Never use spring training statistics

Sean Rodriguez won't even be starting when the season begins.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Sean Rodriguez is the perfect example of why you only follow spring training results for injury reports and nothing else.

If one were to just look at the "numbers" through March 15th, Rodriguez is the next coming of Babe Ruth, or at least Chase Utley.

Ruth's career statistics show he hit one HR every 11.76 at-bats. So far this spring, Rodriguez has four homers in 25 at-bats or one every 6.25 ABs. He has a slugging percentage of 1.000 and an OPS of 1.483.

And of course, barring injury, he won't even be starting when the season begins for the Rays on April 6th.

The Tampa Bay starting second baseman is Ben Zobrist. Zobrist is hitting a mediocre .250 this spring with a slugging percentage of .438 and an OPS of just .753.

But Zobrist is coming off a great season, likely a "career" year in which he hit .297 with 27 HR, 91 RBI, 91 runs and stole 17 bases. He was a fantasy "superstar" because going into the season he wasn't drafted in most leagues.

One year later, he's the No.8 shortstop on most boards, No.9 on the TSN rankings and has an ADP (Average Draft Position) of 50.7 meaning he is being selected in the fifth round.

The fact of the matter is, Rodriguez isn't even the team's backup at the moment, that position belongs to Willy Aybar. Rodriguez is simply vying for a spot on the roster and possibly a pinch-hit role.

The moral of the story is to take everything that is going on in the Grapefruit League and Cactus League with a "grain of salt."

Below are the top-five spring training hitters, based on total bases through the middle of March. Jose Bautista is the only one of the five that has a chance to start.

Fernando Martinez NYM 22 7 13 2 7 25 0.591 1.678
Dean Rodriguez TB 25 8 10 4 9 25 0.400 1.483
Jose Bautista TOR 17 7 11 3 6 24 0.647 2.059
Tyler Colvin CHC 29 6 15 1 6 23 0.517 1.310
Tony Abreu LAD 27 8 13 1 8 22 0.481 1.296

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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