MLB
March 22, 2013 posted by Chuck Anderson

Spring Training Stats: Hot or Not for Week 4

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Matt Carpenter, 1B/3B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Carpenter, 1B/3B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Hot Hitters

 

Matt Carpenter:  .400/.491/.600, 8 BB, 7 K

 

He’s under the radar momentarily but, a featured Yahoo article raised Carpenter’s profile dramatically.  He is most valuable in Yahoo leagues, as he projects to gain second base eligibility very early in April.  He consistently hits for a strong average with good plate discipline and power that plays well at second base.  He reached base over 40% of the time in both 2010 and 2011.

 

Adam Lind:  .400/.458/.550, 6 BB, 6 K

 

Lind underachieved for three straight years since his breakout in 2009, but still projects as a regular in Toronto’s revamped lineup.  He may sit against left-handed starters, but the team wants to see how he looks when facing them this spring.  It is worth noting that he slugged .581 in 2012 Grapefruit League action and .583 in 2011.

 

Donovan Solano:  .409/.426/.455, 2 BB, 10 K

 

Before thinking Solano is a worthwhile endgame pick, notice that he is not hitting for any power.  He strikes out too much, particularly in relation to how often he walks.  He has never stolen ten bases in a season.  The BABIP genie is smiling upon him now, but this is a perfect example of unsustainable success.

 

Cold Hitters

 

Mark Trumbo:  .239/.271/.283, 1 xbh, 2 BB, 10 K

 

Deep slumps happen to players with poor BB/K ratios, and at 0.22 for his career Trumbo qualifies.  His power should appear soon, but he will underwhelm in average and in runs scored because he gets on base barely 30% of the time.

 

Adam Dunn:  .189/.348/.432, 3 HR, 8 BB, 10 K

 

This is normal for Dunn. His average is low but his patience and power are on display.  Both his fantasy upside and downside are well known and nothing happening this spring indicates a change.

 

Yoenis Cespedes:  36 AB, .194/.326/.389, 2 HR, 6 BB, 7 K

 

Cespedes plate discipline is encouraging and the rest of the stats can be written off due to the small sample size.  Fantasy GMs should keep an eye on his batted ball stats.  This spring his ground out to air out ratio is 0.47.  He hit about as many grounders as fly balls last year, so this could signal an emphasis on power.  That could hurt his average, especially in Oakland’s spacious park.  Wait until May before drawing any conclusions.

 

Jon Lester, SP, Boston Red Sox

Jon Lester, SP, Boston Red Sox

Hot Pitchers

 

Jon Lester:  20.0 IP, 0.90 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 4 BB, 16 K

 

Lester’s fantasy stock took a beating after he posted a 4.82 ERA and his lowest strikeout rate since 2008.  The indicators did not think he was that bad, but they still showed a four year skills decline.  He is one of many Boston pitchers working at a higher pace.  Grab him a round or two ahead of his ADP if so inclined.

 

David Phelps:  19.0 IP, 2.37 ERA, 4 BB, 12 K

 

Phelps is fighting with Ivan Nova for a rotation spot, but if Phil Hughes is unable to answer the bell they both could start.  Phelps had a 4.01 xFIP in 2012, but he hinted at greater potential by generating ground balls 42.9% of the time and posted an 8.67 K/9.  AL-Only players should be keeping track.

 

Jon Niese:  12.2 IP, 0.71 ERA, 5 BB, 7 K

 

In this case the surface numbers look better than the underlying stats.  Niese does not have the innings under his belt that most starters do by now.  He is wearing a knee brace, but no corrective action is imminent.  Mixed leaguers could do far worse than Niese when looking for a to round out a fantasy staff.

 

Cold Pitchers

 

Doug Fister:  14.2 IP, 7.36 ERA, 4 HR, 8 BB, 14 K

 

There aren’t any quantifiable reason for Fister’s struggles, so fantasy GMs should expect him to display the skills he established over 600 major league innings rather than fifteen in a rough training camp.  In his latest start he pitched four innings and only allowed one run.

 

John Danks:  11.0 IP, 16.36 ERA, 5 HR, 5 BB, 4 K

 

Danks claims he feels healthy, but he is showing poor velocity, command, and results.  Manager Robin Ventura seems adamant that Danks will start the year on the disabled list.  Fantasy GMs should remove him from mixed league consideration, but AL-Only players should keep an eye on his rehab.

 

Tyler Skaggs:  9.0 IP, 11.00 ERA, 8 BB, 5 K

 

Skaggs was recently optioned to minor league camp leaving Randall Delgado and Patrick Corbin to fight for the last rotation spot.  He will work to reestablish himself in Triple-A and he will rejoin the Diamondbacks when the opportunity knocks.

 

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