For my annual Spring Training trip, Sky and JayWrong are joining me in Arizona.  Road trip!  I leave today and return on Sunday.  Of course, JayWrong’s already committed us to a Padres game, and standing outside the stadium to get Padres autographs, and standing outside their hotel to help them with their luggage, and sneaking in to pretend to be chefs at their favorite hibachi restaurant so we can flip a shrimp tail at Kemp.  Don’t pull your latissimus dorsi reaching for that crustacean!  I believe that was how Flipper injured itself.  Any hoo!  Baseball, like a flower, blooms in the spring.  They also share equally effusive PR people.  Just the other day I read about how a petunia’s branches gained 15 pounds and was in the best shape of its life.  Sure, it’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season — can I draft Kolten Wong yet?!  Players in spring training are 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.  Our former commissioner, Bud, once doffed his toupee and tried to have the World Series played in March.  Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players stats so far:

Chris Heisey – Leads the world in homers with six.  Do I hear super sleeper?!  I do because my dog, Ted, is whispering it in my ear.  See that, you don’t have to sit in a stuffy auditorium surrounded by Apple users to hear a Ted Talks!  Maybe I’ll just do an opening bid of $45 in my next auction to secure Heisey’s services.

Michael Choice – Not to be outdone…Okay, to be slightly outdone, Choice has five homers, but also a .369 average.  Choice cuts!  P to the erhaps we can give him some kind of early MVP award and have a computer play out the season.

Mike Olt – Okay, he only has five homers, but it’s in only ten games started.  If he starts only 100 games this season, he will hit 50 homers.  You can put it on the…Oops, wrong Chicago team.

Justin Masterson – I know, I know, he had a rough year last year, but he has a 1.09 ERA and four wins in six spring starts.  I just got goose pimplies.

Marco Estrada – Has a 2.16 ERA in six spring starts.  I’m not saying he’s going to be amazing, but he will be amazing.

Oh, please.  This is such nonsense.  Now we get to grade everyone’s reading comprehension because these are LAST YEAR’S spring training stats.  If someone can read everything but capped words, I apologize in advance if you draft Chris Heisey.  (I DON’T.)  I like to do this post every year because every year I get the same comments about how well a player is doing in the spring — Oh my God, I love Semien almost as much as Wong.  Do you still accept me? — and if I’m going to change my ranking because of it.  Spring Training stats are a joke.  They mean nothing.  Let me say it again for emphasis, spring stats mean nothing.  Choice, Olt and Heisey made the top Padres prospect, Nadir Bupkis, look like Mickey Mantle compared to what they did once the season started.  Estrada and Masterson?  They were more like Esucka and Mastersuckerson.  You should only be looking at who’s healthy, who’s winning position battles and who’s winning rotation spots.  The rest is meaningless.  To give you one last idea of how much Grapefruit League stats matter, Billy Butler is Mr. Grapefruit because of how well he does every year in the spring, and we see how well that translates every year.  Here’s the most meaningful spring graph for Billy Butler:

Billy Butler

 
  1. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    consider this now officially awkward

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      I’m growing out my moobs in support of billy butler….when they ask who ate all the bacon at the buffet they said the butler did it.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        @J-FOH: With the candlestick of butter?

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Grey: with the piping bag of frosting?

  2. BlushingPansy says:
    (link)

    Great stuff as always Grey. Losing sleep over my roster. I just made a trade in my deep keeper/shallow dynasty league moving Bryant, Bogaerts, and Duffy for Kershaw. Help me rank these MI youngsters.

    Rougned the elder, Correa, Profar (Mets??), Moncada, Lindor, and Russell

  3. Ante GALIC says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    Gr8 read. I think I like Gibbons and Sandberg ST soundbites more than extrapolating Semiens HR total or BA.

    Cheers,
    Ante

  4. Matt says:
    (link)

    I can still extrapolate from regular season stats, right? Terrance Gore had 1 AB, 5 SB. So assuming the royals are smart enough to give him a full time gig this year, he’ll steal at least 2000 bases, and become the face of SAGNOF.

