Spring stats are meaningless, for the most part, but they can still be fun to look at. Let’s see who is leading the Rockies so far in Spring Training 2012.
Who has seen the most action?
Tyler Colvin and Brandon Wood have each appeared in 22 games thus far this spring. Trailing behind by two games is Chris Nelson. I think we can extrapolate some information from this stat: these guys intrigued Jim Tracy enough to see if they were worthy of making the team but he needed to see as much of them as he could this spring to make his decision. I think both Colvin and Nelson have done enough to make the team. Nelson has done enough to allow the Rockies to release Casey Blake and his $2 million salary (although he still gets about $490,000 from the Rockies for his time this spring…nice job if you can get it).
Wood on the other hand is trying to show that he can play in the big leagues. Once a top prospect for the Angels and even a top prospect in baseball, Wood crushes the ball in the minor leagues. In the minors Wood has a career triple slash of .284/.352/.536 in nearly 3,000 at-bats. Really good. However in 700 at-bats in the majors Wood’s triple slash is a putrid .186/.225/.289. So far this spring he is a mix between his major and minor stats (which makes sense since you see both kinds of pitching during the spring) with a line of .262/.256/.429. Not good enough to make the team.
Who has the most hits?
One of the guys with the most game action has the most hits; Colvin with 18. He is tied for first while Jordan Pacheco, Jonathan Herrera and Wilin Rosario trail with 16 hits each. It is not a shock that each of these guys has a great stat line this spring.
On the other end Dexter Fowler did hit a home run yesterday but it was only his sixth hit all spring. His triple slash is lower than low at .118./151/.255. Not what you want to see from a guy who is expected to lead off for the team in 160 games this year. The reports are that his timing is off with his leg kick and Spring Training is exactly where you want him to work on that. I would expect him to get a lot of playing time for the final few days and continue to work on that timing.
Who has the most extra-base hits?
Todd Helton and Pacheco lead the team in doubles with six. Wood has two triples this spring with Michael Cuddyer, Colvin, Ramon Hernandez, Eric Young Jr. and Herrera all knocking one three bagger of their own. Only one Rockie has three homers this spring and that is Rosario. Fowler, Andrew Brown, Helton and Troy Tulowitzki each have two. All of that equals Helton tallying the most extra-base hits this spring with eight. Pacheco is trailing him with seven. Pacheco and Colvin, however; lead the team in total bases with 27.
Best average, on-base and slugging percentages?
Rosario is leading the team in average by batting a whopping .471. Not sure how the Rockies can leave him off of the roster at this point, no matter how bad his defense supposedly is. Pacheco is batting .400 and Helton is batting .375. Not surprisingly (with so few plate appearances those who draw walks and those who do not haven’t had enough time to separate themselves in on-base percentage) Rosario (.486), Pacheco (.460) and Helton (.459) also lead the team this spring in on-base percentage.
Rosario is also slugging a Ruthian .824 with Brown trailing him at .800 and old-man Helton sticking in third by slugging .750.
Who is missing?
Now that we have touched on some of the leaders there are a few names missing that one would expect to be near or at the top of any of these statistical categories. The first one that jumps to my mind is Carlos Gonzalez. We haven’t mentioned him in any of the above categories. CarGo has only played in 15 games this spring and batted .279/.279/.419. Tracy and the Rockies know that CarGo will be CarGo once the season starts and they are letting the other guys who are fighting for a spot on the roster play more and figure CarGo doesn’t need to time in camp to work on his swing or “get right”. He will be right once the clock starts next week. He does have one homer and if you care about RBI’s he does lead the team in runs driven in this spring with 16.
Along those same lines Tulo hasn’t seen a lot of playing time this spring. Again, the team knows that Tulo will perform and be one of the best players in baseball once the season starts. In only 34 at-bats this spring Tulo has hit .324/.361/.559 with four extra-base hits. He’ll be fine. What about his double-play partner?
Marco Scutaro has started slow this spring only batting .188/.395./281. While the average and slugging are low that on-base percentage near .400 is very nice and from the guy who is slated to bat second in the lineup that is exactly what the Rockies need: someone to get on-base ahead of CarGo, Tulo and Helton. Again, Scutaro is a veteran and he will be OK, no worries about his spring stats.
As my colleague Brendan Giles said yesterday in the comments section with regards to Casey Blake being cut; he believes the Rockies let Blake go because that essentially frees up another bench position for a guy like Pacheco to make the team. They can carry three catchers now, if you count Pacheco as an option behind the plate, which means Rosario can make the team. The biggest benefactor of the Blake cut might be Rosario. There are a few stories floating around that the last spot on the team might be between Herrera and EY2, but I am not sure the Rockies would have broken camp with Rosario on the team if Blake was taking up a spot (Pacheco would have been the backup catcher who could also play third and second base).
It will be an interesting few days as camp winds down and the team needs to not only decide on what to do with their bench but what to do with their rotation. Will Jamie Moyer make the team? The camp that says “yes” seems to be gaining members.