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 Adalberto Mondesi 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 the beginning of 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:
Joey Gallo – Hitting everything: home runs, line drives, dinkers and dongers. You name it! You can’t name anything else? How about doubles? Can you name those? Then they’ve been named! Joey Gallo is not striking out at all. His plate discipline is so good Joey Votto said this, “Did he train with Tom Emanski and Fred McGriff? Because he’s better than me.”
Garrett Hampson – Stole six bags and, better yet, has started 25 games. Let the butter melt and be applied softly to all toast, because the breakout has begun already! *tries to dunk lobster into Hampson’s mouth* C’mon, man, you’re filled with butter! Now share it!
Ian Happ – Leads all baseball players with seven homers. *picks up phone* “Hello, Charles Schwab? I want to sell all my stocks and buy shares of Ian Happ. What is Ian Happ’s stock symbol? D-O-P-E, just like my mom used to call me.”
Clayton Kershaw – He has 21 scoreless innings. Wake me when he’s no longer the best pitcher in baseball. Seriously, I want to take a 45-year-long nap.
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 Elvis Andrus. (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 and if I’m going to change my fantasy baseball rankings because of it. Spring training stats are a joke. They mean nothing. Let me say it again for emphasis, spring stats mean nothing.
Jason Kipnis had the best spring training in the history of spring trainings last year, and that led him to do what last year? How did Gallo’s reported cutting down of strikeouts go? Garrett Hampson looked ready to break out with last year’s spring, never sniffed a full-time job last year, and appears to be headed to the bench again this year. Maikel Franco is talking about hitting more fly balls this year. Sure, just like he did last spring and went on to have another poor season. J.T. Realmuto had one of the worst springs last year, and went on to be the number one catcher for fantasy. Scherzer? Did he seem fazed by last year’s spring? Yeah, and how did Kershaw do last year after those scoreless innings? You should only be looking at who’s healthy, who’s winning position battles and who’s winning rotation spots. The rest is meaningless.
As with everyone hitting well this spring, they’ll turn back into a pumpkin in April like Mr. Grapefruit, Billy Butler, always did. Speaking of which, here’s the most relevant spring training graph: