How far into the season is it fair to sit down, and really take a hard look at a player's statistics?
Depends on who you ask.
The New York media would like to put that somewhere around the fifth inning of opening day. Most fans really start to pay attention a month into the season. Statically speaking, a full season, perhaps two, is ideal.
But we’re impatient. Baseball moves too fast. In my opinion, after about two months, it’s fair to at least start looking at where players stand.
Of course, we all know who’s leading the majors in what. Ubaldo Jimenez has an ERA under 1 and an 8-1 record. Justin Morneau leads the AL in batting, and has chipped in 11 home runs. Andre Ethier, if healthy, would be competing for a triple crown. I don’t have to tell you all that.
But what about the minor leagues? Which players are likely ready for a promotion to the show after destroying pitching at their level the past two months, or mowing down minor league batters?
Of course, I’m not talking about 30-year-old career minor-leaguers teeing off against guys five to 10 years younger than them, but real prospects. Guys who project as major league starters.