When it comes to putting stock into the performances of individual players during MLB spring training, there’s not much to say about it. Spring training is rife with uncharacteristically poor play, laziness, and the occasional anomaly. Take for example, Ryan Raburn, who in 2012 spring training hit .268, with 6 home runs and 19 RBI, in just 56 at-bats. The flip-side: he went on to fail remarkably in the regular season, putting up a .171 BA with 1 home run and 12 RBI in 205 ABs.
Anomalies are everywhere in baseball, but in spring training they have a way of being hyperbolic. The average fan is better off taking the manager’s word for it, rather than deciding who should be the fifth starter, or the second basemen, based on a small sample size. Then, there’s the other thing about spring training: it’s filled with lesser players. Ryan Raburn may be able to consistently turn on a fastball from an AA pitcher no one has heard of, but he surely can’t do it for a full MLB season.
Sometimes it’s importatnt to put reality aside and see things for their numbers. For the sake of wondering, here are the top offensive performers thus far in 2013 MLB spring training.
Shane Robinson (STL – OF) In 25 at-bats, Robinson is hitting .520 with 3 home runs and 11 RBI. In 102 games at the Major League level, Robinson has hit .242 with 3 home runs and 17 RBI. He’s seen time with the Cardinals since 2009. It would come as no surprise if Robinson’s performance this spring earns him more chances with the big club.
Shane Peterson (OAK – OF) Another Shane who’s spent some time in the minors, and is doing his best to make an impression. In 31 at-bats, Peterson has a .484 BA with a home run and 6 RBI. The 25 year-old California native has a career minor league BA of .286 and a .379 OBP.
Jeff Baker (TEX – 2B) Baker spent time in 2012 with the Cubs and Tigers, and only managed a .239 BA, but this spring he is reminding scouts of ability to provide an occasional offensive outburst. Baker has 13 hits in 27 at-bats. At 31, Baker’s window for success in the MLB is limited. If he can continue hitting during spring training, he may find himself as trade-bait, unless injury takes Ian Kinsler out of the equation.
Mike Moustakas (KC – 3B) 13/27, 1 HR, 7 RBI
Nolan Arenado (COL – 3B) 8/20, 4 HR, 10 RBI
Aaron Hicks (MIN – OF) 12/30 4 HR, 12 RBI
Sports Jerks Network features updated spring training stats leaders twice a week. Check back on Wednesday for more news on top performers in 2013 MLB Spring Training.
Stats courtesy of MLB.com