MLB
March 14, 2013 posted by Chuck Anderson

Spring Training Stats – Hot or Not Week 3

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Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Boston Red Sox

Hot Hitters

 

Jackie Bradley Jr.:  28 AB, .536 AVG, .629 OBP, 5 BB, 4 K

 

The Boston outfielder is tearing up Spring pitching the same as he did to minor league hurlers in his first professional season.  He projects as a high OBP player that contributes with both home runs and steals.  Conceivably he could play a corner outfield spot while Jacoby Ellsbury plays out his contract.  The team is resolute that he starts the year in the minors, but he is making the case for a callup closer to Memorial Day than Labor Day.

 

Paul Goldschmidt:  32 AB, .406 AVG, .500 OBP, 6 BB, 7 K

 

He has not experienced much failure in an Arizona uniform, and the upward trajectory is only continuing here.  The most positive indicator is the strikeout to walk ratio.  He increased it from 0.38 to 0.46 last year, and continued improvement would only make him more dangerous.

 

Yasiel Puig:  33 AB, .424 AVG, 1 HR, 0 BB, 10 K

 

Carl Crawford is still not in game shape, so Puig is getting a nice run in exhibition games.  These numbers will no doubt inflate his prospect status, but crunch the numbers and you get a .636 BABIP and troubling plate discipline.  He is likely to be a major leaguer soon, but track his performance over a longer period before judging him.

 

Cold Hitters

 

Yonder Alonso:  34 AB, 1 HR, .147 AVG, .171 OBP, 1 BB, 6 K

 

While early, he is not setting the tone for a large improvement over 2012.  He walked in 9.7% of career at bats, so a stretch like this should normalize over time.  San Diego could elect to give Kyle Blanks (.400 AVG) more playing time.  They would make platoon partners, and while Alonso does not have a sharp split he was below league average when facing southpaws.

 

Ian Kinsler:  30 AB, .167 AVG, 5 BB, 4 K

 

Kinsler’s stat line is essentially Puig’s opposite.  His BABIP is only .167 but his plate discipline looks to be intact.  In what amounts to a week’s worth of plate appearances, this stretch is easy to ignore.

 

Chase Utley:  30 AB, .167 AVG, 1 HR, 7 BB, 7 K

 

He is an aging second baseman with a recent injury history so fantasy players are just looking for reasons to bury him.  As with Kinsler this appears to be more bad luck than poor performance.  While he saw limited action the past two years his wRC+ was still fourth among second basemen, with 25 steals thrown in.

 

Matt Harvey, SP, New York Mets

Hot Pitchers

 

Matt Harvey:  13.0 IP, 2.77 ERA, 3 BB, 18 K

 

More strong numbers from the former Tar Heel who keeps exceeding expectations.  He threw almost 170 innings last year so any restrictions should be minimal.  He is usually available for under $5 in mixed auctions, so there is significant profit potential.

 

Alex Cobb:  14.0 IP, 1.29 ERA, 1 BB, 18 K

 

His MLB strikeout rate is only 6.81, but he punched out over a batter per inning while in the minors in 2010, 2011, and 2012.  He has enough major league experience that taking the next step is entirely possible, especially considering the decline of the Boston and New York lineups.  He is not competing for a rotation spot.

 

Julio Teheran:  14.0 IP, 1.29 ERA, 4 BB, 18 K

 

He is pitching like he has a point to prove to all the prospect evaluators who knocked his ranking down this year.  He is getting more out of his secondary pitches and, with a 1.40 GO/AO ratio, even keeping balls on the ground better.  Until Brandon Beachy is fit to return he has a rotation spot.  Mixed leaguers can wait until he proves himself in games that count, but he is far more relevant than he was in January.

 

Cold Pitchers

 

Matt Moore:  7.2 IP, 8.22 ERA, 6 BB, 5 K

 

A strong second half has him in demand, he is being drafted as a top-25 SP.  He could still finish there, he has 200 strikeout upside and a team that generally plays strong defense behind him.  He needs to trim 2012’s 4.11 BB/9 however, and so far is not showing signs of doing so.

 

Alexi Ogando:  10.1 IP, 3.48 ERA, 9 BB, 10 K

 

His ERA was 8.10 before throwing three scoreless innings on Wednesday.  Texas intends to use him in the rotation where he had a 3.94 xFIP in 2011.  Fantasy owners should note that his K/9 was only 6.71 as a starter, nowhere near the 9.00 mark he posted in relief.

 

Jordan Lyles:  8.0 IP, 19.13 ERA, 26 H, 1 BB, 5 K

 

Houston would undoubtedly like to see some progress from the former top prospect that showed little in his second pro season.  The numbers indicate that he is forcing batters to swing, they are just obliging him and making very solid contact.  While his name is familiar to close followers of the game, do not confuse him with a sleeper.

 

 

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