Spring stats in early March aren't things anyone on the inside gets worked up about--why should you?
When Wayne Krivsky took over as the Cincinnati Reds' general manager just a week before spring training started last year, he had plenty of things to do. "It was crazy," he recalled. It certainly was, as Krivsky had to evaluate the Reds' talent throughout the organization on short notice, along with trying to make as many moves as possible to bolster the roster while also tweaking his scouting and player development departments.
One thing Krivsky didn't have time for, beside sleep, was to look at the statistics from exhibition play. "I don't think spring training statistics tell you much about anything," Krivsky said.
Kevin moves over to the senior circuit, highlighting NL players who have seen their stock rise or fall in spring training.
With spring training close to wrapping up and most prospects without big league jobs already reassigned to minor league camp, it's not too early to take a look at the spring statistics to see which player's stocks are rising and falling. Spring stats should always be taken with a grain of salt, so here's some additional background of some of the National League's best and worst performances by prospects. Statistics are through games of March 27.
Notebook is optimistic about at least one player in Colorado, and has lineup breakdowns of both New York teams.
All is not lost, though, as here at Prospectus Notebook we unofficially begin the "Reasons to Be Optimistic in Sub-.500 Cities" series. We begin our Denver optimism, oddly enough, with a young Rockie who probably has no future with the Rockies organization.
Though they've started 2005 in the minors, look for these ten players to all get promoted in time to affect a pennant race.
Not every player that was tossed back into the vast waters of minor league baseball is incapable of having an impact on the 2005 season, however. If there is a constant in baseball, it's that the season is brutally long, and good depth-as the PECOTA forecasting system attests-is perhaps the most crucial aspect in maintaining a winning ball club through the sultry months of August and beyond. Having top shelf talent readily available on the farm is critical to overcoming the injuries and lack of production that inevitably plague the major league roster of every team.
The big names moved every year at the trade deadline get most of the attention, but often the most effective mid-season acquisitions are the less flashy moves made by teams that dip into their young talent pool in the high minors. Every year, several acclaimed (or overlooked) young players come up from the bush leagues to make a sizeable impact with the parent club. In 2003, the Marlins' Miguel Cabrera was called up on June 20th and hit 12 homers down the stretch to help the Fish earn a surprise playoff berth, then hit four more to help them capture their second World Series. The year before that, it was the Angels' Francisco Rodriguez who got a late cup of coffee before throwing 23.3 electric innings in the Halos' improbable title run. Last season, Kansas City pitcher Zack Greinke debuted on May 22, and although he didn't help the woeful Royals advance to the playoffs, he did contribute 6.2 wins above replacement (WARP 3), more than any other player on the club.
Divining signal from noise can be an arduous task, but it's worth it to find the good information being generated in exhibition games.
Well, to some extent, you can't. Spring training stats aren't so much signal mixed with noise as noise masquerading as signal. Just about every caveat you can think of--small sample size, variable talent level from game to game and inning to inning, extreme park factors, very small sample size--gets applied to spring-training results. If the BP Not-Quite-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players were staging a dinner theater version of Se7en, the killer would probably force Clay Davenport to try and produce accurate Cactus League translations until his head exploded.
Chris Kahrl reflects on the careers of Rico Brogna and Robin Ventura, examines the hires of Omar Minaya and Mike Hargrove, and stumps for an improved system of professional development in Major League Baseball. These and other musings in today's Transaction Analysis.
The Angels spent lots of money on their rotation this offseason, but was it worth it? Kerry Wood is having a fantastic spring, with improved control. The Tigers have spent the past few weeks upgrading their bullpen in a search for 65 wins. A number of Expos are taking trips to ''club med.'' The Giants have failed to upgrade their offense, while the Dodgers have made small strides. And the Blue Jays traded Jayson Werth, but perhaps for good reason.
But they spent so much money (Part II)... Last time, we looked how Arte Moreno's money isn't going to buy a whole lot of runs. Apparently, Moreno's money won't save a lot of runs either. The Angels spent $66.75 millio to sign Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar, who are projected to post EQERAs in the 4.00s and be worth just a few wins above replacement, apiece. The Halos' starting staff needs to beat PECOTA's projection if the club is to be playoff bound.
The Braves may have Hung Jaret Wright out to dry. The Twins need to find room for their 7,529 outfielders. The Devil Rays have pitching issues. These and other news and notes in this Wednesday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
He's Back... Pop quiz: which one of these players is not like the others?
The Yankees' minor-league cupboard is nearly bare, but Drew Henson isn't part of the solution. The Marlins play rotation Yahtzee after Burnett and Redman go down. Plus the Pirates' offense continues to struggle sans Giles et avec Lofton.