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Are we ready to turn the page? Discuss something else? I am.

Today, Baseball America finally released its top 100 prospects for 2012, and it more generous to the Cubs than previously-released 2012 top prospects lists. While the big three – Brett Jackson, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez – all make an appearance, the Cubs pick up a fourth in outfielder Matt Szczur, on whom BA’s Jim Callis is higher than most others.

Jackson comes in at 32nd, which is becoming a near consensus spot for him. Rizzo is next at 47, and Baez is at 61.

Szczur is a surprise at 64, as he didn’t merit a ton of top 100 consideration from guys like Kevin Goldstein and Keith Law, each of whom is plenty down on Szczur for their own reasons. BA, however, calls it like they see it on the former Villanova football player:

“Exciting high-risk, high-reward talent who should take off with football in his rearview mirror.”

Swell.

Szczur, 22, is one of those incredibly athletic kids, who simply needs to show that he can play baseball at a high level. He struggled last year after a promotion to High-A Daytona, but it was a very, very long year for him – and it was his first away from football. Already on the 40-man roster thanks to a unique contract situation (required to sign him away from football), the Cubs would be happy to see Szczur progress rapidly. Even still, expecting to see him in 2012 in Chicago would be overly-optimistic.

Szczur will, obviously, be one of many prospects to watch this year. The Cubs’ superior depth, if not clear top-level talent, could make for a very exciting 2012 season, with a number of breakout stars.

Or, it could be one big kick in the crotch of injuries, ineffectiveness, and demotions. Such is the prospecting game.

(And, for those of you not entirely ready to turn the page on the Theo compensation drama, here’s one apropos slice: BA’s Jim Callis says Chris Carpenter, who was ranked 13th in the Cubs’ system by BA (higher in some rankings, lower in others), would be ranked somewhere in the teens in the Red Sox’s system.)

  • Stinky Pete

    Imagine how high Szczur would be ranked if he “Learned how to play baseball”.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Almost as high as Lake.

      • Stinky Pete

        Aw crap. Did I totally botch that? Was that a Junior Lake thing? Man.

        • Richard Nose

          Awwwww Stanky…

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    I don’t put much emphasis on Szczur’s lackluster High-A numbers.  He struggled immediately on being promoted to Daytona, which isn’t a surprise, but adapted well and went on a tear late in the season and through the post season.  His bat was a big a part of the Cubs offense as they won the FSL Championship.  He’s likely to start 2012 in Daytona again, but I think he’ll reach Tennessee by the All-Star break.

    • CubFan Paul

      whats a good 2012 line for szcur? .280/.350/.400 too much?

      i think he’ll hit his way to AA to at least end the season playing 50 games there

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        League averages in the FSL in 2011 were (BA/OBP/SLG) .262/.311/.386, so I’d say that’s about right.  .295/.365/.400 wouldn’t shock me at all.

        In the Southern League, averages in 2011 were comparable at .263/.339/.400.  I’d expect something similar from Szczur in Double A, after he adjusts.  He could go as high as .300/.400/.400, but that might be pushing it from a guy in his second full season as a pro.

        Long term, you can sort of think of Szczur as Mark Grace with speed.  He should hit for average and have doubles power with the ability to hit a couple home runs, but his speed should translate into 40+ steals.  So far, he’s been somewhat reluctant to run on the base paths.  That will be an area to watch next season.

  • Pete

    The thing I love about Szczur is that because he is so physically gifted he is a guy who, in spite of his baseball inexperience, could legitimately make a very rapid, multi-level jump to the majors. Not saying he will of course but he is, IMO, the Cub minor leaguer most capable of doing so.

    • BetterNews

      Absolutely!

  • ferrets_bueller

    Some BA Handbook excerpts on Szczur:

    “Szczur is polished for a two sport player.  His plus-plus speed helps him hit for average, makes him a basestealing threat, and allows him to run down balls from gap to gap. He has a short, quick swing, and strength in his hands and wrists that could translate into average power.  ”

    They also go on to say that he has worked to improve his arm stregth from below average to solid, and that he needs to work on being more patient at the plate and more aggressive on the bases.  Coaches and scouts rave about his makeup as much as his tools.

    They think he’s primed for a breakout, as he is now playing only one sport.

     

    They’ve got him as a 60 with medium risk, on he 80 scale. They define 55-60 as “First division regulars…blah…blah…such as Papelbon, James Sheilds, and Torii Hunter would earn these grades.”

     

    Each of the BA writers rank their own top 50s as well.  Szczur makes one of them, John Manuel’s, at #49, ahead of  both Rizzo and Baez.

    • BetterNews

      Don’t about this.

  • PeteG

    Javier Baez compared to Gary Sheffield because of his bat speed. What is Baez’s realistic ceiling?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Tough to say how good Baez can be since we don’t have very much professional data on him.  We know he has great tools, but tools don’t always translate well.

