Spring stats. 50 comments


We are now in the dog days of spring training. The newness of baseball’s arrival at our front porch has worn off. Now it’s time for it to get its lazy butt off the couch and get a job.

So, while we wait for opening day to arrive, it might be fun to see how accurate of a barometer spring stats really are. How does a player’s performance in spring relate to how he will do in the season?

Looking at the eleven Rangers who got significant playing time on offense in 2018, let’s compare their final spring training stats to their final season stats. Numbers in bold indicate an improvement over spring stats.

It’s split pretty evenly. Six hitters weren’t able to live up to their spring stats. And five exceeded them.

Now, look let’s do the same with the seven pitchers who got the bulk of the starts, comparing their spring stats to their regular season stats. When it came to ERA, five of the seven pitchers were better in spring than they ended up being during the season. Much better in spring. And toss in Matt Moore, who was a garbage in spring and during the regular season, only slightly less hideous when it counted.

So, what does this tell us in the small sample size of one year? Pitchers are ahead of hitters in spring. Once batters get into a rhythm, they catch up. For hitters, spring stats are a crap shoot. For a pitcher, this might be the best they are going to be.

Not scientific, to be sure. But it is interesting. And it is the middle of spring training. So it’s something more than nothing.

 

  • dearmidol

    Here is some clarification to the rule changes MLB is experimenting with in the Atlantic League:

    Computers will call balls and strikes, but the home plate umpire will have the ability to over-ride it. Obviously a concession to umpires who felt their jobs were being threatened. The reason it’s happening in the first place is because they were getting calls wrong.

    The mound will be moved back two feet, to 62-feet, six-inches, starting with the second half of the season.

    Bases will become 18-inch squares instead of the 15-inch squares they are now. Which means the distance from home to first and third to home will be reduced by three inches. The distance from first to second and second to third will be reduced six inches.

    Each pitcher must face a minimum of three batters, or complete the half inning they were brought into.

    No mound visits except for pitching changes or injury.

    Infield shifts will be banned. Two infielders must be to the right of second and two must be to the left. And no infielder can set up in the outfield grass.

    • CrazyEd

      I get what they are trying to accomplish, but I think they are over reacting. Given time things will take care of themselves. Teams and batters will adjust, and physical limits of the human body will take care of the rest without all the rules tinkering.
      https://www.wired.com/story/why-its-almost-impossible-for-fastballs-to-get-any-faster/

    • grumpyderfsmagic8ball

      🤢 YUCK. They just can’t resist ruining a great game. Electronic Ump is OK.

      • dearmidol

        I was surprised by the bigger bases. That makes me laugh it’s so preposterous.

    • Rowdy Yates

      I predict lottsa pitcher ‘injuries’ during innings the reliever can’t get anyone out to complete the half inning.

  • CrazyEd

    Kevin, that’s a lot of work/time spent. Thanks for the interesting info. Good job on digging up those ST numbers.
    Some predictions on this years ST.

    Calhoun is going to start hitting better. How much better? I have no idea. Right now he’s out of synch.

    Tocci is going to come somewhat back to earth. As with Calhoun only time will tell how much.

    Whatever happened to Chris Martin yesterday will turn out to be a fluke. The typhoon conditions may have had something to do with it. Maybe/maybe not.

    Odor will exhibit more of the plate discipline we saw yesterday, while continuing to use the opposite field when appropriate.
    Mazara is going through swing changes and the results won’t become apparent for quite some time. His ground ball rate will decrease and that’s a good thing.

    Gallo is working hard on an opposite field swing. If/when it will start to show I have no idea. All I know is that if time spent means anything, results will follow.

  • CrazyEd
  • Mr.C

    Kevin,
    Love when you put numbers in front of me! THANKS !!!

    When I read your article today, I inmediately thought about the impact of the “winning” mentality in those numbers. So I decided to run the same non-scientific analysis with 2011 figures.

    ((( REFRESH FOR SPREADSHEET TABLES)))
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4989f1630ce7fe0b1b753d2a94ea56887e97d6afc8bf99fbf26b99dbae51e780.png

    Amazing what a winning culture makes in the performance of a team !!!!!

    • dearmidol

      Awesome job, Mr C.

      • Mr.C

        Thanks

        The question is how to insert a winning mentality in the minds of these young core of players ?

        • CrazyEd

          A good start would be to have Hunter Pence on the roster. He is Mr. Motivator.

