By Scott Barancik, editor

At least 28 Jewish athletes spent time at an MLB Spring Training camp in 2024. Sixteen were there by virtue of being on a 40-man roster, five received non-roster invitations, and eight were called-up from minor-league camp. (If we discover additional call-ups, we will add them here.)

Here are some highlights:

  • After a rough start that saw him hitting just .067 after six games, 3B Alex Bregman (Astros) ended the Spring on a tear, finishing among A.L. leaders in batting average (.383) and OPS (1.027), while accumulating 2 HRs, 4 doubles, and 8 RBIs.
  • 2B Zack Gelof (Athletics) traveled the opposite trajectory. Twelve games into Spring, the second-year player was among MLB leaders in batting average (.412), home runs (4), and OPS (1.312), but he came back to Earth afterward. Still, Gelof finished more than respectably, mounting a .288 batting average, OPS of .928, 4 HRs, 8 RBIs, and 3 doubles. Somewhat concerning were his 20 strikeouts in 57 plate appearances.
  • Garrett Stubbs, the Phillies’ beloved back-up catcher, hit .320 with a double, 3 RBIs, and .798 OPS.
  • 1B Matt Mervis (Cubs/AAA) hit .286 with a .405 OBP. But he managed only one extra-base hit in 32 plate appearances before being sent back to Triple-A.
  • LF RJ Schreck (Mariners/A), a second-year player called up to MLB camp on March 14, made the most of a surprising opportunity. In 7 games, he hit .429 (3-for-7) with a HR and 3 RBIs.
  • P Richard Bleier (Nationals) couldn’t have done much better this Spring. In 10 appearances totaling 10.2 innings, the veteran went 1-1 with 2 holds, a 1.69 ERA, top-notch 0.75 WHIP, 9 strikeouts, and zero walks. The Nats send him to Triple-A anyway.
  • P Evan Kravetz (Reds/AAA) acquitted himself well after a February 24 call-up from the minors, his first time at an MLB Spring Training camp. In five appearances covering a combined 3.2 innings, he went 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 0.60 WHIP, struck out 6 batters while walking none, and held opposing batters to a .167 batting average.
  • P Dean Kremer (Orioles) went 2-1 in 5 starts, earning a 3.94 ERA and 1.29 WHIP on 14 strikeouts and 5 walks over a combined 14 innings.
  • P Jake Bird (Rockies) finished the Spring with a 1-1 record, a save and a hold, 3.38 ERA, and 1.00 WHIP.
  • Max Lazar (Phillies/AA), who was called up to MLB Spring Training camp on March 3, maintained a 0.00 ERA over a combined 5.2 innings across 7 appearances, earning 2 saves in 2 chances and striking out 7 batters. 

Four players who made it to MLB camp didn’t get playing time. They are non-roster invitees P Zack Weiss (Twins) and P Colton Gordon (Astros), and mid-Spring call-ups 2B Shawn Goosenberg (White Sox/AA) and OF Zach Levenson (Cardinals/A).

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