      For now, let’s say he projects as an above average player who should hit for both average and power and produce enough to play anywhere on the diamond.  Some think he will be athletic enough to stay at short, others say he will move to third (I agree ) or into the outfield (unlikely, I think).

      If you really made me compare him to a current major league player, I’d probably say he’s Chipper Jones-esque, but likely with less power.  I don’t like projecting players this early in their career, though, so I would take that with a mine full of salt.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Well, BA has him as a 65 out of 80- which is the number 2 starter/perennial all-star tier.  I think Luke’s Chipper Jones comp is realistic (potential-wise), although I think he could equal Jones’ power.

    • JasonB

      Gary Sheffield?

      • TWC

        At least it’s not Gary Shandling.

        • JasonB

          Or Gary Colemen

          • Eric

            Or Gary Busey

            • Scotti

              Gary Busey was great in “Quigley.” The box read “a kooky, hyper comedy.” It was missing hyper and comedy but it had Busey.

      • King Jeff

        If Baez ends up with Gary Sheffield’s career numbers, I’ll be extremely pleased with him.

        • TWC

          Oh hell yes.

          I do hope that Baez ends up being less of a dick than Sheffield though. But I’d take it anyway.

        • JasonB

          If Baez ends up as Gary Sheffield, we’re celebrating World Championships on the North Side.  I have no idea – I just figured that if people are comping him to Sheffield, then perhaps that’s his upside?

          At the end of the day though, he’s an 18 year old kid.  He barely knows how to wipe his nose – comparing him to HOF players (Shef and Chipper) is a bit premature.  I’ll be happy with good ABs and demonstrated progression for now.

      • BetterNews

        What?

  • Miller

    Brett,

    Are you surpised that Lindor ranks #37 and Beaz is #62? One pick seperated them in the draft, and Beaz’s bat is supposed to be much better. Even if he moves off shortstop to 3rd base…still a premium position. Thoughts?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Lindor is a very gifted defense shortstop, and prospects who can stay at short are rated very highly for it.  Baez has the better bat, but Lindor trumps him because Baez has a somewhat murkier future in the field.

      • Noah

        On top of that, as someone who is viewed as being a VERY good defensive shortstop, Lindor isn’t going to have to hit that much to be really valuable. Baez is probably going to have to hit a lot more, and the hit tool is the typically hardest to project.

        • DocWimsey

          Well, not quite: the minors are filled with great-glove, no-hit shortstops. Unless the other 7 guys make up for it, then even mitts as good as Rey Ordonez and Adam Everett ultimately get pushed out if teams want to compete consistently.

          • Noah

            I agree, a shortstop who can’t hit at all has limited value despite being a great defender. I was more saying a shortstop who puts up a .750 OPS is significantly more valuable than a 3B putting up the same number.

    • King Jeff

      Lindor’s glove looked great last year in his brief play from what I’ve read, and Baez stunk it up in the field. I think he had 5 or 6 errors in less than 20 games, so I can see why Lindor is ranked higher, even if the sample size is very small.

    • SteveO

      Lindor will be a superstar.

  • florida Al

    man o man how do you say this kids last name???

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Caesar.  Just like Julius Caesar.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Caesar. (please dont ask how to say caesar, haha)

      • Mike Foster

        That ones easy, sounds like Szczur……

  • MightyBear

    Somebody groom this kid to be a leadoff hitter. He’s raw so teach him to work the count, take walks and steal bases. Cubs haven’t had a legitimate leadoff hitter since Kenny Lofton. They haven’t had a decent base stealing threat since Frank Chance!

    • DocWimsey

      Batting eye is a skill that players have or they don’t: very, very few guys “learn” it. (We saw one of the rare cases in Sammy Sosa; however, most guys are like Mark Grace or Shawon Dunston: they do/don’t have it from the word “go” and it never changes.)

      • BetterNews

        Doc-Don’t know that I agree with that one. Barry Bonds hit .250ish in his first 4 seasons with the Pirates. We all know what happened from there. He learned something.

        • DocWimsey

          Bonds had a great batting eye in college and in the minors, where his isoD was 0.1. His isoD his rookie year was 0.11, so he showed it as soon as he got to the majors. If Barry “learned” it, then it was before he went to ASU!

        • JB88

          Look at his OBP, though. Even as he was struggling at the plate in those years, his OBP never sunk below .329 and peaked at .368. Bonds knew the strike zone at an early age. I don’t think he is the best example you can find.

          • BetterNews

            Jb88-Maybe not the best example, but an example nonetheless.