          • JacobMcCandles

            I believe Pence makes the squad because of that…he is hitting ok but a great clubhouse presence.

          • Mr.C

            I will be sooooo disappointed if Pence doesn’t make roster in favor of Michael Choice……

            …. I mean Calhoun!

          • GoRangers23

            Me too!

      • JacobMcCandles

        Look at the talent on that roster though,,,whoowee

        • Mr.C

          Good old days !!!

          • JacobMcCandles

            It was a nice ride that I will never forget

  • Rowdy Yates

    Moore’s WHIP was 1.12 in the regular season???? Wow, hard to believe given his results.

    • dearmidol

      Hmmm, that’s a mistake. It was 1.65.

  • CrazyEd
    • JacobMcCandles

      Pretty close to a actual lineup. Like to see Tocci over DD and Forsythe will be fighting for a bench spot.

  • Rowdy Yates

    8 hours and off to AZ on a Southwest bird. Only 5 days this yr but still looking forward to it. And tt’s gotta be better than the ski fiasco last week. Too much snow (over 50″ between Sun – Weds) and tons of powder are not copacetic with old legs + a bug that kept kicking my butt. Doc pretty sure it’s a left over from last yrs Cambodia trip so she put me on an antibiotic yesterday but unfortunately it won’t arrive until after we’ve left. So, at least another week dealing with it. Will check in while out there though we’re only getting in one Rangers game. Next yr I have to be more ‘involved’ with my brother in doing the schedule!

    • CrazyEd

      Have a good trip. Hope the bug isn’t too bad. Some of those SE Asian bugs have a nasty bite.

    • GoRangers23

      Rowdy, is there anyone who could get the meds from your house and send them to the front desk of your hotel? I’m not sure how much it would be to overnight it, but if you are feeling really bad, it may be worth it. There is two day delivery too, of course, that wouldn’t be quite as much.

      I hope you have a really great time! Don’t get too hot out there! 😄

  • possumrld

    Nice job, Kev! As you indicated, it is probably not an exactly an exact science. But I would be willing to bet that these are fairly standard results across baseball, of course varying percentage wise between individual players and other teams.
    And it would be interesting to see these numbers league wise, between rookies verses veterans. I am thinking this could be a very extensive and interesting study, should anyone want to peruse it that far.

  • CrazyEd

    What’s in Hunter Pence’s locker?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOuVOe_aFp4

  • Mr.C

    Hmmmmm

    When was the last time we saw Davidson in the lineup?

    There is an article today about Rangers thinking in carrying 8 relievers.
    If Davidson makes the team, he will be the 8th reliever.

    Wondering why we have not seen him pitching during ST yet.

    • CrazyEd

      Don’t know why he hasn’t been in the line up.
      There was a video today on Twitter of him throwing batting practice to Pence.

      • Mr.C

        I hope they give him a chance to pitch. We know he has power; but will be awesome to see him pitching, especially if the team is considering an 8th reliever in the lineup.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Sandler says it’s a pretty done deal, that DD starts in CF this yr

    Ex Ranger Esteban Loaiza to Fed pen for drug distribution

    • Mr.C

      How many years?

      • JacobMcCandles

        3 I believe….think he won a playoff game for us…IDK

  • CrazyEd

    I love Gallo going oppo. Even if it would have been an out it would have been good.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Him and Maz still don’t have a ST HR

      • CrazyEd

        I don’t think, at this point, they care. They’ve been working hard on going the other way, so that’s their focus.

        • Mr.C

          Agree

        • JacobMcCandles

          Yep for the most part….still think they would’ve hit 1

  • JacobMcCandles

    Wish this was reg season Umpire giving us some really good calls

  • Mr.C

    What the hell happened today?
    6-1 WhiteSox?

    • Mr.C

      3 hits ?

      • Mr.C

        We need Elvis Andrus in the lineup!!!

        • dearmidol

          Yes, he is good for seven runs a game.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Lol

    • dearmidol

      The joys of spring baseball.

      • CrazyEd

        Frustrating if you let it

        • dearmidol

          Nah, I have resigned myself to this being a monumentally bad team this year and not worry about it.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Too early to pat myself on the back…could explode…lo….bUT I thought this SP Rotation was better than most thought….we will see

  • elkaba

    I actually like the bigger bases. Means fewer guys slipping off the bags by a millimeter and getting called out.