It’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season.  They’re facing the top pitchers who are all displaying their best stuff.  No one needs time to get warmed up.  No one’s trying new pitches or getting a feel for the ball.  They are at the height of their game in March.  In fact, I think someone should propose to Bud that the World Series could easily be played in March.  Yes, The March Classic.  I like how that sounds.  Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players in March:

Sean Rodriguez – Has 6 homers while batting .460.  Forget Sean-Rod, how about Wow-Rod?!  Am I right or am I right-right?!

Dana Eveland – Absolutely sparkling so far with a 1.23 ERA.  He’s barely beating hotshot, upstart… Really Madlibs in any enthusiastic adjective for Rodrigo Lopez with his 1.64 ERA.

Justin Masterson – 29 Ks to 6 BBs.  Thank you, Lord, the walks have finally found their way out of his dazzling repertoire.

Corey Hart – On the sad emoticon front, Hart is hitting .127 in the spring.

These stats are from 2010 Spring Training.  That’s right.  You fell for the oldest trick in the book, mon.  These are not from 2011.  A real beauty pageant of names, right?  Seriously, please stop looking at spring stats.  Dana Eveland went on to post a 6.79 ERA in only 54 and a 1/3 IP, Rodrigo Lopez had a 5.00 ERA in 200 IP and Justin Masterson had no luck with walks and threw a 4.70 ERA.  Corey Hart had his best season after an awful 2010 Spring Training while Sean Rodriguez had only 9 homers over the course of the whole season.  Spring stats mean nothing.  You should only be looking at who’s healthy, who’s winning position battles and who’s winning rotation spots.  The rest is meaningless.

  1. Wilsonian says:

    Just to continue on with the conversation from the last post:

    @Tony: I play in a variety of sized leagues: one is an 8 Team H2H, one is a 16 Team H2H, one is a 12 Team Roto (last year also had a 12 Team H2H, but I needed to cut back this season). I find they all have their own difficulties, and I actually think 12 team is the easiest.


    Yes, I think 8 Team actually has it’s difficulties. The biggest of which is that there is so much waiver wire talent that I find myself wanting to constantly pick people and am tempted to drop people even when I don’t really need to (or at least not yet). Another big issue stems from this: with all this talent out there, people with injuries or struggling guys have tons to choose from and can maintain a solid performing team. This is not always the case in larger leagues. Yes, my team is stacked (worst starter is E. Jackson), but I’m already wanting to drop and pickup guys on the wire, and the season hasn’t started yet. Granted, you don’t have to look too far to find a replacement, but I do find that the competition is so strong that it plays out well for the majority of the season. Anyone has a shot at winning simply because losing a bat or an arm to an early (or late injury) doesn’t always mean death to their season. It’s always possible to find someone who’s on fire and can shoulder the load.

    In 16 Team leagues, this isn’t the case. Due to the pool being so much shallower, many people can’t fight off the injury or suckitude bug, and a few teams fall off the face of the earth come June. I like the 16 Team league better, simply because I really enjoy looking for the diamond in the rough. It’s much more entertaining to try to find this season’s Mat Latos than it is to know that should one of my pitchers falter or get injured, I can snag Kennedy, Kuroda, Cueto, Danks, etc. out of the FA pool.

    I like to have a variety of leagues because they each pose their own distinct difficulties, and I find it keeps me on my toes. I know a lot of people scoff at the 8 Team league, but it really is fun, and provides it’s own level of entertainment.

  2. Dammit, I thought that’d clear the way to give Sean-Rod some regular ABs. Just like I thought it’d do last year. Bollocks.

    The rest I luckily ignored, based on their actual MLB histories. Yay me!

  3. Frank Rizzo says:

    Since you mention Sean Rod, I was hoping he was one that may come away from ST 2011 winning a position battle.

  4. mets fan says:

    grey im starting to really like wow-rod as a sneaky middle infielder you think hes worth the flier?

  5. Wake Up says:

    from SP to target:

    I’m a fan of almost all of these pitchers on the “to target” list, except Hanson. Oh, Hanson isn’t on this list, but he is being drafted too early. Also, I’m not a fan of Hanson, did I mention that I don’t like Hanson and….oh I just dropped my toothpicks….quick…….Grey……… many toothpicks?

  6. Wake Up says:

    If it is a player I’m targeting and their Spring Stats are good then that’s good but if it’s a player that I’m not looking at and their stats are not good than that’s good but if I’m targeting him and his stats are not good than that’s not good unless he’s working on something or playing with the b squad against the A squad SPer. However, if I’m not looking at him and his stats are good then I could start looking but probably not since I wasn’t targeting him in the first place before I started looking. Anyway, I think this is a good clear synopsis of Spring stats in a nutshell.

