Friday, March 1, 2013

Believe in Spring Training

Spring training brings with it the optimism of a new year. Memories of summer come with the crack of the bat. Prospects get a chance at the big leagues while veterans warm up after a restful off-season. Hope is in the air, but beware, spring training is a test of small sample sizes. Here, stats will fool you. Expectations will rise only to be crushed by a gruelingly, long season.

Consider these 3 hitters' slash lines:

.295/.356/.603
.286/.267/.696
.328/.323/.707

I'll take those average and power combinations in the first round! To give you a comparison, Miguel Cabrera (you might remember him as last year's Triple Crown winner) had a slash line of .330/.393/.606. These spring training numbers leave you feeling good about a player.


Now consider these 3 slash lines:

.259/.340/.456
.262/.322/.499
.268/.317/.491

What you are looking at are the stats of Freddie Freeman, Alfonso Soriano, and Mark Trumbo from spring training 2012 and the 2012 regular season. Their hot starts in the spring were not followed by overpowering performances in the regular season.

Take spring training with a grain of salt. Hitters are facing minor league pitchers looking for a spot on the roster and veteran pitchers who are trying out new pitches. This isn't the regular season.

In the same way, don't be overly concerned about pitchers who get destroyed in 2 innings of work. They are just warming up. Use spring training to check on the health of a player and to see if they land a new position, but don't use it as a guide to see who might break out during the regular season.

*spring training stats from mlb.com
*other stats from baseball-reference.com


Be sure to check out our new friend Jimmy's blog http://sportsareagame.blogspot.com
The goal of this blog is to provide information and analysis regarding fantasy basketball, baseball and football. I enjoy fantasy sports because it focuses on the numbers behind the game. I want to use those numbers to give you an edge in your leagues.

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