How Much Emphasis To Give To A Spring Training Performance
I place almost no value on spring training performances. The ball doesn’t break in the dry Arizona climate and most of the vet pitchers are just trying to find a routine, build a little arm strength, bang a few broads, belt a few beers and try not get injured. If they don’t care about the results on the field, how valuable are the stats accumulated in the Spring?
Brandon Belt’s hitting .500 this spring. I bet he hit .500 at some point last season over the course of 22 at bats,too. I’m not suggesting it’s a bad thing to be hitting .500, just that the sample size is so small it’s tough to get too jazzed up about it. Was it a bad thing when he hit .378 last Spring? Of course not. But he’s left his bat in Arizona two straight years when the team breaks for SF, I hope he doesn’t do it a third time……
The Giants had a 23-12 ST record in 2011 and missed the playoffs. KC went 20-10 but went on to go 71-91 in the regular season. Last year, Toronto went 24-7 in the Spring and then went 73-89 in the regular season.
Timmy’s LOWEST ERA in the spring has been 4.03 (back in 2009). Only last year was his crappy spring an indication that his regular season would be crap as well.
In 2012, the spring HR leaders were Freddie Freeman, Matt Hague, and Albert Pujols, who all had 7. Pujols then went the entire month of April without even hitting a single home run making 240 million look worth a lot less than it looked the year before. And I’m sorry, but who is “Matt Hague”?
In fact, because I don’t want it to color my view of the players when it comes time for fantasy drafts I now intentionally ignore spring training stats. I learned that lesson in 2010 after Carlos Gomez rocketed up my draft board by leading the Cactus League in stolen bases with 11. That pick did not turn out well for me. Gregor Blanco led the league last year with 13 steals.
The health of the team should always be celebrated louder than any stats the players accumulate……