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Archived Stat of the Week

 

Do spring training numbers matter?

March 27, 2007

Time for one of our annual favorites.

We all hear “spring training means nothing,” and yet teams make huge decisions based on spring training. Which is it?

Research shows we can learn something from spring training. A hitter that has a great spring training often goes on to have 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 points or more alerts us to a step forward in the coming season.

We analyzed hitters with both a minimum of 200 career regular season at-bats and with a minimum of 35 spring training at-bats (through spring training games of Monday, March 26, 2007) and found 36 players who might be heading for above-average seasons.

Possible Breakout Players
(Slugging percentage 200+ points better in spring training)
Hitter Team Diff. Spring Career
Raul Ibanez Sea .436 .905 .469
Ronny Paulino Pit .419 .814 .395
Khalil Greene SD .386 .820 .434
Scott Hairston Ari .370 .800 .430
Jose Guillen Sea .335 .780 .445
Greg Dobbs Phi .329 .680 .351
Brandon Phillips Cin .327 .702 .375
Derrek Lee ChC .304 .804 .500
Johnny Estrada Mil .295 .702 .407
Chase Utley Phi .280 .789 .509
Reed Johnson Tor .280 .703 .423
Jason Smith Tor .266 .651 .385
Lance Niekro SF .263 .692 .429
Jerry Hairston Tex .260 .622 .362
Michael Cuddyer Min .259 .714 .455
Brad Hawpe Col .258 .722 .464
Milton Bradley Oak .255 .684 .429
Mike Rivera Mil .250 .625 .375
Aramis Ramirez ChC .243 .736 .493
Ramon Vazquez Tex .240 .575 .335
Cristian Guzman Was .237 .611 .374
Placido Polanco Det .237 .646 .409
Timo Perez Det .237 .610 .373
Sammy Sosa Tex .236 .773 .537
Ian Kinsler Tex .231 .685 .454
Garret Anderson LAA .224 .694 .470
Jose Cruz SD .223 .676 .453
Vernon Wells Tor .222 .714 .492
Adrian Gonzalez SD .219 .694 .475
Orlando Hudson Ari .216 .644 .428
Ryan Zimmerman Was .216 .695 .479
Willie Bloomquist Sea .215 .544 .329
Howie Kendrick LAA .211 .627 .416
Nick Swisher Oak .211 .679 .468
Jose Valentin NYM .209 .659 .450
Yuniesky Betancourt Sea .202 .596 .394

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