  7. SwaggerJackers says:

    People with ADD with be drafting Wow-Rod now because they only skimmed this post. 6 HR!

  8. I'm Keith Hernandez says:

    Should we be worries about Liriano, not the bad start, but the shoulder issue. Is he still a #1 in ur book?

  9. Exactly says:

    I heard Gio whiffed 12 guys in 3 innings last week…I’m high on him.

  10. charlie batch says:

    10-team. yahoo h2h 5×5. Eveland worth drafting?

    was waiting for the spring training post.

  11. Mr2Bits says:

    Grey : Would you lose Farnsworth for T. Wood? I’m banking on Farnsworth grabbing the Rays closer job but all I have read is it will be a save by committee every night and his saves won’t be steady. With 4 other closers on my team (Feliz,Marmol,Hanrahan,Thornton) I wanted a 5th in the event Thornton doesn;t close and Feliz moves to the rotation.

    Whats your thoughts? Hold Farns in case 1 of my four don;t pan out or grab Wood now?

  12. jongenes says:

    I like this post Grey. Hopefully everyone reads through the last paragraph :)

  13. Mr2Bits says:

    Funny you post this as I really love Spring Training guy who drafts his whole team based on how spring training is panning out.

  14. Steve says:

    Reckon Dice-K’s spring performances might hold good for the regular season…

  15. Mr2Bits says:

    On a spring training side note, Sizemore is running and doing drills at full speed. If he pans out to be a top 20 OF this year(slim chance), I will smile at picking him off my FA wire.

    Kind of like Bautista last year for me.

  16. Salty Balty says:

    What do you think of my team? 14 team keeper league. 9×9. Hits, HRs, R, RBI, K, AVG, OBP, SLG, SB / W, L, QS, K, H, S, WHIP, ERA, K/BB

    C – Soto
    1b – C. Pena
    2b – Cano
    SS – Tulo
    3b – Zimmerman
    CF – C. Granderson
    OF – Braun
    OF – Manny
    UTIL – A. Torres
    UTIL – A. Jones
    BN – M. Bourn, JD Drew, Wigginton (fingers crossed that I. Stewart gets traded for

    SP – Verlander, Scherzer, Chacin, I. Kennedy, G. Floyd, H. Bailey, J. Lackey
    BP – (I punt saves, closers are too expensive and saves are overated in a holds league anyway) R. Betancourt, R. Madson, J. Motte, D. O’Day, S. Downs.


  17. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @MKEeast: Peavy. Think I was going the other direction? :-)

  18. Chunk says:


    So in the only league I have ever been in, we simply accumulate points (RBI = 1 pt, HR = 4 pts, AB = -.5 pts, etc) and the winner is the team with the most points at the end of the year. I am beginning to understand that most leagues involve earning points based on how you finish in a category relative to other teams in the league.

    In a league like mine, should I be less worried about having a balanced team? A stolen base is worth 1 pt, whereas a HR gets you a point for the hit, a point for the RBI, a pt for the run scored, and 4 pts for the HR (minus the .5 for the AB). Can I just ignore SBs and go for the power hitters? Or is there some other hidden benefit for having balance across categories?

  19. Salty Balty says:

    Saw an article the other day, think on Fangraphs, how Lackey’s career path is mirroring . . . Kevin Millwood’s. I have a soft spot for Floyd and Bailey had a great second half last year. But on the whole, unfortunately, I have to agree with you . . . pretty bunk at the back end, though Floyd and Lackey do become a bit more valuable when you factor in QS and durability – not much floating around the waiver wire pitching wise in a 14 team league and moves in my league are capped at 50 for the season so streaming is not an option. Hoping I can end up in the middle of the pack in pitching.

  20. Salty Balty says:

    Verlander is having a great spring too, ha ha

  21. Chunk says:

    16 team mixed league, 3 keepers each, 14 hitting stats, 13 pitching stats. pretty much any basic baseball stat earns pts (or detracts, such as errors, wild pitches, etc)

  22. RandomItalicizedVoice says:

    I think ST is also good for looking at pitch velocity for pitchers returning from injury (Peavy and Nathan) or who lost velocity last year (Vazquez). But apart from the reasons you mention grey, yeah ST stats are useless, and in fact are actually a hindrance to draft prep, IMO.

