What Can We Tell From The Spring?

Congrats again to my friend over at Short Porch in Right Field for knowing that Babe Dahlgren replaced Lou Gehrig in the Yankees line up the day his consecutive games streak ended.
Well for some teams today was their last day in Spring Training. Most teams though have one more day. So now that Spring Training is over for the most part what can we expect from the teams and players?
Well the Yankees finished with the best record in the Grapefruit league going 22-10-1. The Red Sox went 19-12-0. The Rays went 14-15-1. So if this was the real season the Yankees would win the A.L. East, the Red Sox would win the wild card, and the Rays would not get a playoff spot.
Obviously you can not reflect a teams Spring Training record to how well a team does for two big reasons. First must of the time you have minor leaguers and prospects playing. I mean for the Red Sox Chris Carter had the most at bats with 69 while David Ortiz had only 34. The second big reason is that the Grapefruit and the Cactus leagues are not the American League and the Nation League. The Grapefruit league has seven A.L. teams and nine N.L. teams.
However you can see how good a team might be in a few years. The Pirates went 16-14-2. Not the best record but hey Pittsburgh finishing above .500 is a miracle! The Royals also had a good spring. They went 17-12-4. I believe thought the Royals are for real this year.
I see the Royals actually winning the American League central. The main reason for the Royals predicted success I believe lies on the shoulders of one person, Coco Crisp.
In Boston Coco Crisp was just a regular player. In Kansas City he is a big shot. Coco will thrive in Kansas City stealing 40+ bases which will be right behind former teammate Jacoby Ellsbury’s 55. Coco also has the chance to win a Golden Glove. Coco will be playing centerfield this year. In right field is Jose Guillen. Guillen is an okay fielder at his best (and by his best I mean his best ever) which means Coco will have to take more leadership and get the balls that go between them.
Now if you do not believe me when I said that Spring Training is a reflection of how good you will be in the next few years look at the Houston Astros.
The Astros have the worst farm system in baseball. They have NO talent down there. In the majors they are only about a .500 team because of the lack of pitching. I mean behind Roy Oswalt they have nothing. Proof that the Astros have no prospects is the fact that they went 11-18-3. To make maters worse about Houston’s poor minor league is that Houston is the oldest team in baseball with an average age of I think 36.
Now on the stats. For home runs Ryan Howard led the majors with nine. No mess up or problem with that. But in second was Mike Wilson of the Seattle Mariners. Wilson was a non roster invite! I mean wow seriously! How does some guy that I have never heard of hit nine home runs in 62 at bats! It does not even stop there. Wilson hit nineteen RBI’s this spring good enough to tie for fifth!
In pitching some guy named Nick Adenhart went 3-0 for the Angels this spring. He also struck out eighteen and had a 3.12 ERA in 26 innings pitched. Adenhart tied for tenth on the strikeout list and tenth on the innings pitched list.
One list that you do not want to be on is on the most errors list. In the top twenty there are five all-stars from the 2007 and 2008 all-star teams. Christen Guzman, Dan Uggla, J.J. Hardy, Hanley Ramirez, and Miguel Tejada are all on the list. The biggest shocker is that Hanley Ramirez tied for fourth on the list for making five errors in thirteen games. Hanley only played thirteen game due to the fact that he played for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Ramirez is most of the time a fantastic fielder. In fact Ramirez has made only 72 errors in his carer.
Now on to the base paths. For the most part the stolen base stats look like they would in the majors. I mean stealing a base is easier then hitting a home run. Yet only so many can do it. So for the most part you will never see flukes on the bases. Michael Born is at the top of the list with eleven stolen bases in 29 games followed by Juan Pierre (10) and Chone Figgins (9). One thing that I did notice was that the top three stolen base leaders, Willy Taveras, Jose Reyes, and Jacoby Ellsbury, from 2008 did not finish in the top fifty.
So there you have it. The Royals are for real and this season could have some surprising rookie of the year choices along with just another season of baseball. So now I can not wait for Opening Day!
Also please help spread the word about my letter to Bud Selig in anyway possible. Wether it is telling people about it in your blogs are just telling friends. Just please help and spread the word.
Also I must give credit to Melissa for think up the idea of my April Fools’ prank.
Here is today’s question, “Who is the only pitcher to commit balks in two All-Star games?” Good luck!
Hint- Call the Doctor



  1. shortporch

    you had a lot of good info in that post. youre right, you can’t judge a team by spring training. KC does pretty good in training each year, and then do horrible overall. But they willbe OK thisyear. Don’t you think it would be funny if the Sox signed Sheffield? That would be hilarious!
    shortporch http://shortporch.mlblogs.com/

  2. Elizabeth D

    While the winner of the AL Central is uncertain, I don’t think that the Royals will win it. With a few highlights in pitching, it doesn’t go much further beyond there. But like you were talking about in your post, the future will be brighter. Same goes for the Reds as Mark said months ago– he was right.

    Another great pitcher this spring was Daniel Bard, you know in our farm system :). 0.00 ERA!

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