Thursday, March 31, 2005

Early Indications

The weather is finally turning nice, teams are leaving Florida and Arizona, and baseball is just 3 days away from opening in Boston! Needless to say, I'm ready.

With just a handful of Spring games left, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at how the new position players are doing compared to the old ones. Keep in mind - Spring training stats aren't exactly a good indicator of how a player will do in the regular season, as pitchers tend to work on new pitches, batters try getting more looks at pitches, regulars end up facing AA players, etc. With that out of the way - how are things looking?

Shortstop

David Eckstein - .420/.517/.560, 50 at-bats, 15 Runs, 4 Doubles, 1 Home Run
Edgar Renteria - .222/.314/.378, 45 at-bats, 8 Runs, 4 Doubles, 1 Home Run

Eckstein has been amazing this Spring, having one stretch where he reached base in 14 out of 16 games. All he has to do this year is get on base and he's going to be helping out the offense a lot. Note that his runs scored rate would translate into 150 over a 500 at-bat season. Granted, he's not going to get on base more than 50% of the time during the regular season, but if he can just crack the .380 mark he'll be the best leadoff hitter the Cardinals have had since Fernando Vina in 2000.

2nd Base

Mark Grudzielanek - .412/.464/.510, 51 at-bats, 5 RBI, 6 R, 5 Doubles
Tony Womack - .439/.476/.614, 57 at-bats, 9 RBI, 11 R, 3 Triples

Obviously, neither of these guys is going to hit .400 with a .450+ OBP in 2005, but they've both torn the cover off of the ball this Spring. Much like Eckstein, Grudzielanek has been getting on base a lot, having a stretch of 15 consecutive games where he reached.

Maybe Womack really didn't have a fluke season last year? Personally, I'm not buying that unless he can pull it off again this year.

Catcher

Yadier Molina - .289/.333/.378, 45 at-bats, 9 RBI, 7 R, 4 Doubles
Mike Matheny - .316/.350/.395, 38 at-bats, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 Doubles

Matheny has been hitting slightly better, which of course is likely helped by the fact that he's the only guy in this article playing in the offensive-friendly cactus league.

If anything, one can look at Molina's stats and get a better understanding of just how good the St. Louis lineup really is. When the guy hitting 8th in a lineup is on pace to drive in 99 and score 77 over 500 at-bats despite only reaching base a third of the time, he is surrounded by some serious talent.

3 Comments:

At 1:43 PM, Blogger cardsfanboy said...

not that it's important, but Matheny always hits in spring training and the first month of the season. Imagine how bad of a hitter he must really be if you eliminate his first month of the season as a cardinal every year.

 
At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Josh said...

ditto, I've been fooled many times by Matheny's hot starts. Wait till may before you make any judgements.

 
At 7:25 AM, Blogger Antonio Hicks said...

I was just browsing various blogs as I was doing a search on the word poster, and I just wanted to say that I really like what you've done with your blog, even though it wasn't particularly related to what I searched for. I appreciate your postings, and your blog is a good example of how a blog should be done. I've only just recently started a Posters website - feel free to visit it when you get a chance if you wish. Much success, antonio.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home