year-old's versatile fastball was enough for him to dominate as a multi-inning reliever last year, averaging 14.4 K/9, but he's shown enough improvement with the rest of his arsenal to secure a rotation spot this spring.
SEA Seattle • #23 • Age: 28
Spring Stats
AVG
.327
HR
5
OPS
1.103
AB
49
BB
3
K
7
Not only did he hit .399 in the minors two years ago but he also hit .305 in the majors last year. Now with a clear path to playing time for the Mariners, he's also showing off some power this spring, delivering nearly as many home runs as he has strikeouts.
MIA Miami • #2 • Age: 24
Spring Stats
BA
.268
HR
3
SB
4
OPS
.821
AB
41
K
13
An exciting prospect whose contact issues figure to make him high-variance, he's done enough damage to convince the Marlins the future is now at second base, flashing both power and speed.
SD San Diego • #55 • Age: 30
Spring Stats
ERA
3.00
WHIP
1.25
IP
12
BB
5
K
12
His shoulder being another year removed from surgery, the left-hander has seen his velocity climb back to pre-2019 levels -- higher, even. We've seen him have modest success even while throwing 2-3 mph slower the past two seasons.
CLE Cleveland • #7 • Age: 27
Spring Stats
AVG
.310
HR
0
SB
3
OPS
.770
AB
42
K
7
Though he didn't secure the leadoff spot, he will be the Astros' everyday center fielder, which seemed like a long shot going in, and could emerge as one of the league's most prolific base-stealers.
ARI Arizona • #10 • Age: 28
Spring Stats
AVG
.353
HR
4
OPS
1.008
AB
68
BB
6
K
18
Some changes to his lifestyle and swing this offseason have him flashing the form that saw him hit .332 with 23 homers, 33 doubles, 33 steals and a 1.023 OPS in his last minor-league season. They've also put him in a position to start at second base.
CIN Cincinnati • #6 • Age: 25
Spring Stats
AVG
.319
HR
3
SB
2
OBP
.439
OPS
1.056
AB
47
If the Reds had landed a better shortstop this offseason, they of course wouldn't have considered moving Eugenio Suarez there, but Jonathan India's breakthrough at second base has made it a viable solution.
SEA Seattle • #20 • Age: 24
Spring Stats
AVG
.302
HR
3
SB
2
OBP
.388
OPS
1.016
AB
43
While everyone was pouting over Jarred Kelenic, another prospect stepped in and claimed the left field opening with a steady performance that has shown off his on-base skills, speed and emerging power.
KC Kansas City • #2 • Age: 31
Spring Stats
AVG
.351
HR
2
OPS
1.105
AB
37
BB
8
K
12
His career sidetracked by strikeouts and injuries, the 30-year-old with a 20/20 profile has been reborn in his push for the Royals starting center field job, looking more composed at the plate after doing away with a leg kick.
SF San Francisco • #62 • Age: 25
Spring Stats
ERA
0.00
WHIP
0.36
IP
11
BB
1
K
17
A long shot rotation candidate coming into the spring, his new changeup has had everyone in Giants camp raving, including former Reds catcher Curt Casali, who compared it to Luis Castillo's.
SF San Francisco • #16 • Age: 29
Spring Stats
ERA
1.32
WHIP
0.73
IP
13.2
BB
1
K
16
Forgotten after an uninspiring recovery from Tommy John surgery last year, the longtime Fantasy tease has made some changes to his delivery that has him getting more spin on his fastball.
KC Kansas City • #7 • Age: 22
Spring Stats
AVG
.289
HR
3
OPS
.851
AB
38
BB
2
K
10
Though his flirtation with the starting second base job lasted only a hot minute, the fact he entered the conversation as a 20-year-old with only 37 minor-league games under his belt shows the extent of his upside and positions him for a potential midseason arrival.
OAK Oakland • #66 • Age: 27
Spring Stats
ERA
1.50
WHIP
0.89
IP
18
BB
6
K
24
He seemed like a long shot at the start of camp, but with Mike Fiers sidelined and A.J. Puk's velocity lagging, Daulton Jefferies stepped up at the right time, showing power to go with the command that saw him walk only nine in 79 innings two years ago.
DET Detroit • #60 • Age: 23
Spring Stats
AVG
.324
HR
4
SB
4
OBP
.468
OPS
1.171
AB
37
A Rule 5 pick from the Twins, the 22-year-old made it easy for the Tigers to keep him around by topping their leaderboards this spring, and it won't be so difficult for him to break into that starting lineup.

A few other winners: Sandy Alcantara, SP, MIA; Robbie Ray, SP, TOR; Jarren Duran, OF, BOS; Odubel Herrera, OF, PHI, Bruce Zimmermann, SP, BAL

Losers
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #16 • Age: 27
Spring Stats
AVG
.359
HR
1
OPS
.918
AB
39
BB
2
K
5
Will Smith himself didn't do anything to hurt his stock, actually making some headway in the strikeout department, but when manager Dave Roberts set a target of only 90 starts for him midway through spring training, his balloon lost all its helium.
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #33 • Age: 36
Spring Stats
IP
6.2
H
8
ER
2
BB
2
K
4
He may have seemed like shoo-in for a rotation spot after opting out in 2020, but the momentum is for him beginning the year in the bullpen. It may be just a temporary arrangement, but he won't be of much use in Fantasy in the meantime.
MIN Minnesota • #19 • Age: 24
Spring Stats
AVG
.129
HR
1
OPS
.440
AB
31
BB
1
K
8
The Twins served up the left field job to him after non-tendering Eddie Rosario in the offseason, but he couldn't take advantage, giving them no reason to force the issue. We'll probably see the top prospect soon enough.
OAK Oakland • #33 • Age: 27
Spring Stats
IP
7.2
H
6
ER
5
BB
3
K
8
The prospect stood out mostly for his big strikeout potential, his fastball registering 97-98 mph, so it's disconcerting to see it sitting 92-93 after shoulder surgery, especially since he and the Athletics are talking like it's just the way it is now.
SD San Diego • #7 • Age: 26
Spring Stats
AVG
.167
HR
0
OPS
.452
AB
42
BB
7
K
15
The Korean star signed to great fanfare this offseason, but it's hard to see him factoring into the Padres' playing-time crunch when he has yet to collect an extra-base hit Stateside, striking out nearly one-third of the time.

A few other losers: Triston McKenzie, SP, CLE; MacKenzie Gore, SP, SD; Deivi Garcia, SP, NYY; Renato Nunez, 1B, DET; Scott Kingery, 2B, PHI

So which Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Will Smith's huge breakout last season, and find out.