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: