Spring training standings and stats mean almost nothing, but on the other hand they can mean everything to a team trying to come back from a terrible 2011 season.
When teams or players are having a great spring training it is easy to dismiss their success, because they are facing Class A, AA and AAA pitchers, who are trying to win jobs in spring training. On the other hand when a player or team struggles against these pitchers it is a sign of trouble ahead, when the starters pitch deeper into games during the last two weeks of spring training.
Two such teams are the Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox, who have combined to win only three of their first 20 games this spring. The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers have identical 6-1 records to lead the AL and NL league teams this spring.
Keeping in mind that spring training stats don’t mean that much, these are the spring training batting leaders:
Hits – Melky Cabrera 13 – Cabrera who posted a 201 hit season for the Kansas City Royals in 2011 is now playing for the San Francisco Giants and seems to be poised to have another great year. Cabrera had never collected more than 149 hits in a season before last season. He is only 27 despite this year being his eighth major league season.
Home Runs – Alfonso Soriano 4 -Soriano leads all players this spring with four home runs, with ten players next with three each. Soriano needs to step up for the Chicago Cubs, with the departure of Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena during the offseason.
Runs Batted In – Ryan Raburn 11 -Raburn has batted only 10 times this spring and has 11 fewer at bats than No.2 Brandon Allen who has driven in 10 runs. Raburn has collected only five hits but they include a double, a triple and three home runs.
Stolen Bases – Gregor Blanco 6 – Blanco is not only stealing bases, but has the second best batting average with a .545 mark. He also is second in hits this spring with 12. Blanco hasn’t played in the majors since 2010 but looks like he will find a home, with San Francisco Giants for the 2012 season.
Batting Average – Brett Lawrie -Lawrie only played in only 43 games last season, which is slightly more than a fourth of the season. His nine home runs and 25 RBI’s projected to 36 home runs and 100 RBI over a full season. Lawrie is a player to watch this season and may explain why the Toronto Blue Jays have won eight games this spring.
Team Batting Highlights
The Detroit Tigers have hit 18 home runs in 10 games, while the Baltimore Orioles have hit only one in 9 games…. Seattle Mariners lead in runs scored this spring with 80, while the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins have scored only 23 runs….The San Francisco Giants lead this spring in hits with 132, in stolen bases with 16 and in OPS with a .898 percentage.
Spring Pitching Statistics
Wins – Garrett Richards 2-0 – Richards is finding out that is better to be lucky than good, after tying three other spring pitchers with a 2-0 record. Batters are hitting .368 against him this spring, so it is strange to see him leading in wins.
Losses – Eight pitchers are tied with two losses each this spring. Cleveland Indians have two of the eight pitchers with Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jiminez both having two losses. The Chicago White Sox also have two pitchers with two losses in John Danks and Jake Peavy.
ERA – Josh Beckett 1.00 – Beckett leads all spring pitchers in ERA among pitchers with at least 9 innings pitched.
Most Earned Runs Allowed – Jake Peavy and Jason Bulger lead in most earned runs allowed, with each allowing 9 earned runs this spring.
Most Home Runs Allowed – Julio Teheran 6 – Teheran allowed all six home runs in one game this spring.
Lowest Batting Average Allowed – Andrew Oliver and Wade LeBlanc .048 – Oliver is making a strong bid to make the Detroit Tigers pitching staff this spring.
Team Pitching Highlights – Baltimore Orioles lead all teams this spring with a 2.59 ERA, while the Arizona Diamondbacks are worst at 6.78….Atlanta Braves have allowed the most walks this spring with 56 in 93 innings…. Tampa Bay Rays lead all teams in strikeouts with 87 in 99 innings, while the New York Mets are last with 50 strikeouts in 76 innings….Cleveland Indians pitchers have allowed batters to hit .331 against them this spring, while the Detroit Tigers pitching staff has held opposing batters to a .216 average to lead the majors.