A few years ago we discovered that there is a way to use spring training stats to predict future performance. We took all spring training hitters and found that, as expected, about half of them do better than their career norms in the upcoming season, and about half of them do worse than their career norms. However, when we chose only those players doing exceptionally well in spring training, we found that about three-fourths of them performed better than their career average during the upcoming season.
Our definition of “exceptionally well” was slugging 100 points higher in spring training than their previous career slugging percentage. Here’s the list of players who are currently 200 points higher so far this spring training. These 24 players might be heading for above-average seasons.
Some of the Usual Suspects made the list (Butler, Hamilton), as well as some players who have already taken off a season ago (Granderson, Upton), but at the very least, I'll be Watch Listing and keeping an early eye on some of the bounce back candidates (Furcal, Mora, Pudge), and the guys who have dropped off the radar (Burke, Shealy, Gwynn Jr.).
ACTA Sports | FULL STORY