The 2013 Major League Baseball season opens Sunday evening with an all-Texas matchup between the Rangers and hometown Houston Astros, the American League’s newcomers, followed by action on 12 fronts on "Opening Day" April 1.
It’s a time when optimism will reign in several cities across the major leagues as many believe it could be one of the more wide-open seasons in recent memory.
But make no mistake. There will be questions to go with the optimism.
Will Baltimore Orioles closer Jim Johnson repeat his 51-save season of a year ago? Can R.A. Dickey duplicate his National League Cy Young numbers pitching for the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto? And will Canadian outfielder Michael Saunders carry his MVP performance in Round 1 of the World Baseball Classic into the season with Seattle?
All three men are featured in the gallery above as players to watch in the AL this season. In some cases, these aren’t the best players on each team but those that bear watching, whether it be from a health or performance perspective.