"Yeah, well I had the Dodgers' second-best Spring Training OPS in 2010" (via) "Yeah, well I had the Dodgers' second-best Spring Training OPS in 2010" (via)

The Recent History of Dodgers Spring Hitting

"Yeah, well I had the Dodgers' second-best Spring Training OPS in 2010" (via)

Really, I had to use this picture. (via)

With spring training games fast approaching, we’ll undoubtedly start seeing some interesting stat lines among the Dodgers’ hitters. While everybody remembers Yasiel Puig‘s amazing spring training performance from last season, who else has stuck out in the last few years? The following leaderboards are the top three spring training OPSs among Dodger position players with at least 30 plate appearances. I’ve also included each player’s major league batting line, so we can see how their spring training lines compared to their regular season performance.

2013

Spring training Regular season
PA BA OBP SLG PA BA OBP SLG
Yasiel Puig 58 .517 .500 .828 432 .319 .391 .534
Brian Barden 32 .517 .576 .621 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Andre Ethier 60 .302 .387 .585 553 .272 .360 .423

Everybody remembers Puig’s amazing spring training performance last year. Nobody remembers that Brian Barden nearly matched it. After that spring performance, Barden hit .277/.350/.381 in Albuquerque, which isn’t great after adjusting for the inflated run environment there. Ethier had the third-highest OPS, which isn’t too surprising.

2012

Spring training Regular season
PA BA OBP SLG PA BA OBP SLG
Andre Ethier 55 .385 .431 .846 618 .284 .351 .460
Juan Rivera 65 .349 .382 .619 339 .244 .286 .375
Dee Gordon 73 .379 .446 .485 330 .228 .280 .281

Ethier makes another appearance, this time at the top of a list. He had a decent regular season, but he wasn’t able to match the power that he displayed during spring training. The names after Ethier combined for -2.3 WAR during the regular season. Juan Rivera was the typical terrible veteran and Dee Gordon had a complete disaster of a season which derailed his career.

2011

Spring training Regular season
PA BA OBP SLG PA BA OBP SLG
Jerry Sands 37 .313 .405 .594 227 .253 .338 .389
Juan Castro 36 .375 .444 .531  15 .286 .333 .286
Trent Oeltjen 31 .357 .419 .536  91 .197 .322 .324

This list is an indicator of how depressing the 2011 season was more than anything else. The top three spring training OPSs barely made an impact at the major league level during the regular season. Juan Castro retired after the Dodgers DFAd him, and this was the last time Trent Oeltjen saw major league playing time. Jerry Sands didn’t live up to his promise during the 2011 season. He hasn’t managed to much since he was traded to Boston in 2012.

The list continues to be both funny and sad below the third spot. Matt Kemp was fourth, but Hector Gimenez and Aaron Miles were right behind him.

2010

Spring training Regular season
PA BA OBP SLG PA BA OBP SLG
Blake DeWitt 74 .349 .461 .556 496 .261 .336 .373
Jamey Carroll 38 .382 .436 .471 414 .291 .379 .339
Andre Ethier 69 .292 .329 .569 585 .292 .364 .493

Blake Dewitt’s spring training line brought us hope that he was going to finally live up to the potential that he displayed as a prospect. However, his batting line during the regular season was below league average, and he was traded to the Cubs for Ted Lilly during the regular season. Jamey Carroll  was able to maintain an above-average hitting line during the regular season, though without the power he displayed during the spring. In third, Ethier shows up on yet another list. 2010 was one of Ethier’s best hitting seasons, so no surprise there.

2009

Spring training Regular season
PA BA OBP SLG PA BA OBP SLG
Manny Ramirez 35 .458 .639 .625 431 .290 .418 .531
Russell Martin 47 .326 .383 .698 588 .250 .352 .329
Juan Castro 62 .383 .397 .617 121 .277 .311 .339

Remember how fun Manny Ramirez was? And look at that OBP from spring training. That hitting line was especially nice because it came almost immediately after the difficult process of re-signing him. Despite being suspended for nearly 1/3 of the 2009 season, Manny still managed to add significant value to the Dodgers’ offense. Russell Martin had great power during spring training, but he wasn’t able to carry it through to the regular season, which was the worst offensive season of his career. In third is Juan Castro. Again.

Really, it should be obvious. Hitters are going to have highly variable statistics in spring training’s tiny samples. While there are plenty of hitters who had great seasons on these lists, they’re matched by plenty who were awful. If Chone Figgins hits .450/.550/.600 during spring training, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Dodgers should put him on the roster over Justin Turner.

If anything, this post doubled as a fun reminder of the team’s past and helps us to look forward to the start of the games this week.


About

Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area and remains a Dodger fan despite currently residing in Salem, MA. As an engineer, he’s fascinated by the math and science behind the game of baseball, which probably explains a lot. He started “Blog To The Score” in late 2013 to dig deeper into the numbers behind the Dodgers. In its brief lifespan, it gained attention from local and national media. You can find him spending too much time in the comments section or on Twitter.


839 comments
efb
efb

NEWWWWWWWWWWWW

KMT59
KMT59

get back to find out my son is running a slight fever...not going to be a restful day

TellMyWifeISaidHello
TellMyWifeISaidHello

The fact we have not heard of Alex G booting an easy ground ball is good news right?

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@TellMyWifeISaidHello  the journalists are too busy trying to get Matt Kemp and Zack Greinke to say something that will be twisted into a way that will piss people off.