March 18, 2013
Spring Stats You Can (or Can't) Believe In
Sometimes when it's your guy, it can be so hard not to believe.
You know spring training performance doesn’t matter, but just look at the guy—he’s killing everything. Never mind that he’s never faced major-league pitching when the stats counted, or that if he has, he’s been replacement level at best.
The best spring training hitters have included established All-Stars like Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Zimmerman, wait-a-while prospects like Christian Yelich and Jackie Bradley, and the occasional fun reclamation projects like Kyle Blanks, whom the Padres tendered a contract this year after three disappointing seasons and an ugly medical history.
The most interesting, though, are the ones in the middle—those whose careers could still go either way or who are trying to force their way onto rosters. You can’t assign too much significance to these numbers, but you can look at the players at the top of the Grapefruit and Cactus League leaderboards and see what other indicators there might be that their springs are for real (or not).
Whose springs look like flukes, and whose come with a real reason to believe?
Aaron Hicks, Twins CF