I've seen this elsewhere so I figured I would use this method to get up on my soapbox...
Which outfielder would you choose? Neither has more than 300 big league at bats. Their minor league stats:
Player AVG OBP SLG OPS
Player A .282 .348 .430 .778
Player B .299 .355 .470 .825
Player B has a significant advantage in OPS, mostly from his slugging percentage. Now, just imagine that Player B is three years younger than player B. Who would you choose?
Now, over the course of 50 at bats in Spring Training, Player A outplays Player B by a significant margin. Would that change your decision?
If you haven't yet guessed, Player A is Lou Montanez and Player B is Felix Pie. I can't believe any rational person would've selected Player A, regardless of the Spring Training stats. Especially when you factor in that Pie has more than 1000 ABs at AAA while Montanez has less than 500.
Everybody calm down...and send Montanez to Norfolk.
(edit: Looks like the front office has some sense when it comes to this issue...thank God.)
Now let's look at some pitchers. All have less than 90 innings of big league experience. Their minor league stats:
Player ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Player A 4.18 1.30 6.0 3.0 0.7
Player B 3.87 1.30 8.0 3.0 0.8
Player C 5.04 1.46 6.7 3.0 1.1
Now based on these numbers alone, you would probably rank Player B at the top narrowly over Player A. But it is clear that you would rank Player C at the bottom by any stat listed here.
Now consider their ages. Player B is the youngest with Player A three years older and Player C 4 years older. Now how are they ranked?
Now consider that Player C has outperformed the other two players over less than 20 innings in Spring Training. Does that change your opinion?
Player A is Brian Bass. Player B is Hayden Penn. Player C is...Alfredo Simon. Does he still look like the best option for a back of the rotation starter.
I say no. Off to Norfolk with Simon too.
Just a little food for thought...