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March 21, 2012 posted by Chuck Anderson

Spring Training Stats: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not for March 22

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Delmon Young, OF, Detroit Tigers

Hot

Delmon Young:  .472/.487/1.000, 5 HR, 19 RBI

Young is leading a group of Tiger batters who are pasting the ball in the Grapefruit League.  Two walks in 38 PA is not ideal for a hitter who needs to work on plate discipline.  There is no doubt he is making hard contact though, and he could pile up some impressive counting stats if Detroit’s offense clicks.

Howie Kendrick:  .467/.500/.800, 3 HR, 10 RBI

Kendrick’s power output in 2011 far surpassed his career averages.  It is doubtful that he reaches those levels again in 2012, but three early home runs are encouraging.  If he truly reached a new skill level he could join the second tier of 2B behind Cano, Pedroia, and Kinsler.

Hanley Ramirez:  .385/.515/.731, 5 BB, 4 K in 31 PA

The results are great, but even better are the positive reports about his swing mechanics.  If his shoulder fully healed and he can drive the ball as he did in 2009 he will be back among fantasy’s elite.  Push him up a spot or two based on the early returns.

Brian Matusz:  2.40 ERA, 16 K, 1 BB in 15.0 IP

After flashing just an 88.0 mph fastball last year he is working in the 92-93 mph range this Spring.  It is making all the difference in the world as he cuts through opposing lineups.  He still pitches in baseball’s most difficult division so mixed leagues should take a wait and see approach.  Deep keeper leagues should consider him a late round speculation.

Francisco Liriano:  2.77 ERA, 0.62 WHIP 18 K, 2 BB in 13.0 IP

The Incredible Tease is at it again.  Liriano bottomed out last year due to reduced velocity and complete lack of control.  The walks are way down so far, and as recently as 2010 he posted a 9.44 K/9.  Considering how late he can be drafted, players could do far worse.

Cold

Dayan Viciedo:  .133/.212/.167, 1 xBH, 11 K in 32 PA

Chicago’s presumptive left fielder is languishing near the bottom of the league in offensive production.  He was not always a well-rounded hitter in the minors, but signs pointed to an improvement in skills.  Eleven games in this is not a disaster scenario, and the White Sox should be patient with him.

Josh Hamilton:  .167/.188/.200, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 xBH in 31 PA

Drawing a connection between a night out at a bar over the Winter and a slow start this Spring is tenuous at best, irresponsible at worst.  If he is pressing in a contract year odds are that he gets straightened out at some point.  Of course, Carl Crawford should have figured things out last year too …

Freddie Freeman:  .174/.191/.174, 1 BB, 10 K, 0 xBH in 47 PA

The Braves are giving their young first baseman plenty of opportunities to hit his way out of an early slump and it should just be a matter of time.  His current line calculates to a .222 BABIP.  He talked his way into playing after a knee injury and was likely less than 100% at the outset of exhibition games.

Jair Jurrjens:  10.13 ERA, 10 BB, 8 K in 13.1 IP

Jurrjens admits that he does not fully trust his right knee yet, and that is creating issues.  Despite some impressive results his skill set screams “mixed league waiver fodder”.  A slow beginning to 2012 is probable.

Homer Bailey:  7.15 ERA, 6 BB, 3 K in 11.1 IP

In his first and third starts he was ineffective, in his second and fourth he allowed no runs.  The runs allowed could be overlooked, but the 0.50 K/BB is very worrisome.  Bailey has been struggling to find consistency his entire professional career and this is another sign that he is not quite there.

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