A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article discussing how spring training stats can mean something
and may give you an advantage heading into fantasy baseball drafts. The next few days are probably one of the busiest draft weeks of the season, so it's a good time to take a look at potential breakout players, according to John Dewan's Spring Training Slugging Percentage Indicator
As outlined in the mentioned article, the criteria for finding these players is rather simple. Given 40 or more spring training at-bats, if a player
with at least 200 career major league at-bats posts a slugging
percentage at least 200 points higher than his career slugging percentage, he is poised for a breakout year.
This year's list may be a little skewed because of the World Baseball Classic. Many players lost Spring Training at-bats to the tournament, but without any data to support adding those at-bats to a player's Spring Training, I did not try to.
This group of players fit perfectly into the criteria as of the end of play on Monday March 18th
The players below are a few names that will most likely be added to this list before Spring Training concludes, but have yet to reach 40 at-bats, or just missed the 200 point differential at this time.
Finally, there are always a few players that may or may not break camp with their teams that do well in their 40-plus at-bats this spring, but have yet to collect 200 career major league at-bats. Conor Gillaspie
(White Sox), with a plus-218 slugging percentage this spring, is the only player that fits into this category right now that is projected to make a 25-man roster according to MLB Depth Charts
This method has successfully predicted breakout seasons for hitters at a 55-percent
rate over the past seven seasons. A 55-percent rate may not
sound too high, but many other methods for projecting the outcome of player performance at season's end usually sit closer to
30-percent. Last season the predictor rate did not do well, as can be seen here by the list from last year
, but hopefully this year picking up some of these guys will pay off come October.
It's worth remembering the above names if you are looking to take a flier at the end of the draft, or simply want a reason to go an extra dollar on a guy when the bidding stalls in an auction draft.