  23. Jason says:

    Masterson’s problems last year weren’t walks per se, but rather troubles with left-handed batters.

  24. 101 MPH says:

    Grey, in case you’re no longer responding within your post from earlier in the day about underrated pitchers, I’ll ask this question here:

    What is the latest round you could comfortably go in a 10 team, mixed league snake draft before picking up your first starter?

    Thanks in advance!

  25. Mr2Bits says:

    I will say one person that I have been following during spring camp is Pena. As a Rays fan, I was hoping he would turn his 3k per game around but I see no hope for him this year. He also was drafted 7th in my keeper league which made me spit out my gin and tonic on my computer.

  26. I’m in a 30 team, dynasty baseball league. You can start 1 of every skill position (RF are only elligible at RF, etc) and a DH. Last year I was able to finagle Ryan Howard from someone for Des Jennings and Jorge Cantu (yep, I’m in a league with drunks.) I already had Mark Texiera.

    Anyway, I say all that to say this: I’m very weak at pitching. Weaker than Bedard’s shoulder weak. Weaker than Patrick Ewing’s resolve at the Gold Club weak. I have Trumbo, who is playing well in ST. Will Trumbo do enough for me at DH to feel good about trading Howard for some SP?

    (BTW, my staff consists of Hughes, Edwin Jackson, Luke French, Happ, and Jurrjens.)

  27. bravo says:

    Hi Grey,

    In my league, all current closers are taken plus these backups: Sales, League, McGee, Bard, Kuo, Chapman. Who are some back-up relievers I should target that you think have the best chance at getting the closer job?

  28. 101 MPH says:

    Mr2Bits: I had imagined having a tier 2 starter and then panning for gold. I appreciate your response!

  29. Frank Rizzo says:

    Posting this question here just feels right: Could back end Detroit pitchers become the WW pickups that win our seasons? Will Phil Coke and/or Brad Penny be sleepers?

  30. Oregon Nut Cups

    Oregon Nut Cups says:

    Zing! PS, I hate you for that :)

  31. ThePensive says:

    Cliff Lee/Jay Bruce vs. Jayson Werth/Zack Greinke? I have too many keepers and am considering offering Werth/Greinke for Lee and then keeping Bruce. Thoughts? 10-team 7×6 (XBH and OPS added for hitters and QS for pitchers)

  32. Cookie'sMonsters says:

    Who would you take…..Vazquez or Volquez….I already own Verlander, Marcum, Lilly, Lewis, Peavy….

  33. Raj says:

    Nice post. Agree, don’t make too much of spring training stats, especially for veterans. That said, when Ryan Braun crushed it in 2007 spring training, I took him towards the end of the draft and it paid dividends when he was called up. Spring training performance can be good for identifying rookies and sleepers for late round picks, when it’s a crapshoot.

  34. Correction says:

    Your looking at Sean Rod’s stats from last spring. This spring he is batting 375 with 1 HR

  35. Eddie says:

    Speaking of guys who are not healthy…. Don’t do this to me, Mini Mini Donkey! This was to be our season together!!!

  36. Jim says:

    It’s not every day you chuckle out loud after reading an obscure quote from Spaceballs. Thanks!

  37. PepeSilvia says:

    I don’t think you’ve updated your top 100 since Wednesday’s latest grim update on Utley, so just out of curiosity, roughly where would you have him right now? Thanks.

  38. Derek in Utah says:

    Saturday I’m drafting in two $$ Keeper Leagues (13 teams each league- NL Only and AL Only).

    Me thinks Grey would do just fine drafting in my place *hint hint*

  39. NewBVick says:

    I see what you did there.

  40. Derek in Utah says:

    Worth a shot!

  41. The Vaporizers says:

    Good afternoon Grey. I just drafted my first team of the season (non mock) in a 5×5 standard roto. I feel like I absolutely killed the draft and drafted a friggin awesome team despite the fact that my computer froze up and autopicked Adam Wainwright for me in the 8th round (was ready to take Elvis Andrus with the pick). Please let me know your thoughts on this draft, like where you would have looked to make a different pick (sans Wainwright). I think this is a team you’d be happy with. I’m thinking I might need to sign up for some more premium public leagues on CBS because this looks like easy money. War Room has me with 75 points and next closest at 66.

