15 Spring Training stat lines that really do matter

March 26th, 2024

One of the hardest mysteries to solve every March is which Spring Training stat lines are going to translate to the regular season. But we're going to do our best anyway.

With Opening Day just a few days away, let's try to figure out which players' strong springs are going to mean an equally strong 2024 season.

Here are 15 Spring Training stat lines that matter for 2024 -- eight hitters and seven pitchers.

All Spring Training stats are entering the week.


, Orioles
.417 AVG / .722 SLG / 1.154 OPS

The Orioles' 101-win season in 2023 came on the back of Henderson's emergence as a star. Their ability to go even further in 2024 will depend on what the AL Rookie of the Year can do for an encore. And Henderson's already raking. There's more than just what's on his stat sheet, too. Henderson only has six batted balls tracked by Statcast this spring (due to tracking only being installed in limited parks) -- but all six are hard-hit, with an average exit velocity of 105.9 mph. That includes a 110.4 mph home run off the Twins' Joe Ryan on Sunday.

, Blue Jays
3 HR, .463 AVG / .707 SLG / 1.218 OPS

This is an important season for Vlad Jr., whose production took a bit of a dip in 2023, to "only" 26 home runs and a .788 OPS. But the 25-year-old is looking like the slugger who hit 48 homers in 2021. Guerrero's 2024 Spring Training stat line looks a lot like his 2021 Spring Training stat line, from just before his home run barrage: That spring, Vlad Jr. hit .421 with a .737 slugging and 1.248 OPS.

, Rangers
6 HR, .375 AVG / .732 SLG / 1.161 OPS

In one major way, Langford's Spring Training stat line has already mattered: MLB's No. 6 prospect is on the World Series champs' Opening Day roster because of it. The way Langford has crushed the ball, his meteoric rise from No. 4 overall Draft pick in 2023 to Major Leaguer on Opening Day 2024 sure looks justified. And it gives the Rangers one of the most exciting young duos in the bigs in Langford and Evan Carter.

, Giants
.414 AVG / 1.071 OPS, 4 BB to 3 K

Lee established himself as an elite contact hitter in Korea, but it's good to get a glimpse of what he can do against big league-level pitching before he makes his Giants debut. The signs are promising. Lee's high batting average and low strikeout rate in Spring Training are hopefully a preview of the regular season. His smooth line-drive swing was on full display against the D-backs on Feb. 29, when Lee roped a 99.7 mph double leading off the game and ripped a 109.7 mph home run a few innings later.

, Pirates
7 HR (3 hit 114 mph or harder)

Spring Training home runs don't always translate to the regular season, but we like to see Cruz flashing the exciting tools he showed in his 2022 rookie season before a fractured fibula cost him nearly all of 2023. Cruz isn't just hitting home runs, he's ripping home runs -- including three with exit velocities of 116.6 mph, 115.0 mph and 114.4 mph. His 98.7 mph average exit velo leads all hitters this spring, just ahead of Aaron Judge.

, Marlins
.386 AVG, 7 XBH

MLB's contact king has picked up right where he left off. Arraez, whose .400 chase captivated the baseball world in 2023 and who wound up winning the MLB batting title at .354, is up to his old tricks at Spring Training with a near-.400 average while spraying a bunch of extra-base hits to boot.

, Blue Jays
.400 OBP, 8 SB with 0 CS

Varsho's bat wasn't as strong in his first year in Toronto as it was the previous couple of seasons in Arizona, but he looks like he's working on keeping a flatter swing plane in 2024, and that has him getting on base at a high clip this spring. And when Varsho's on base, he's running. He leads Spring Training with eight stolen bases, and he hasn't been caught once. He could blow past the 16 steals he posted in 2022 and '23.

, Orioles
.311 AVG / .600 SLG / .954 OPS, 2 HR, 2 3B, 3 2B

Holliday's stellar Spring Training stat line doesn't matter yet -- he's starting the season in the Minors -- but it will matter soon. The No. 1 overall prospect in baseball is going to be in the Majors before long, and when he is, watch out. This is the second straight spring Holliday has shown he can run with the big boys -- he batted .429 in Spring Training 2023. The 20-year-old could be to the 2024 Orioles what Henderson was to the 2023 Orioles and Adley Rutschman was to the 2022 Orioles.


, Braves
6 G, 0.79 ERA, 35 K in 22 2/3 IP

The Braves' ace was already the obvious favorite to lead the Majors in strikeouts again. But Strider's 2024 Spring Training numbers are extra impressive when you factor in that he's been working on a new pitch all spring: a curveball to go with his overpowering fastball-slider combo. If Strider somehow gets even nastier in 2024, he's a Triple Crown threat and the frontrunner to win his first Cy Young Award.

(Honorable mention to another Braves starter here, Chris Sale, who has 23 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings and also looks great.)

, Tigers
4 G, 2.57 ERA, 19 K in 14 IP

Skubal was a trendy dark-horse Cy Young pick entering Spring Training, and the hype has only increased. The left-hander has continued his dominant stretch run for Detroit last season into Spring Training 2024, and he looks poised to carry that dominance into the regular season. Skubal is averaging close to 97 mph on his heater this spring, a full mph faster than he was sitting in 2023 … which was already two mph faster than he was throwing in 2022.

, Mets
4 G, 3 2/3 IP, 0 H, 5 K

Díaz's long-awaited return to the Mets is coming, and the star closer has looked like his old self in his Spring Training warmup act.

Díaz hasn't allowed a hit in four spring outings, and he has racked up five strikeouts while sitting at just under 97 mph with his fastball and generating lots of swings and misses with his wipeout slider.

, Cubs
19 K in 9 2/3 IP, 46.3% strikeout rate

Look at those strikeouts. Imanaga is striking out nearly half the batters he faces, which is insane. There's no better indicator that you have Major League-caliber stuff than racking up nearly two K's per inning. Imanaga's first MLB start -- lined up for the Cubs' home opener -- will be one of the most interesting pitcher debuts to watch in 2024.

, Astros
5 G, 2.12 ERA, 17 K in 17 IP

Brown was lights-out in his 2022 debut, with a 0.89 ERA for Houston down the stretch, but he blew up in 2023 -- and not in the good way -- posting a 5.09 ERA in 31 outings (29 starts). So which is the real Hunter Brown? Well, the quality of his stuff suggests the 25-year-old is a lot better than his 2023 ERA, and Brown has made key adjustments this spring by separating out a slower slider from his harder cutter.

Brown's excellent results in camp seem to reflect that his changes are working.

, A's
7 G, 11 K in 6 2/3 IP, 101.7 mph max velo

Now that Miller is in the bullpen, he has high-end closer potential. Why? Extreme power stuff. Miller's fastball is sitting right around triple digits this spring, and he's reached a max velo of 101.7 mph and recorded a strikeout at 100.9 mph, the fastest K of Spring Training 2024. The 25-year-old right-hander also has a wipeout high-80s slider, and his fastball-slider combo is so overpowering that Miller might not even need his mid-90s cutter and low-90s changeup as a reliever.

, White Sox
5 G, 2.13 ERA, 14 K in 12 2/3 IP

Crochet has gone from a reliever to Chicago's unlikely Opening Day starter following the team's trade of Dylan Cease. It will be the first start of his MLB career, period, and Crochet has earned it with his spring performance.

The flamethrowing lefty has been hitting 98-100 mph with regularity at Spring Training, and when his slider is at its best, it might even remind White Sox fans a little bit of Carlos Rodón's, or Chris Sale's.