Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 6, 2005
BASEBALL: Omens of Spring

With real games being played, we're just a day or two from completely forgetting spring performances. And mostly just as well, despite the fact that some managers still determine jobs based on spring stats.

But there could, nonetheless, be good news there for some sluggers:

Could David Ortiz be in for even a bigger year than the monster season he had in 2004? It wouldn't come as a shock to number-cruncher John Dewan. The Stats Inc. researcher says you normally can't put any stock in spring training numbers, but there is a possible exception.

"A hitter that has a tremendous spring training does correlate to a better-than-normal season," Dewan writes. "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.

Dewan looked at hitters with 100 or more career regular-season at-bats and 36 or more 2005 spring training at-bats through last Monday. The top 30 hitters who met his criteria included Ortiz, who ranked 19th on his list with a 269-point difference.

Fantasy leaguers take note: Andruw Jones of the Braves ranked first, with a .682 difference between spring slugging percentage (1.175) and career (.493). Former Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra ranked 10th, with a 331-point spread.

I didn't see the original Dewan article - was it on ESPN? Personally, I expect a step back for Ortiz, but I am very bullish on Andruw Jones this year, just as many people are despairing that he will ever have the year.

Erik Siegrist over at Baseball Prospectus (subscription-only) has a more detailed list of spring's winners and losers.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:40 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

You're right about Jones. Atlanta played Cleveland in one of the S/T games I attended and he hit a couple of laser shots over the center field fence. He seems poised to have a great year.

Posted by: LargeBill at April 6, 2005 8:02 AM

Everyone keeps saying this, he has no lineup protection. U watch, he will stiff it.

Posted by: That Dude from Philly at April 6, 2005 9:56 AM
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