News: Diamondbacks OF Eric Byrnes, coming back from hamstring injuries that sidelined him nearly all of last season, saw his first game action of the spring in a minor-league contest Sunday, going 3-for-5 with a walk and a stolen base. He said he felt great and hopes to play for the Diamondbacks against Oakland in Phoenix on Tuesday. Analysis: Byrnes had consecutive 20-20 seasons, even stealing 50 bases in 2007, before his hamstrings betrayed him last year. Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks have five players competing for four spots between the outfield and first base. Byrnes' late start might make him the odd man out. He still has obvious sleeper potential, but consider him more of a late-rounder than a middle-round because of the uncertainty.
In spring training, Span lost the battle for the Twins' opening in center field to fellow rookie Carlos Gomez. But the Twins didn't forget about their former first-round pick, and when a Michael Cuddyer injury created an opening in their outfield late in June, they gave him a call. In doing so, they might have started something special. Span probably won't ever hit 20 home runs or steal 50 bases, but he has enough gap power and raw foot speed to become a 12-30 or maybe even 15-30 guy. He also knows how to draw a walk and avoid a strikeout, making him a perfect fit as the Twins' leadoff man. Think of him as a Brian Roberts of the outfield or maybe the second coming of Shane Victorino. Of course, all that's a best-case scenario at this point, so don't draft Span as more than fifth outfielder in mixed leagues. He certainly looks like a sleeper, though. (Updated 12/12/08) - he is having a terrible spring!
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