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The Grapefruit Kings

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There are two teams with winning records the last three seasons in the Grapefruit League. The Twins and Tigers. In fact, the Twins have the longest string of winning records and haven't had a losing season since 2007 thanks to the performance of players like Aaron Hicks, Luke Hughes, Cole DeVries and Matt Maloney.

... and it means nothing.

Spring training records and individual stat lines have no meaning. They shouldn't be used to argue that one player or another should make the roster.

Think otherwise? Let's argue here. Let's avoid arguing the meaning of these numbers in every post about who should make the roster. I would suggest that we avoid using any spring training stats, but that isn't reasonable. The best I can hope for is that they would simply be ignored.

They still have a place. I look at them. They tell a story of the games. They add to my enjoyment of following the Twins in the spring. If Luke Hughes or Aaron Hicks or Miguel Sano have a multi home run game, I enjoy the moment. I also realize that they can not be used to argue whether a player should make the team.

I am not suggesting that battles for roster spots are not won in spring training. They will be and should be. The Twins staff will see these players every day. They will see the bat speed, the approach at the plate, the defensive fundamentals and range, the movement on the pitches and the effectiveness of a new pitch. Players will improve in strength or have worked their tail off this winter to get in better shape. Parker may be able to show video of an improved swing. The experienced coaching staff will see the skills and evaluate. The jobs will be won or lost in those eyes.

It can't be the numbers. Let's not use them to support arguments about roster spots. When used to argue roster, let's ignore them. Meanwhile let's look forward to the Twins taking the field and continuing their reign as the Grapefruit Kings.
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  1. twinsfan34's Avatar
    Can any of those HRs be traced to actual MLB pitching, instead of guys just trying to make it?

    e.g. a HR off of Adam Wainwright matters more than 5 homers off AAAA talent.

    Be curious how that translates. Even so, a very small sample size.
  2. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Home run rate stabilizes at 170 regular season plate appearances. A home run off of Wainwright or 5 off of AAAA are equally meaningless in determining a roster spot.
  3. ashburyjohn's Avatar
    We just need better analytics, to give us the "home runs per dead fish slider" ratio in Spring.
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