Searching for concrete results in a Major League Baseball spring training game is going to lead to disappointment. You can evaluate individual performances for days, but once the games count, everything changes.
Players are going through the motions in March. As much as we love baseball, spring training is a drag for the guys on the field. They aren't going to ramp up their game until they start to count at the end of the month and into April.
However, for all the talk about how little spring games matter, there are certain things to look for when determining if a player's numbers right now are just one of those fluke things in a small sample size or a sign of bigger problems to come.
As we scour box scores and evaluate the games we have seen thus far, there are a number of players whose performances—good and bad—have jumped out at us. Here, we look at the players who have struggled out of the gate and tell you whether to believe what your eyes are seeing.
Some players with bad numbers right now, like Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, aren't going to be on the list because they're going to be fine. But focusing on prospects, second-year players and aging veterans, you can find a wide array of answers on the panic/patience spectrum.
Here are our takes on 15 players with high expectations who have tripped on the banana peel, along with an idea of what to make of their performances.
Note: All stats courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted. Games through March 12, 2014.