    That makes sense, doesn’t it?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Matt: *Over* 2000, yes

  5. Sky

    Sky says:
    (link)

    Usually a love of Wong leads to Semien. I’m just sayin…

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Sky: Seriously, everytime I hold on Wong too long I end up with Seimen.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
      (link)

      @Sky: You just need to go Fuquhar there.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Sky: This is who I’m staying with? Jay, help

  6. The Theory says:
    (link)

    Moob. Moob. Gut.

    Life = complete

  7. soul kitchen says:
    (link)

    As a former Butler keeper owner I find your Moobie/Gut diagram delightfully pathetic, yet unabridged. I plan on projecting it to my 11th grade emerging writers when I introduce character maps.

    On another note, thanks so much for a rousing and nutrient 2015 thus far. You made the indoor-non stats months disk by with your rankings and etc. Really appreciate.

    d. If you don’t mind, I’d love your wisdom on this. In a nine player keeper league, which of the names would you keep of the bottom chunk?

    Adam Jones
    Ian Kinsler
    Bumgarner
    Alex Cobb

    Evan Gattis
    Wil Myers
    Javier Baez
    Gyorko
    Chris Carter
    Moob Adams
    Matt Shoemaker
    Maikel Franco
    Joey Gallo
    José Fernández

    • zeus says:
      (link)

      @soul kitchen: how long can you keep these guys?

      • Soul Kitchen says:
        (link)

        @zeus: thanks for the interest, zeus. I can keep them indefinitely.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @soul kitchen: Myers, Baez, Shoemaker, Gattis, Fernandez

      • Soul Kitchen says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Your picks are fresh and alternative. So appreciate your time and thought.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  8. Strolg says:
    (link)

    Any truth to the rumor that as the trainer was coming out of the dugout, after Pence got beaned, he said ‘Good Lord, what has this buffoon done now?’

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Strolg: Poor Pence, got his feathers ruffled

  9. papasmurf says:
    (link)

    Grey what do you think of this crop of Smurf hitters? 16 team, 6×6 (standard 5 + obp).
    c Grandal
    1b Duda
    2b Altuve
    3b Longo
    ss Peralta
    lf Dickerson
    cf Leonys
    rf Stanton

    utils: Hosmer, Avisail, Pedro Alvarez

    PS, oh ya Masterson was so great last spring and even came out the gate strong with 6 shutout innings in his first start…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @papasmurf: Ha, yup… Papa Smurf! I think those hitters are balanced in an imbalanced way… I.e., you have power and speed, just not from the same person except Dickerson… Not bad for a 16 teamer though

  10. Edward Scherzer Hands says:
    (link)

    Hi,

    Who should I keep in a 12 player H2H league with OBP, R, 1b, 2b, 3b, Hr, SB, W, L, CG, K, ERA, WHIP, BSaves, Saves as categories? I can keep them for 3 years and have to draft them 3 rounds earlier in each year I keep them. I can keep 4. Thank you!

    Wong-round 17
    Zack Wheeler-round 18
    Frazier–round 14
    Javier Baez– round 20
    Xander Bogaerts– round 17
    Kole Calhoun-round 16
    Adam Eaton-round 9

  11. Nico says:
    (link)

    haha I thought this post was just going to have one word, “DON’T!”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Nico: Maybe you only read caps like the guy in the post’s inverse…

      • Nico says:
        (link)

        @Grey: I consider that one of my strong points.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Right now I’m in an Uber and the guy is calling me a pickle sniffer… I’m scared…

          • Nico says:
            (link)

            @Grey: Ha! Sounds like a good NFBC team name haha Have you asked him what kind of pickle?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              By the time I got out of the Uber, I was friends with him on FB, Instagram and made a double date for next week… Seriously…

              • Nico says:
                (link)

                @Grey: Wow. I feel like my Uber tonight will not yield the same results, but damn it if I don’t try! Well done, Pickle Dick.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  I think my first mistake/advantage was sitting in the passenger seat.

