Pirates examples why you should take Spring Training stats with a grain of salt

There are plenty of examples in the Pirates' recent history to show why you should take Spring Training stats with a grain of salt.
Feb 26, 2014; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (36) throws a
Feb 26, 2014; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (36) throws a / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Matt Hague

Matt Hague is a fairly obscure Pirate in the franchise’s history. A former ninth-round pick, Hague made his way up through the minor leagues as a corner infielder. In total, he appeared in 43 big league games from 2012 through 2015 with the Bucs and Toronto Blue Jays, batting .226/.286/.262 with no home runs, five walks, and 19 strikeouts in 91 plate appearances. But in 2012, he would have an astounding Spring.

In 55 plate appearances, Hague had 22 hits, an impressive seven of which were home runs. Hague was tied with Freddie Freeman and Albert Pujols for the most home runs in Spring that year, two future Hall of Fame first basemen. He also only had five strikeouts for a K% of 9.1% in the small sample size. Overall, he had a 1.200 OPS in Spring Training.

Hague appeared in only 30 MLB games, where he registered a wRC+ of just 43 in 74 plate appearances. He also didn’t hit that well at Triple-A in 2012, batting .282/.332/.351 with a .313 wOBA and 91 wRC+. After going yard seven times in Spring, Hague hit just four home runs in 399 plate appearances at Indianapolis. He had an ISO of just .068.

After 2015, Hague would bounce around with the Minnesota Twins, Washington Nationals, and Seattle Mariners. Hague would have another promising Spring with the Twins in 2017 where he batted .347 with a .987 OPS, but would not appear in the Major Leagues.