Dumb things I’ve read today

Yoan Moncada who I have pegged for baseball stardom since 2016 has started out spring training with five hits in his first eight at bats. The Twitterverse is now abuzz, as the couch scouts have identified that “he looks so much more comfortable at the plate.” I wonder what they would be saying if he was two for eight with the other six outs being scorched line drives? Probably calling him a bust again, remember, even bunt hits and bloopers look like rockets in the box score. I love all that is baseball and fandom… However, the majority of fans are as fickle as your 7th grade girlfriend. This is nothing more than small sample size bias. I’ve always said Yoan is going to be a star one day and it has nothing to do with an eight at-bat spring training sample. The skills and tools are there, or they aren’t. Whether a guy hits .250 or .330. Does anyone doubt Bryce Harper because he hit .249 last year? There are only a handful of things that diminish a players skills. The most viable reasons are age and health. Age will naturally erode a player’s skill set, it happens to everyone and unfortunately it happens at different ages for everyone. If a guy is in great shape he might last longer (Ichiro Suzuki hit .315 as a 36 year old) or maybe not (Frank Thomas from 22-32 only hit below .300 one time; after age 32 he never hit above .277, before retiring at 40). As it pertains to health, Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa both had down years last season while they battled injuries Correa (back), Bryant (shoulder). They are both young and there is no reason to believe they can’t be peak performers in 2019 (if healthy). Do not believe in spring training stats unless they suggest an underlying improvement to a particular skill set. If Moncada drops his K rate to 15% or a pitcher adds two ticks to his fastball, color me intrigued, those two items suggest they are on the rise. If not, these short term statistical spikes mean absolutely nothing. I believe in Moncada and have faith he will be a star, but the results of eight spring training at bats are nothing more than white noise.