    C: Matt Wieters (11)
    C: Jarrod Saltamacchia (24)
    1B: Joey Votto (1)
    2B: Brandon Phillips (6)!
    SS: Rafael Furcal (19)
    3B: David Wright (2)
    MI: Danny Espinosa (26)
    CI: Mark Reynolds (16)!
    OF: Andrew McCutchen (3)
    OF: Matt Kemp (4)!
    OF: Hunter Pence (7)
    OF: Colby Rasmus (13)
    OF: Jose Tabata (17)!
    U: Travis Snider (22)
    Bench: Alcides Escobar (27), Justin Smoak (29)

    9 active pitchers
    Clayton Kershaw (5) because the top pitchers were gone fast
    Adam Wainwright (8) dropping for Niese, will start Kuroda
    Francisco Liriano (9)
    Heath Bell (10)
    Dan Hudson (12)
    Jonathon Broxton (14)
    Ryan Dempster (15)
    Joulys Chacin (18)
    Drew Storen (20)

    Hiroki Kuroda (21)
    Jordan Zimmerman (23)
    Joel Hanrahanahanahana (25)
    James McDonald (28)

  42. Carns says:

    @Grey: Guys like Minor, Chacin, Hellickson, Hudson, Pineda, Bumgarner…. you see any of these guys still pitching in late September?

    It would seem to me that you could have only one of these guys on your staff assuming your leaguemates are savvy enough to sniff out the hotshot-young-pitcher-about-to-get-shutdown dump.

  43. Derek in Utah says:

    @ Vaporizers: Awesome team. But I hate CBS leagues.

  44. Dan says:

    how about John Maine a couple years back who tore up spring training as the K leader (or close to it), then flopped…

  45. Xar says:

    Any bets on how many people added Sean-Rod before finishing reading the article?

  46. Benny says:

    Grey- are you at all worried about matt cain’ inflammation issues? Should I be looking to trade him in my keeper league for someone who isn’t an injury risk?

  47. Sean A. says:

    @Grey: I had posted this a few weeks ago, but then someone suggested I repost in the War Room comments section and someone would answer. Alas, 2 weeks later and it hasn’t been answered, so I am reposting here, as follows:

    Sorry if this has been asked before or if I am just being retarded, but on the Auction Draft War Room Spreadsheet, the “Prof 12 Tm” column in grey is blank.
    1 – Do we need to populate the data ourselves?
    2 – If yes, does the data typed in produce anything on any other tab, cell, etc.?


  48. aaaah…where is Kinsler with his HRs ?

  49. The Vaporizers says:

    My bad Grey, I thought I had the number of teams in there. It is 10 team standard cbs premium league

  50. Blinkuldhc says:

    Strained obliques are to baseball players as high ankle sprains are to football players.

    Hart is going to frustrate the heck out of owners, esp H2H this season.

  51. AL KOHOLIC says:

    like it or not,with utley iffy and his hot spring,kinslers price is rising fast,even with his injury history

  52. hm…at least Feliz also showed cutter last game, i think this mean something…

  53. Blinkuldhc says:


    You could consider punting or drafting catcher a little bit later. You got Rasmus at 13 and Wieters at 11, which means there were some even better options than Rasmus at 11, maybe Bruce, CYoung, Ethier (though not crazy on Ethier).

    It’s not a safe pick (though, Wieters isn’t either) but you could probably get Arencibia very late and he could outproduce Wieters in all cats other than BA. Instead of Wieters 11, Rasmus 13, you could go Bruce/Young 11, third SP 13, Arencibia late

  54. HldOnMgnolia says:

    Damnit, Grey.

    You got me with this last year.

  55. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    Cueto left game with forearm tightness.

  56. Brandon says:

    Is there a link to any of the completed Razzball Commenter league drafts? I have a lot of work ahead of me.. but the Waiver Wire can be your best friend!

    Also, any updates on James Mcdonald’s “side tightness” or Cueto’s
    “forearm tightness”?

  57. Chris J says:

    Hello Grey, early stage of a 10 team FP keeper league draft and I’ve got Buchholz, Beckett, Ubaldo, Aroldis as my rotation. Where to from here? One more SP or do I start picking up position players (I have Braun, Hanley, Joey on my roster), of which there is plenty of quality on the board?

  58. Brandon says:

    Just had a 12 team, Roto draft. Honest first impressions anyone?

