Originally written on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 11/16/14
With spring training baseball up to full speed and headed for the regular season, the news is coming fast and furious. Each rest day, each slap double, each pick-off attempt is being carefully reviewed, studied and analyzed by coaches to help players perform their best, and by opponents searching for any sign of weakness. Like a gardener cultivating his crops, coaches are helping fine-tune their athletes in the hopes of storming the gates on Opening Day and beyond. There is, however, a third group with little-to-no interest in wins. These men are also watching tapes and analyzing, sometimes more meticulously than a helping hand or a feared foe. These men are the sports press, and it is their duty to bring spring baseball to the masses. However, with less games happening, the analyses are forced to be a little bit more in depth than your typical game recaps. The stat lines and dramas are held to a somewhat higher standard before opening day, often yielding very interesting conclusions. Take, for example, the recent spring training game against the Padres. Mike Trout hit a double and a triple, but no home runs. How does it happen that the Rookie of the Year and a leading MVP candidate can’t hit a homerun in the pre-season? It’s got to be that extra weight everyone was on about, right? Maybe he feels slighted about his contract raise being too small? No! I’ve got it! He’s upset about Torii Hunter going to Detroit. That’s the ticket! Trout’s done. He’s a rookie flash in the pan. No homers against a pitcher with a near 4.00 ERA and a .500 record? He’s not going to be the same old Trout, that much is certain. The spring training stats don’t lie! And what of Peter Bourjos? Simply put, Halo fans sure are glad he didn’t get traded in the off-season! After vocalizing his desire for more playing time and tentatively being given the nod as the starting center fielder, Speedy Pete’s been a demon! Hitting over .300 with a home run to his credit and faster than ever, it’s no wonder he’s taken the center field job from Trout! But what’s his secret? It’s got to be the socks! Tucking his uniform pants into his socks has always made Bourjos more aerodynamic, and now hiking them up the extra inch or so has given him the big push he needs to succeed! There is no other explanation, else it would have been apparent by now. Spring training tells all! The Halos’ big man, Albert Pujols, has made his presence known in preseason with two big homers. For a man so fixated on the icebreaker last season, this is good news. The downside, of course, is that we’re past the halfway point in spring training and two is a number Pujols doesn’t want. Last season, Albert slammed seven balls over the outfield wall. He’s currently on track to hit just five. We knew his 10-year contract wasn’t going to be all that useful towards the end, but just one year in and Pujols is already falling off. Crunching the numbers, he’s projected to hit only 21 homers this year, almost a full third less than last year’s 30. The downslide has begun! Halo fans are in for a loooooong stretch of old-man baseball. So sayeth the spring training stats! So shall it be! In better news, the numbers look absolutely amazing for the million dollar man Josh Hamilton. While he’s sat out a handful of games, his stats look even better than they did when he was racking them up against our beloved Anaheim franchise. NASA can’t confirm due to budget cuts, but it’s believed that his first homerun in an Angels uniform is still in a shallow orbit somewhere over Colorado. If you’re Arte Moreno, you’ve got to be looking at re-modeling the right field pavilion, because another retired number is coming! Its spring training math, baby! It’s foolproof! Of course, spring training is just that: Training. The statistics have meaning, but one game in April will wipe out every run earned in Tempe these last few weeks. As always, Opening day will be the true benchmark. We’ll see how far these men have grown as athletes after an offseason reflecting on missed chances and playoff dreams. In the meantime, spring training is fun to watch, but it is important to keep things in perspective. After all, if spring training stats and records meant THAT much, the Astros would have been one of the worst teams in the league last season! ...waitaminute. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jets to release Percy Harvin

NFL teams shed Top 5 salaries, eye free agency

Report: Jets acquire Brandon Marshall in trade with Bears

With Hunter Pence out, Giants have options

Dustin Pedroia on confidence after grand slam: 'Just watch'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jon Jones thinks he can beat Cain Velasquez

Larry Bird jokes about pose of Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Barry Switzer urged Cowboys to draft Murray with great quote

SF Giants file brief in support of gay marriage to Supreme Court

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Winston's film vs. Oregon is why scouts love him

Ndamukong Suh: Show him the money

Who is the 'franchise player' at each sports network?

WATCH: Duncan Keith makes young girl's dream come true

Top 10 storylines to watch in spring practice

Analyzing the top-five free agent quarterbacks

Five NBA players set to make biggest impact down the stretch

Five areas the Eagles must address this offseason

WATCH: Craig Sager emotional in warm welcome back to TNT

Likeliest landing spots for Ndamukong Suh

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ndamukong Suh: Show him the money

Winston's film vs. Oregon is why scouts love him

Report: Jets acquire Brandon Marshall

With Pence out, Giants have options

Analyzing the top-five free agent QBs

NBA players set to make biggest impact

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.