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Pitchers are starting to go 4-5 innings, teams are showing their regular season lineups, and after a dozen or so games, we’re starting to see which players are consistently putting the ball in play. Spring training stats, as we’ve repeatedly stated, only matter if you want them to.
There are quite a few surprises, and quite a few gimmes. Let’s get to the numbers.
Nick Castellanos 3B (15-for-34, 5 2B, 2 HR, 15 RBI) This spring’s RBI leader has been atop the leaderboards from the outset, not stopping to cool off for a second. He’s made hard contact consistently throughout spring and it appears his plate discipline has improved dramatically over his lackluster 2013 call-up.
Mike Moustakas 3B (14-for-29, 3 2B, 4 HR, 14 RBI) The American League Central’s other third baseman who’s on fire.
Robinson Cano 2B (14-for-23, 2 2B, 6 RBI) Not a lot in the way of run production, but Cano is hitting the ball to all fields for a ridiculous spring average of .609 – the question is whether or not his support in the Mariners lineup will lead to a decline in production during the regular season.
Austin Jackson CF (14-for-21, 2 2B, 1 HR, 10 RBI) Jackson’s spring has continued to move along, and his swing looks like the quiet, balanced swing he had during parts of 2013. During the other parts of 2013, he looked like a completely different batter. Perhaps this is the year Jackson enters the regular season with the consistency he’s sought during his career with the Tigers.
Chris Heisey PH/LF (12-for-31, 4 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI) The 29 year-old left-fielder/pinch-hitter has brought some pop to Reds’ camp, which has struck excitement into the heart of Redlegs Nation, but Heisey will have to do more than hit home runs in spring training to wipe away the disappointment of his last few years with the Reds.
Russell Martin C (8-for18, 4 HR, 9 RBI) Martin is bringin the pop to Pirates camp, but the question is will he bring it up north for an entire season. Martin has never hit more than 21 home runs for any club, but if this spring is any indication of his ability to go deep, he should be able to add to his season-high (not with any help from PNC Park).
Dustin Ackley LF (15-for-34, 5 2B, HR, 9 RBI) It goes without saying he’s swinging a hot bat, but what’s most exciting for the Mariners is that he’s doing a good job in left field. If he carries his offensive production into the regular season, the Mariners may have found a bit of extra production at a corner-outfield spot.
Martin Prado 3B (17-for-33, 5 2B, 5 RBI) Prado remains on the leaderboard, but it should come as no surprise. He’s a .318 career hitter in spring training, and a .293 career hitter during the regular season.
Tommy Medica 1B (16-for-39, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI) Medica has started a majority of his spring games at first, but if he continues to hit well, he may find himself getting accustomed to a corner outfield position.
Matt Long OF (15-for-23, 5 2B, 6 RBI) It’s nice to see a prospect do well in spring, but he’ll likely remain in the minors until the Angels have much less depth in their outfield. And that won’t be for another year or more.
Stats courtesy of MLB.com