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Archived Stat of the Week

 

Is Spring Training performance a good predictor for the regular season?

March 30, 2005

Based on past research, Spring Training doesn’t tell us much about the regular season. It doesn’t really relate to the regular season if players or teams have poor or average Spring Training camps. In fact, earlier this month two former GMs made virtually the same comment. In separate interviews, Dallas Green and Steve Phillips said the worst time to make player judgments are Spring Training and September call-ups.

Nevertheless, that past research did find one exception. A hitter that has a tremendous Spring Training does correlate to a better than normal season. In precise statistical terms, a hitter with a positive difference between their Spring Training slugging percentage and their lifetime slugging percentage of .200 or more alerts us to a step forward in the coming season.

We looked at hitters with 100 or more career regular season AB and with 36 or more 2005 Spring Training AB through the Spring Training games of Monday, March 28, 2005.

Here are the top 30 hitters who meet our criteria that predict a better season. Note four Chicago White Sox hitters in the top 13, though they have their Spring Training home in Tucson, the highest altitude of all the Spring Training cities.

Name Team Diff Spring Career
Jones, Andruw Atl 0.682 1.175 0.493
Gross, Gabe Tor 0.639 0.949 0.310
Lee, Carlos Mil 0.487 0.975 0.488
White, Rondell Det 0.407 0.878 0.471
Monroe, Craig Det 0.384 0.841 0.457
Garcia, Jesse SD 0.374 0.674 0.300
Borchard, Joe CWS 0.357 0.689 0.332
Gotay, Ruben KC 0.344 0.719 0.375
Rowand, Aaron CWS 0.334 0.809 0.475
Garciaparra, Nomar ChC 0.331 0.880 0.549
Everett, Carl CWS 0.327 0.800 0.473
Burrell, Pat Phi 0.322 0.792 0.470
Ozuna, Pablo CWS 0.313 0.646 0.333
Peralta, Johnny Cle 0.308 0.630 0.322
Terrero, Luis Ari 0.303 0.659 0.356
Branyan, Russell Mil 0.301 0.780 0.479
Glaus, Troy Ari 0.286 0.783 0.497
Young, Michael Tex 0.273 0.706 0.433
Ortiz, David Bos 0.269 0.786 0.517
Bocachica, Hiram Oak 0.263 0.639 0.376
Suzuki, Ichiro Sea 0.261 0.704 0.443
Blake, Casey Cle 0.250 0.689 0.439
Piazza, Mike NYM 0.249 0.811 0.562
Polanco, Placido Phi 0.246 0.656 0.410
Cuddyer, Mike Min 0.242 0.675 0.433
Matthews Jr., Gary Tex 0.241 0.627 0.386
Pujols, Albert StL 0.236 0.860 0.624
Thome, Jim Phi 0.226 0.795 0.569
Wigginton, Ty Pit 0.221 0.645 0.424
Wilson, Craig Pit 0.210 0.707 0.497

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