As taco pal reviewed recently, there are a number of position players on the bubble, fighting for remaining roster spots.
Many of these players, as well as some, like Gload, Valdez, and Schneider who are considered locks to make the team, are having great Springs. However some of this success is due to unusually high BABIPs, and highlights the risk of basing Opening Day roster decisions in large part on the 40-80 PAs a player might get in Spring Training.
In the table below, adj OPS is what each player's Spring OPS would be if we added or subtracted enough singles to bring their Spring BABIP in line with their career number.
Of the "bubble" players, John Mayberry Jr. and Josh Barfield both have an OPS over 1.000. However one of these two appears to be more lucky than hot.
- John Mayberry's BABIP is .303. This is not far from the .278 he's seen in limited MLB time, which is actually about what might be expected based on his .307 BABIP in AAA.
- However Josh Barfield's impressive OPS of 1.012 is due almost entirely to a .500 BABIP. Taking away enough singles to reduce his BABIP to his .307 career number would reduce his OPS to .713, not far from his career OPS of .671.
- In addition, Delwyn Young, Michael Martinez, and Pete Orr have all been helped somewhat by above-average BABIPs.
- Rollins and Ruiz are having a tough time even when accounting for differences in BABIP
- Howard, Francisco, and Schneider on the other hand are doing well, and would also be doing well with their usual BABIP.
- Victorino (.922 OPS) and Polanco (.466) are having very different Springs, but both would be at typical levels if their BABIP also was.
- Gload and Valdez have both been helped by high BABIPs.
(data table after the jump)
data through Wed. 3/16
Martinez has no MLB experience, so his MLB BABIP is estimated based on his career MiLB BABIP of .299
The 3x3 grid below shows whether they've been lucky/unlucky (i.e. Spring BABIP compared to career BABIP), and hot/cold (i.e. adjusted OPS compared to career OPS):
I haven't seen hitters categorized this way, and maybe for good reason. Does this make sense? Fire away.