This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
And we're back! Real live baseball is being played in Florida and Arizona. Angel Hernandez is making bad calls. Phillies fans are booing their own team. We have a regular-season schedule that looks like an actual baseball schedule. Pitchers are set to hit again. All is right with the world, at least in this tiny corner of it. Apart from the seven-inning doubleheaders and the runners teleporting to second base in extra innings (which I found made for very exciting games between two neutral teams but made my team's extra-innings wins feel cheap and unearned), you almost can't tell that anything unusual has happened in the last year.
You might be able to tell when looking at pre-draft rankings, however, as rankers across the industry wrestle with how to account for a season in which every single player was limited to a small sample. Take shortstop, for instance. Corey Seager vaulted himself into an entirely new tier as a true power hitter and backed it up with strong Statcast numbers. Meanwhile, Gleyber Torres and Javier Baez each showed far less than what we know they're capable of, to a rather dramatic extent in Baez's case.
Did those players conclusively establish new performance levels? Should we mostly ignore their 60-game samples in favor of what they've shown previously in 162-game seasons? Obviously, the answer lies somewhere in between, but the extent to which we should value last season's performance is a more difficult question to answer than ever and