With spring training winding down and the first pitch of regular-season baseball on this continent on the horizon, it is as good a time as any to take stock in what we have learned this March.
Necessary spring training caveat: Statistics and records from spring training are often misleading and worthless. There is little to be learned from the fact that Freddie Freeman is batting .368 this spring. Everyone knows he is a good hitter already. Likewise, if a star player isn't collecting hits or is getting pounded on the mound, there is little to be worried about. Perhaps they haven't hit game shape yet or are working on something new.
However, where spring training is useful is in determining the rest of a team's roster, everyone outside of star status. The oft-used thought about the NFL combine is analogous: It isn't news when a fast player runs fast or a slow player runs slow. It is only worthwhile to know if the opposite happens in either situation.
It isn't news in spring training if a bad player is playing poorly, but it may be something to keep an eye on if a struggling player seems to have put things together. With that in mind, here are five things we've learned during the Atlanta Braves' spring training.