Fantasy Baseball 2014: Complete How-to Guide to Spring Training

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Fantasy Baseball 2014: Complete How-to Guide to Spring Training
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press
Spring training will give fantasy baseball owners an early look at young pitching phenom Taijuan Walker.

The smell of spring training burgeoning is enough to blossom excitement among fantasy baseball managers. Those exhibition games signal the beginning of draft season, but should anyone pay any attention to spring happenings?

For the most part, fantasy gamers can borrow a page from The Rock's repertoire when discussing spring training stats. If anyone tries to tell you Adrian Beltre's spring batting average, just yell "It doesn't matter what Adrian Beltre's spring batting average is!"

Also, bonus points for those who can raise their eyebrow.

Reading too much into a small sample size of practice games can lead drafters into a den of regrettable mistakes. You don't want to freak out if a reliable veteran (hence using Beltre as my guinea pig last paragraph) takes some time to wake up.

On the flip side, a no-name exploding in March does not always predict regular-season success. Remember Jake Fox, who smashed seven homers prior the 2011 season? He hit two homers during the games that count before vanishing to the minors.

Tuning out spring training, however, to instead gallop in the meadows and smell the roses would not do drafters any favors. 

There are starting jobs to win and prospects looking to make a lasting impression. And just to make this more confusing, some early signs of improvement could become harbingers of a fruitful season.

Here's what fantasy baseball players should monitor this spring.


Note: All advanced statistics courtesy of FanGraphs

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