            How about this example! My man Ryne Sandberg. Came up hitting just .233 with an OBP of just .265! Who would have thought? He must have learned something. I just didn’t agree with what Doc said.(Not to often I disagree with him)

            • TWC

              I wouldn’t dare accuse you of making shit up, buuuuut…

              Ryno’s last two years in the minors:

              AA – .310/.403/.469

              AAA – .293/.352/.397

              (source)

              • MichiganGoat

                FACT

                • TWC

                  They always get in the way of a good rant.

              • BetterNews

                Twc-I’m talking about once he hit the majors.
                http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/sandbry01.shtml

                • TWC

                  You mean in his rookie year, when he went .271/.312/.372?  Which is absolutely nothing like the .233/.265 numbers that you made up.

                  • BetterNews

                    Now accepting apologies from TWC and MG for being jackasses!

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      On behalf of the entirety of Bleacher Nation, I humbly apologize that you have been proven wrong. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused you and regret that it has been proven that you typed in a bunch of letters that, when strung together to form words and sentences, were incorrect.

                      Again, we apologize and swear that we will only prove you incorrect when you are, in fact, incorrect.

                      Like now. Sandberg’s triple slash for his first three years in the majors (including his cup of tea in Philly) was .265 .313 .360. He actually never had an OBP below .300 for a season and never batted below .238. As such, there is no combination of seasons that would produce the numbers that you speak of. I guess his ’81 season was pretty bad. In 6 AB he had a measly 1 single, 2 runs and a strikeout.

                  • BetterNews

                    Lets see. In 1981 Ryne hit .167/.167
                    In 1982 .271/.312
                    In 1983 .261/.316
                    .167+.271+.261=.699/3=.233 avg
                    .167+.312+.316=.795/3=.265 obp

                    Ryne didn’t come around till the 1984 season.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      Hahaha. Not quite. Look at what I just posted below.

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      Oh dear…you can’t average averages when the numbers they are based on aren’t identical and even then you should use the numbers they are based on.

                      Obtuse or uneducated?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      OMG there is so much flaw to this logic, please calculate your stats correctly.

                      “In baseball, the batting average (BA) is defined as the quotient of hits divided by at bats. BA=H/AB”

                      You really need to admit how flawed you math and logic have been here and STOP. You are only adding to the frustration and reputation you have developed.

                    • Featherstone

                      Oh dear god please someone tell me this BetterNews guy is really just a master troll at work. I have started reading here recently and haven’t see much of his “work”

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Featherstone he’s been at it for quite a few months, he’ll be back after a couple of days.

                    • David

                      That is fantastic. And by fantastic, I mean so mind-bogglingly bizarre that I hope to the baseball Gods that you are kidding.

                    • ogyu

                      So you are giving the same weight to a year with six at bats that you give to two years with over 600 at bats each? Man, you are way stupider than I thought and, believe me, I thought you were really stupid.

                    • Featherstone

                      Thanks for the heads up MG, but I’m going to, for the sake of my sanity, choose to believe he is just a really dedicated troll. I’m talking a master at his craft hard at work. But beyond that, I am interested in the community here and am looking forward to season just like the rest of you I assume.

                  • BetterNews

                    MG-http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/52790.html

                    • ferrets_bueller

                      You are a complete and utter moron.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      You’re halfway there.  Now, use what you learned about weighted averages from that link to correct your work from yesterday.

                • MichiganGoat

                  “Came up hitting just .233 with an OBP of just .265!”

                  Neither of those numbers are part of Sandberg’s career, you are wrong write it down.

                  • BetterNews

                    MG-Do the math! For his first 3 years he hit .233/.265, it’s all there, black and white!

                    • Katie

                      I’m setting up my lawn chair and cooler of beer. Anyone want a cold one?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Seriously do we need to add for you? Please share your calculations because you math is flawed.

                    • TWC

                      His first three years (1981, 1982, 1983) he was a .265/.313 hitter.

                      Nitwit.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Bother you added the sum of his first three year BA I (including the year he .167 with 6 AB) and dived by 3 to get .233

                      There are so many flaws to you logic, math, and understanding of baseball statistics. YOU ARE WRONG, now admit that!

                    • MichiganGoat

                      As a teacher I’m sad that such basic math skills were not taught to you.

                    • TWC

                      He probably hasn’t gotten to Algebra II yet.

                    • Spencer

                      This is really sad, for all parties involved. Just move on. Seriously.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      So BetterNews do you now see “in Black and White” the error of your ways and feel like apologizing to TWC and me for calling us “Jackasses.” Or are you simply going to disappear for a couple of days then return begging for all of us to tell you how great your genius is when you predicted that Matt Garza would not be traded. Part of being a adult is being able to accept when you fail and apologize when needed.

                    • JulioZuleta

                      Ohhh myyy…So, BetterNews, if a minor leaguer gets one AB in his first season, and goes 0-1, and then hits .350 over 600 ABs the next year….Is he a .175 career hitter?

