When spring stats matter
These five players' March numbers could tell us all we need to know for 2012
When it comes to spring training statistics, there are so many problems with the data -- small samples, inferior competition, hilariously small ballparks -- that the numbers generally are just not worth even looking at. In most cases, March numbers can simply be thrown away without a second thought.
However, there are a few instances where spring training performances might actually tell us something. Most famously, Jose Bautista finished the 2009 season with a surprising burst of power, and he carried over that surge into spring training in 2010. The continuation of his revamped approach and swing in spring training could have helped clue us in to the fact that Bautista had undergone a dramatic transformation.
That doesn't mean you should start reading too much into every player's results over the next few weeks, but there are a few players worth keeping an eye on as the spring training games get under way.
It's a little weird to say that the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year had a performance that raised a lot of red flags, but after he carved up minor league hitters left and right on his way to the big leagues, Hellickson's strikeout rate took a nosedive in the majors. It wasn't even just a struggle adjusting to MLB hitters -- his strikeout rate actually got worse as the season went along, ending the year at just 2.94 K's per 9 in September.
To read about which players' spring stats might be significant, become an Insider today.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Mets rookie P Wheeler wins 1st career start
- Red Sox put P Buchholz (neck strain) on DL
- Yanks' Tex goes on DL; surgery for Youkilis
- O's homer twice off Verlander to top Tigers
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Future Power Rankings
Keith Law's top prospects
FeaturesMarch 30: Szymborski: AL standings | NL
March 29: BP: Four fading Phillies
March 27: Szymborski: Five non-flukes
March 26: Cameron: Top 500's underachievers
March 23: Cameron: Will Strasburg be the same?
March 22: BP: Smoak underrated by Safeco
March 21: Szymborski: The next Bautista
March 19: Cameron: Controlling Bryce's price
March 15: Goldstein: Prospects making waves
March 15: BP: Who's starting the wrong guy?
March 12: Cameron: Tribe's nasty rotation
March 10: Lindbergh: Sale a good bet to succeed