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When Spring Training Stats Matter

I always go back to this nugget from John Dewan from the 2006 Baseball Forecaster:

A hitter with a positive difference between his spring training slugging percentage and his lifetime slugging percentage of .200 or more correlates to a better than normal season.

Let's focus on players with at least 30 ABs for now.

  • White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson is at .714 this spring vs. a career mark of .353.  He's fighting for an extra outfielder role right now, but could be traded into a better situation.
  • Carlos Guillen is slugging .771 against a career mark of .450.  Perhaps he will become more of a traditional first baseman and nail 30 home runs?  This is his last year for shortstop eligibility.
  • Nick Swisher is slugging .824 vs. a .464 career mark.  Could he return to 35 HR or even reach 40 given his new park?
  • Washington's Cristian Guzman sits at .636 vs. a .378 career mark.  A return to his 10 HR days, plus 10 swipes?  NL-only sleeper?
  • Jorge Cantu's slugging .688 against a .450 career mark.  25 HR as Florida's third baseman?  Dallas McPherson is out of the running for now.
  • Billy Butler is at .677 after his rookie year SLG of .447.  Will he jump to the 25-30 HR range in his age 22 season while also hitting .300?
  • Rafael Furcal is slugging .633 vs. his .407 career mark.  Maybe that ankle is all better and he tops his career high of 15 HR in a contract year.  Great shortstop pick if you miss out on the Big Three.

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