So it's March and you have an unhealthy obsession with... err... love for baseball. To top it all off, your team is FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY good again, which only makes waiting for the season to begin that much more difficult. Luckily, there is this thing called Spring Training (ST) that happens in March to at least satiate some of our ardent desire for baseball... or maybe it's just meant to tease us further since the games don't mean anything.
Regardless, we at least have SOMETHING that we can follow, listen to, and comment on. To that end, one of my favorite parts of ST is to completely avoid any arguments/discussions about how meaningless the stats are and instead to focus on how awesome and amazing our players are, as evidenced by their glorious ST stats (which don't mean anything). So without further ado, I give you...
The Top 10 Amazing and Ridiculous ST Stats (That Don't Matter):
10) Colin Moran's BB/K ratio of 200%. With a ratio like that, he is practically guaranteed the starting 3B job over the paltry 75% ratio put up by Valbuena.
9) George Springer has amassed a whopping 3 doubles in only 7 games. Therefore, I expect him to hit 69 doubles this season, breaking Earl Webb's 85-year-old record of 67 doubles in a single season.
8) Carlos Gomez has drawn a walk in 50% of his ABs. If he sustains that rate the entire year, and assuming his injuries are behind him so that he gets 500+ ABs, he will far surpass Barry Bond's ridiculous record of 232 walks in 2004.
7) The race for the starting 2B position is a tight one with both Danny Worth and Altuve posting impressive slash lines of .385/.467/.692 and .364/.440/.682, respectively. Altuve has been able to keep a spot on the 25-man with his inspirational story of how a short man can also play in the big leagues, but now that the Astros are contenders he will need to really take his game to the next level if he doesn't want to end up in Fresno.
6) Speaking of tight races for middle infield positions, the race for the starting SS is a tight one as well with MarGo and The Captain both tied at a .500 OBP. MarGo does edge out Captain Correa in the SLG department, giving him an OPS advantage of 1.500 to 1.237. I don't care if Correa is only 21 years old and was the #1 draft pick. He is going to need to post a better OPS than 1.237 if he wants to land a starting role on this team.
5) While everyone freaks out about how the Astros will deal with Stassi's injury, let's not forget about our catching stud, Trent Woodward, who has the highest OPS on the team at 2.000. Luhnow and the FO must REALLY REALLY REALLY value defensive metrics alot higher than offensive metrics if they are still considering starting Castro over Woodward.
4) No one has hit a triple. No one. If we ever needed a sign that El Oso Blanco is a crucial piece of this team, here it is.
3) You don't have to be following too closely to have noticed that Colby Rasmus has had a pretty impressive ST thus far, and that is an understatement. The first man to accept a QO showed up early to camp and the extra work has clearly paid off to the tune of a 1.182 SLG and an OPS of 1.720. He has averaged 1.6 RBIs per game, and by the way, he hasn't been playing all 9 innings. At that rate, he would only need to play in 120 games to break the record of 191 RBIs in a single season, set back in 1930 by Hack Wilson. Perhaps the most impressive stat of all is the fact that his OBP (.538) is actually lower than his AVG (.545). Seriously, who does that? Hats off to you, Colby.
2) Perhaps even more impressive than any of his stats, Colby Rasmus had the best ST quote I've heard so far upon showing up early to camp. You've probably already seen it, but it's definitely worth reading again and again and again:
"My eyes, what I'm seeing right now is, I'm seeing red. I'm ready to go out there and beat some folks, win some ballgames, chest-bump with these guys, and eat some gummy bears. You know what I'm saying?"
1) The Astros are 9-3-1 through the first 13 games of Spring Training. Due to the fact that my mind can't comprehend a tie in baseball (and also to make this stat more impressive), I'm going to throw out the tie game. So with a .750 winning percentage, the Astros are looking at around 121 wins for the season. That essentially guarantees them the division title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs (pending an AL win in the All-Star Game).
In conclusion... LET'S GO 'STROS!!!