Spring Forward: Understanding Spring Training Statistics
Few truths are held to be more self-evident by quantitative analysts of baseball than "spring training statistics don't matter." And like so many of the sabermetric community's old sacred cows, it turns out to be dead wrong. Although spring training numbers are noisy, they contain powerful predictive information for both hitters and pitchers when properly parsed, which cannot be obtained from any other source. This presentation explains why the signal is so hard to detect, reveal how to extract it, demonstrate how much it can improve statistical forecasts and analyze how teams can use these numbers hiding in plain sight to make better personnel decisions as the season begins.