                  • Nico says:
                    (link)

                    @Grey: Haha, he didn’t force your head into his lap? I’ve seen that once, swear to FML.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      I think that’s Lyft not Uber that offers that

                    • Nico says:
                      (link)

                      Oh, right! I thought you’d prefer Lyft since they rep the ‘stache.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Oh man, you’re right… No wonder I was accosted in a Uber!

                    • Nico says:
                      (link)

                      If I were an Uber driver, I would strap you to my hood (non sexually), and give a big middle finger to all those stupid pink mustaches around the world! “Ef all you guys! Only I have the Mustache of the Fantasy Master Lothario!” Notice Mustache is capitalized bc, used here, it’s a proper noun!.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      I’m surprised I haven’t received a similar offer yet!

            • Cram It says:
              (link)

              @Nico: I used Pickle Belt as a team name once.

      • the swinging says:
        (link)

        @Grey: told u that u had yu too low… king grey. Bahh

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Yeah, and Cliff Lee

  12. AMolnar says:
    (link)

    I need some advice.

    I am in a 10 person standard roto league. Just had Pence go down and I have Corbin already on my bench waiting for him to be put on a DL spot. I have 2 DL spots. My team is listed below:

    C: NA
    1B: Albert Pujols
    2B: Wong
    3B: Rendon
    SS: Hanley Ramirez
    OF: Gomez
    OF: Kemp
    OF: Marte
    Util: Joc Pederson
    Util: Xander Bo.
    DL: Hunter Pence

    I need to pick up a catcher first. Available in my league are both Weiters and d’Arnaud. Which do like better of the two. You can add in Russell Martin too I guess but I like the other two better. More upside.

    I also want to pick up another bat as my bench is very short as I have a ton of pitching depth and I like that given we don’t have an innings limit. Available on waivers are: Alex Rios, Denard Span, Lucas Duda, Austin Jackson, Pedro Alvarez, Marlon Byrd, Khris Davis. Which of those do you like best?

    My initial thoughts are Weiters and Khris Davis as I think I need RBI’s but Lucas Duda also seems like it would be a solid fit at a Util spot given he will be batting 4th in that Mets lineup (not so good) but batting 4th with solid power and a decent avg. is always a good thing.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @AMolnar:

      Wieters is a funny guy to own. He never lived up to TNBT hype of his SI cover photo but he hit over 20 HR, 80ish RBI in 3 straight years, His BA isn’t great but BA’s across the league have gone down considerably. It won’t hurt you as much as it might have a few years ago. Not sure how much of the season he’ll miss in his TJ surgery though.

      D’Arnaud got his first “full” season last year and was an average league catcher. He has potential for more and as he was a top prospect, potentially a lot more.

      I think I probably go D’Arnaud just because of Wieters injury but I could see going the went other way. It’s a no win / no lose situation really. Very even.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @AMolnar: You don’t need to stash Corbin in your league… Duda…Wieters

  13. Jay

    Jay says:
    (link)

    10/10, would flip shrimp again.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Jay: He’s going 50/50 on the shrimp flipping

  14. Lincecuminmypants says:
    (link)

    Well played. I believe one Brad Miller had a very gold spring last year. Just some high socks, no batting gloves and a dream.

    If anyone here use the phrase “ripping the cover off the ball this spring,” may they end up drafting a thousand Grady Sizemores.

    • Lincecuminmypants says:
      (link)

      Good spring. Not gold, Ponyboy.

  15. pickleball says:
    (link)

    hmmm i was on the fence about keeping this “trout” guy. after his post… would you keep heisey over trout!?

    great stuff as always.

    have a good day.

  16. G says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey,

    In a 12 team keeper league and just found out my draft position is 6th. Have Abreu, arenado, harvey, and arrietta as my 7th, 10th, 11th, and 12th pick respectively. Thinking about my first pick. Lot of top guys are being kept and the 5 picks before me will add a few more. I never draft pitchers early but would you take Kershaw if available? I think the only players I have a shot at in your top 15 is cabrera, jones, Bautista, Harper. My thoughts are if jones or cabrera are there I easily go with them, but what’s your thoughts on Keyshawn vs Bautista, Harper. Thanks in advance as always.

