Jason examines a group of players whose spring-training performances have carried over into April and another group whose haven't.
Earlier this month, Ben Lindbergh and Jon Shepard wrote an article reviewing the John Dewan rule about how spring training slugging can predict breakouts. Needless to say, the rule did not hold up well to scrutiny—and this should not come as a surprise to most people. Hot and cold performances in spring training are as predictive as Punxsutawney Phil. He did not see a shadow this February, which meant we would have an early spring. Yet, just last night, two more baseball games were snowed out, and many Midwesterners want to turn that groundhog into roadkill.
It has been just under a month since teams left Arizona and Florida to return to their respective home cities. Some players have picked up right where they left off in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, for better or for worse, while others have seen their game take a complete 180. Here are some players that fall into each one of those groups (all stats as of the completion of Sunday’s games).
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Jedd Gyorko earned an everyday job in the Padres' infield with a strong spring.
Prospect of the Day for March 29: Jedd Gyorko, 2B, Padres (will start at second base for the Padres on Opening Day): 1-2, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB. Gyorko has made the move from third to second, and has won the starting job for the Padres, putting himself on track to shift full time once Chase Headley is healthy; .257/.286/.486 with four home runs and five doubles in 74 spring at-bats.
A look at five erstwhile top 100 prospects that could have surprising fantasy value in 2013.
While it’s true that spring training statistics are barely worth the internet parchment on which they are printed, spring training performances are another story. Racking up impressive statistics has little to no value to you, the fantasy player, but overall performances beget changes in player roles and confidence (or lack thereof) in player health. And it’s the contextual nature of the performance that is a net positive or negative for a player’s fantasy value in the upcoming season. To paraphrase a modern-day proverb, Rick Porcello doesn’t have to be faster than the bear—he just has to be faster than Drew Smyly to get a fantasy bump for the 2013 season.
This mini-series will focus on players who have a chance to increase or decrease their fantasy values based on their performances during spring training. And we’ll continue today by looking at five more players who have been impact prospects at some point in their careers. Each of these five players, now fighting for fantasy relevance, was once considered one of the top 50 prospects in baseball (some more recently than others), as ranked here at Baseball Prospectus or by Baseball America.