Opening Day is less than two weeks away, and while it’s mostly futile to pour over spring training stats, each team has enough games logged to at least take a look and see how players are getting ready for the start of the season.
Baseball is a game of bottom lines. It’s also a game of surprises. With this roundup of spring training stats leaders, there are plenty of players falling into both categories.
No Surprises Here
Jose Abreu (21-for-43, 1 HR, 7 RBI) There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Jose Abreu will continue to impress on the South Side in 2015 as he did in 2014. He’s hitting a cool .488 with a .500 on-base percentage.
Mike Trout (19-for-42, 3 HR, 13 RBI) Trout is not going anywhere, anytime soon. On top of his .452 batting average, he’s stolen three bases and scored 15 runs. Par for the course.
J.D. Martinez (17-for-49, 5 HR, 11 RBI) Notably absent from this list of top performers over the last couple of seasons are Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera. They’ve both seen limited playing time as they come back from surgeries. However, the guy batting after them hasn’t cooled off since joining the Tigers last summer.
Michael Cuddyer (13-for-37, 5 HR, 6 RBI) Cuddyer has quietly hit .279 with an on-base percentage of .347 for the duration of his fifteen-year career, and this spring he’s showing more pop than he has since 2009 when he hit 32 home runs.
Albert Pujols (14-for-43, 4 HR, 14 RBI) It has taken Pujols a while to come around after his dreadful 2013 in which he was sidelined for a good part of the season, and only managed a batting average of .258. Great players are resilient, though.
Some Suprises Here
Kris Bryant (13-for-32, 9 HR, 13 RBI) The Cubs top prospect has been having some fun in Cactusland. He’s expected to see some time in left field before spring training ends, and if his power display is an indicator of his potential, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in Wrigleyville at some point during the regular season.
John Mayberry Jr. (17-for-39, 3 HR, 7 RBI) His last two spring trainings with the Phillies didn’t go so well, but this year the 32 year-old Stanford graduate is making the most of it in Florida. He saw some good playing time with the Phillies over the last two seasons, and it’s likely he’ll be getting some platoon-time with Cuddyer, against lefties.
C.J. Cron (21-for-51, 2 HR, 10 RBI) Cron hit ten home runs over 242 at-bats last year for the Angels, and he’s tending toward solid growth as a major league hitter. Between Pujols and Cron, the Angels have strength at first base.
Alexei Ramirez (16-for-43, 15 RBI) Ramirez is not a .372 hitter, so let’s just get that out of the way. He is, however coming off one of the better offensive seasons of his career in 2014. If Ramirez can remain productive during the regular season, he might be a large piece to a resurgent White Sox team in 2015.
Dee Gordon (16-for-45, 7 SB) Gordon hit .289 and stole 64 bases last year for the Dodgers. The bases aren’t any further apart in Miami, so that’s a plus. He won’t hit .356, though.
Pitchers Worth Mentioning
Taijuan Walker (18.0 IP, o ER, 19 K) It looks like M’s manager Lloyd McClendon has his fifth (or fourth) starter. It goes without saying all eyes will be on the 22 year-old as the Mariners contend for the AL West.
Max Scherzer (20 IP, 3 ER, 23 K) It looks like Scherzer won the bet.
Jered Weaver (21.1 IP, 6 ER, 23 K) Move along. Nothing to see here.
Clayton Kershaw (19.1 IP, 4 ER, 20 K) Again, nothing to see here. Kershaw gonna Kershaw.
Anthony DeSclafani (19.2 IP, 4 ER, 17 K) DeSclafani could be a huge boost to the Reds starting rotation.
Daniel Norris (18.2, 5 ER, 21 K)