    • Hawk says:
      (link)

      @G:

      That’d give you three pitchers out of your first six picks, sorta.

      That said, yeah I’d take Kershaw unless Trout, McCutchen, Stanton or Goldschmidt were available,

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @G: Bautista, Kershaw

  17. WarwickDavisKilledMyFamily says:
    (link)

    The only spring training statistic that really matters: how many of my drafts targets got hurt, and how long will they be on the DL? I guess the trajectories of position battles are something to monitor, but yeah, pay no attention to the hot bats in March.

    Wherezabouts does Pence fall in your rankings after his injury?

  18. Maestro says:
    (link)

    Reaching out for advice on software, , pay or free, for the following league type. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    I play in AL and NL only keeper H2H auction points leagues with a budget of $260, and need to leave the draft with a 26 man roster. I need to be able to customize categories and points. I checked out Rotochamp and really like the set up but the one thing it doesn’t have, as far as I can tell, is points.

    Thanks again!

      • Maestro says:
        (link)

        That’s okay. Love the site and will likely just copy and past the Razzball/Steamer projections on an excel sheet and calculate the numbers.

        @Grey:

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Cool

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          And thanks!

        • goodfold2 says:
          (link)

          @Maestro: check fantasy pros, but i don’t know if they have pts version in their auction calculators. about $15 total.

          • goodfold2 says:
            (link)

            @goodfold2: upon checking, fantasy pros appears to have all sorts of options for auction values and rankings, but few to none or pts leagues, at least that i can find.

  19. Clint says:
    (link)

    So, you’re telling me the Ryan Reynolds hit Voices was actually a ghost written biography based on one Grey Albright? Now I’ve gotta see it more than I already wanted to. What’s your pooch say about my dual T Shirt order I placed a while back, Grey?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Clint: Ha… Damn, I’m sorry about the shirts… I’ll ping the shirt people, they usually take 2 weeks, sometimes they take longer

      • Clint says:
        (link)

        @Grey:
        No problem, my liege. Just hold the lunch breaks from those Afghanistan kids for a day & they’ll get those Razzball shirts out faster for you ;)

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          I switched to Taiwan, hence the issue…

  20. Panda says:
    (link)

    Auction value question. I won my long running 12 team 6×6 (+OBP, and H/9 + BB/9 instead of WHIP) keeper (5 keepers, 3 years max contract) league last year but lost a few key players back to the auction pool as it was the last year of their contracts. Unfortunately heading into this year a lot of teams have managed to hang onto a number of the power bats at market or below market value. My struggle heading into the auction is how do I value the remaining sluggers. Do I just bump them all $10 in value or something? Do I just go after them at whatever cost knowing that I will struggle to keep up in some of the counting stats if I don’t get them? Do I just forgo HRs and focus on guys who get RBIs without the audacious HR numbers?

    To give you a better idea, out of your ~top30 hitters the only guys left with more than 25 HR projected are Encarnacion, Jones, Cabrera, Upton, and Pujols. Below this but also available are a few guys like Beltre, Tulo, CarGo who have the ability to hit more HRs but have a few questions with them as well i.e. injuries, declining power numbers, or whatever.

    Thanks for all your help and advice!

  21. Dom says:
    (link)

    10 team, 5×5 roto with 10 keepers:

    I’m keeping Mesorac, Rizzo, Arenado, Ryan Zimmerman, Alcides Escobar, Cole Calhoun, Ozuna, Sandoval, Chapman, David Robertson.

    I’m heaving on 3B/CI, do I try to trade Sandoval and Cuddyer (not a keeper for me, would be for him) for Danny Santana?

    Not sure if it makes a difference but with my first two picks in the draft I’m selecting two of these three: Adam Jones, Jose Bautista, and Bryce Harper. Team No-Stud Pitchers!