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MLB Spring Training 2024
By Angel Rodriguez

On Saturday the 24th of February, Major League Baseball is returning to the sports world and, more specifically, to the state of Florida by initiating the Grapefruit League during a 1:05 PM stretch where 5 separate spring training games will take place. Then nine more MLB games will take place around Florida and in Arizona.

After Saturday, baseball will be played in Arizona and Florida until March the 26th, two days before Opening Day and the commencement of the 2024 Major League Baseball season. Spring Training is held until the league starts playing official games to get everyone warmed up and ready for the beginning of the year. During these games, major league pitchers won't go the full 9 innings of work or even the more common seven innings we usually see in the game today. Major league hitters will only take the field for about five innings, so while these games aren't as competitive, but they do have their purpose. During these games, players get readjusted to playing baseball and build up their stamina for an entire season's work. The fun part about players not being out there for the total amount that they're supposed to, or even playing every day like they do in the 162-game season is the opportunity that it creates for Minor League Baseball prospects to come and play for the big league clubs until the club decides to send them to minor league practice or the season starts and they have to head back to MiLB to play their Minor League games. 

This means that for the next month not only will Floridians can go watch some Major League play in their home state. They will be able to watch some of baseball's best prospects play ball before they take the big stage in their careers. Around the state, there are opportunities to go watch guys like Paul Skenes play for the Pirates in Bradenton, Florida. Skene is ranked the 3rd best overall prospect in baseball and the best-ranked pitching prospect in MiLB. If we head to Sarasota, we can go see baseball's #1 overall ranked prospect for the Baltimore Orioles, Shortstop Jackson Holliday, who was drafted in 2022 as the first overall pick in the draft and is the son of retired major leaguer and seven-time all-star Matt Holliday. These two guys and many other prospects in the league will be playing around Florida before the end of March and will be showing their talents before getting to the big stage and possibly becoming stars, this gives us fans the ability to go and watch them play and get up close to them in the next month before they become the big stars which they are proposed to become.

During Spring Training, fans can go to these smaller spring training parks and facilities to watch these guys play and practice and get up close with the ability to get to them and get pictures, autographs, and conversations with stars who, during the regular season, aren't as close to fans as they are right now. With this being said, fans should go to games all around the state to get to experience these games to watch such prospects and also major league talent, which will be in the spotlight just for the next month unless we wait for the regular season to go to Tampa or Miami for Rays and Marlins games. Also, the experience of spring training is a great time overall, with the springtime weather in Florida being great. It also gives us a small taste of the major league baseball experience.

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