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How To Read Spring Training Boxscores

At just about the half way point of the Spring, the tiem to begin looking at the stats seriously is about to begin.  Teams are sending waves of players to the minors and getting their roster under 40 players.  There will still be split squad games where half the offense will be in AAA, but the pitchers will be getting used at more typical points in games.  No more Closers pitching the 4th and 5th inning.

What I have looked for in Spring Training boxscores is who is teamed with the clubs' best players.  If there is a middle infield competition like there is in Colorado, I see who starts with SS Troy Tulowitzki.  In St. Louis, I watch who is playing when 1B Albert Pujols is in the line-up.  In Cleveland, I note which OFers flank Grady Sizemore.

In the boxscore, I note who started without much attention paid to who finishes unless their is a multi-player competition for one position as is the case with the SS job for the Los Angeles Angels.  The Spring opened with Erick Aybar, Macier Izturis and Brandon Wood going for the job.  When the starter is removed, I note who played next.  In this way, it became clear to me that Brandon Wood is no longer in the running for the position.

I do check the actual stats and just note anything that may effect roster decisions like Cameron Maybin starting in CF, hitting HRs and stealing bases.  If he does well, then I expect him to make the roster.  If he performs like Brandon Wood (.073 AVG), then I expect him to return to the minor leagues.

Here are the leaders in three of the stats I look at - Total Bases, Walks and Steals.

Total Bases:

  1. Brian Anderson CHW 30
  2. Ivan Rodriguez DET 30
  3. Nick Swisher   CHW 28
  4. Carlos Guillen DET 27
  5. Ryan Howard    PHI 26
  6. Torii Hunter   LAA 26
  7. Angel Pagan    NYM 26
  8. Alex De Aza    FLA 25
  9. M Hoffpauir    CHC 25
  10. Mike Morse    SEA 25
  1. Sam Fuld       CHI 9
  2. Colby Rasmus   STL 9
  3. Jim Thome      CHW 9
  4. Brian Anderson CHW 8
  5. Jack Cust      OAK 8
  6. Dave DeJesus   KC  8
  7. Brandon Inge   DET 8
  8. Mike Cameron   MLW 7
  9. Kosuke Fuikudome C 7
  10. Luis Gonzalez  FLA 7
Stolen Bases:
  1. Brian Roberts  BAL 7
  2. Eugenio Velez   SF 7
  3. Joey Gaithright KC 6
  4. Juan Pierre    LAD 6
  5. Reg Abercrombie HO 5
  6. Michael Bourn  HOU 5
  7. Lastings Milledge  5
  8. Scott Podsednick C 5
  9. Rickie Weeks   MLW 5
  10. Alexi Casilla  MIN 4