It's almost here. This is one of those update posts as we get ready for the Spring Training games to begin. It's also time to let you know how I'll focus on Spring Training in terms of coverage. Let's go over a few ground rules so we know what's important.
1 - Records don't matter in Spring Training: Winning is irrelevent. You know who won spring training last year? Don't cheat and use google. Exactly, you have no idea. It was Toronto. Yep, a team that finished 16 games under .500 in the AL East. We went 10-18 in Spring Training and won 94 games.
2 - A veteran's stats don't really matter, either: You know what Dan Uggla hit in training? He was batting .277 with 6 bombs. Know what Chipper was hitting? Around .200 with only 1 RBI. How did that work out in the regular season? Not so much. You can't really glean anything from their numbers because they don't really care, and they are working on techniques against odd rotations.
3 - Fielding stats do matter: Guess the only two starters on the team to make 3 errors in training? Dan Uggla and Tyler Pastornicky. One got replaced because he had 7 errors in 42 games and the other led the team with 12 errors on the season. Fielding is fielding. You don't want to see people struggle at any level with the glove.
4 - Young kids do matter: Simmons got his shot because he could field well in training. A guy like Bethancourt is going to have a lot of eyeballs on him since McCann won't be ready until late April, and Rossy is gone. Watch how the young guys field, and their approach at the plate. The hits and misses don't matter, it's the mental aspect. Are they swinging at good pitches? Are they taking close balls off the plate? Are they aggressive in the right spots? All of those things are important at the major league level. As Kevin Costner says, "They throw ungodly breaking stuff in the show."
Keep your eyes open. See if you can find the next star.