    C Kurt Suzuki
    1B Ryan Howard
    2B Dan Uggla
    3B David Wright
    SS Alcides Escobar
    2B/SS Tsuyoshi Nishioka
    1B/3B Aramis Ramirez
    OF Jayson Werth
    OF Alex Rios
    OF Adam Jones
    OF Torii Hunter
    OF Julio Borbon
    UTIL Austin Jackson
    Bench Robot Jones

    P Josh Johnson
    P Roy Oswalt
    P Tim Hudson
    P Joe Nathan
    P Matt Thornton
    P Brad Lidge
    P Edwin Jackson
    P Carlos Zambrano
    P James McDonald

    Bench Chris Sale
    Bench Kyle Farnsworth

  59. whodatwhodey says:

    Grey…12 team 6×6 mixed keeper league. 13 keepers and I’m set on A-Rod, Mauer, Uggla, Pence, Ichiro, Ubaldo, Kershaw, Weaver, Scherzer, and Soria. Please give me 3 of the following: Grandy, Rasmus, Victorino, Panda, Wandy, and/or Mariano.

  60. Brandon-who-forgot-a-detail says:

    BTW, it is my commenter league team…. Don’t pull any punches.

  61. Captain Yesterday says:

    Is David Wright as elite an option in leagues that penalize strikeouts? His K numbers have exploded the past couple years, any reason to think he will return to 2008 whiff rate?

  62. Wake Up says:

    dlr lat trouble…

  63. Sean A says:

    @Grey: much appreciated.

  64. mr baseball says:

    I am using earn runs instead of earn run ave Is this stat the same but you see real numbers or is there a difference here – anyone can answer

    Its the same exact stat except come Sunday when your teams era is 3.17 and the team you are playing is 3.43 – its kind of easy to figure out how many earn runs you need by the other team to win the stat instead of waiting for the sun

  65. mr baseball says:

    It was explained to me – Kind of like I Love Lucy – Lucy you have some explaining to do

    Earn runs favor less pitchers being use – Earn Run Ave could favor more pitching being used

  66. jim says:

    @ Brandon

    I think your gonna be low in avg. Also not the biggest fan of your 1st 3 starting pitchers, also might be low in k’s. Like your power and closers. even though they not big named closers, think they gonna have nice years.

  67. Dingo says:

    Finally got around to doing my first draft at Yahoo, 12-team roto. I had the 4th pick, but there were some guys doing weird things with drafting too many top pitchers, so I got Hanley:

    C: Mike Napoli (11)
    1B: Ryan Howard (2)
    2B: Kelly Johnson (9)
    SS: Hanley Ramirez (1)
    3B: Alex Rodriguez (3)
    OF: Jason Heyward (4)
    OF: Jayson Werth (6)
    OF: Brett Gardner (13)
    Util: Adam Jones (14)
    Util: Jose Tabata (19)

    BN: Gaby Sanchez (20)
    BN: Nate McLouth (22)

    SP: Josh Johnson (5)
    SP: Francisco Liriano (7)
    RP: Heath Bell (8)
    RP: Jose Valverde (12)
    P: Ted Lilly (10)
    P: Daniel Hudson (15)
    P: Jorge De La Rosa (16)
    P: Frank Francisco (18)

    BN: Edwin Jackson (17)
    BN: Chris Sale (21)
    BN: Kyle Farnsworth (23)


  68. Bravo says:

    Hi Grey,

    Here’s my team:

    C: Jorge Posada (NYY – C)
    1B: Joey Votto (Cin – 1B)
    2B: Neil Walker (Pit – 2B,3B)
    3B: Mark Reynolds (Bal – 3B)
    SS: Jose Reyes (NYM – SS)
    OF: Josh Hamilton (Tex – OF)
    OF: Jayson Werth (Was – OF)
    OF: Chris Young (Ari – OF)
    Util: Shane Victorino (Phi – OF)
    BN: Adam Lind (Tor – 1B,OF)
    BN: Travis Snider (Tor – OF)

    SP: Justin Verlander (Det – SP)
    SP: Yovani Gallardo (Mil – SP)
    RP: John Axford (Mil – RP)
    RP: Joel Hanrahan (Pit – RP)
    P: Chad Billingsley (LAD – SP)
    P: Frank Francisco (Tor – RP)
    P: Ted Lilly (LAD – SP)
    BN: Ian Kennedy (Ari – SP)
    BN: Johnny Cueto (Cin – SP)
    BN: Koji Uehara (Bal – RP)

    This is an 11 team standard 5×5 roto keeper league. I need a little help in average and saves, but is my team alright? Can I go to battle with this?

  69. steve b says:

    @ blinkuldhc,
    if Toronto is contending for a wild card I dont see them turning the catching duties over to Arencibia.They have enough hitting so they could go with the veteran defensive catcher Molina more than half the time

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