Item Added to Cart
 
 
 

Archived Stat of the Week

 

Who are this year's possible breakout players based on spring training numbers?

March 26, 2008

Before I do my Stat of the Week™, let me suggest something. Watch 60 Minutes this Sunday night (March 30). Morley Safer and the 60 Minutes crew interviewed Bill James over the course of three days at spring training a couple of weeks ago, and the segment is airing this Sunday. I think it will be fascinating for those of us who are into sabermetrics.


A few years ago we discovered that there is a way to use spring training stats to predict future performance. We took all spring training hitters and found that, as expected, about half of them do better than their career norms in the upcoming season, and about half of them do worse than their career norms. However, when we chose only those players doing exceptionally well in spring training, we found that about three-fourths of them performed better than their career average during the upcoming season.

Our definition of "exceptionally well" was slugging 100 points higher in spring training than their previous career slugging percentage. Here's the list of players who are currently 200 points higher so far this spring training. These 24 players might be heading for above-average seasons.

Possible Breakout Players
(Slugging percentage 200+ points better in spring training)
Hitter Diff. Spring Career
Chris Snyder, Diamondbacks .455 .842 .387
Mike Morse, Mariners .389 .788 .399
Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers .370 .849 .479
Melvin Mora, Orioles .345 .783 .438
Grady Sizemore, Indians .333 .821 .488
Brian Anderson, White Sox .308 .661 .377
Chris Burke, Diamondbacks .308 .685 .353
Rafael Furcal, Dodgers .283 .690 .407
B.J. Upton, Rays .269 .711 .442
Mike Cameron, Brewers .269 .714 .445
Yorvit Torrealba, Rockies .266 .657 .391
Erick Aybar, Angels .254 .549 .295
Torii Hunter, Angels .251 .720 .469
Curtis Granderson, Tigers .242 .735 .493
Placido Polanco, Tigers .240 .656 .416
Billy Butler, Royals .231 .678 .447
Gerald Laird, Rangers .228 .605 .377
Tony Gwynn, Jr., Brewers .228 .543 .315
Craig Counsell, Brewers .227 .574 .347
Josh Hamilton, Rangers .226 .780 .554
Ryan Shealy, Royals .217 .619 .402
Andre Ethier, Dodgers .213 .677 .464
Robinson Cano, Yankees .207 .696 .489
Ray Durham, Giants .205 .641 .436

(minimum 200 career AB and 35 spring AB thru March 25, 2008)


Copyright © 2008 by John Dewan.
Permission to reprint or broadcast this information is granted only if used in conjunction with the following citation: "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week™, www.statoftheweek.com."

Back