                  • BetterNews

                    MG-I left Rynes’ first at bats in the majors(even though 6) in the math to prove a point. He was not looked upon as a savior or star at that point in his career. He developed into that(he learned) which was the original comment heading toward Doc Wimsey. And if you want to insist on pure BB averages, one could make an argument that average should be based on plate appearances.

                    • TWC

                      Translation: “I wanted the goal posts over THERE!  Nya-nya-nya.”

                      Regardless, kid, you got the math wrong, whether you added in his 1981 cuppa coffee stats or not.  Like, totally, and completely, wrong.  If you don’t understand that, try reading few of the responses above.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      You are avoiding the point of all this (which is an awful habit of yours) your math to figure BA and OBP was completely wrong. It was less than elementary and for someone who wants the world to acknowledge how right is was with Garza you are avoiding admitting how wrong you are about your stats. In Sandberg’s first two full seasons we batted .271 and .261 (nowhere near your .233) and that’s not bad for a rookie. So please admit you FAIL and an apology for calling TWC and me a jackass when you were wrong.

                    • TWC

                      Nah, he can think I’m a jackass.  I don’t mind.

                    • ogyu

                      To prove a point? Really? I thought you did it to embarrass yourself.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      BetterNews please answer these questions:

                      How do you find Batting Average ?

                      How do you find On Base Percentage?

                      I’m concerned your baseball IQ is weak and I’m willing to help you with the basic mathematical principles behind these statistics to help find correct numbers over time.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      BetterNews I’m not joking, you have avoided the reality that your calculations were elementary at best and you have yet to accept your flaw and instead seem to be lurking while everyone else tries to educate you about the correct way to use statistics. I’m glad to see you haven’t started calling people Nazis or jackasses since your flaw was clearly identified, but I am concerned you don’t understand where you went wrong. Awknowledge your mistake and learn.

                  • BetterNews

                    MG-HaHa!

                    • ogyu

                      BetterNews, PoorerMath

                  • BetterNews

                    MG-My math concerning Sandberg was based on the law of averages(his first 3 years) not on H/AB. There is a big difference.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      There is your flaw you don’t understand how baseball averages are calculated over multiple years. Especially when one of those years was a meager 6 AB and the other two were 600+ AB. How are you not seeing the error in logic!

                    • MichiganGoat

                      A batting average and a simple average of three numbers are not the same! My students will be getting this lesson tomorrow, your teachers failed you.

                    • ogyu

                      True. There is a big difference between math and a load of nonsense you pull out of your backside.

            • Rick Vaughn

              Wow. Just…wow…

              • MichiganGoat

                Shocking ain’t it, all night long and nothing has been learned.

                • BetterNews

                  I thought ain’t wasn’t a word?

  • TeddyBallGame

    Noticed White Sox one and only comes in at #66. Goo!!!

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    OK, couldn’t resist this, plus anyone can use this to impress people.

    man o man how do you say this kids last name???

    Caesar. Just like Julius Caesar.

    Szczur is a Polish name and “Caesar” is just to make it “easy” for non-Poles. The correct pronunciation actually isn’t hard. To get the “Szcz” thing, just say “fresh cheese” but drop the “fre” so you’re saying “shcheese” with no gap between the “sh” and “ch” sounds. One syllable. The rest is like “sure” with the vowel sounded more like “oo” in “soon”. So put it all together and you have: “shchoor.” Easy. Just as easy as Caesar. Don’t mention it. :-)

    • TWC

      This is awesome. Sincerely, thanks for this.  I really hope I don’t forget it before he makes the big leagues.

      • MichiganGoat

        Nicely done and great way to describe the pronunciation, it will be helpful next time someone ask me how to pronounce his name. The other day someone tried to tell me it was similar to scissor but I like you description better.

        • Bric

          Thanks, Mark. I got one too- it doesn’t have anything to do with baseball but I still think it’s cool. “Donner and Blitzen” from Santa’s reindeer is German for “Thunder and Lighting”. Just thought I’d add.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            The more you know, which is half the battle

            • TWC

              Well that brought a tear to my eye.

            • King Jeff

              That. Is Awesome.

          • TWC

            And Bric goes all in with the non sequitur.  Love it!  I’ll raise you with “Dunder and Blixem”, the original Dutch names, from 1823.

            • Bric

              Wow! I fold.

            • ferrets_bueller

              Damn, as soon as a read that I was like ‘its actually dunder!’ but..alas….twas beaten to it.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      That is the proper pronunciation, but I’m pretty sure in his case it has been generically Americanized down to Caesar.  It’s too bad we won’t get to hear Ron Santo try to manage it, though.

      • TWC

        Or Harry.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          oh how would he manage, I will always remember listening to him call Terry Pendleton as Teddy Pendergrass multiple times

          • King Jeff

            I always wondered how much drool came out when he said “Chris Sabo”.

    • Eric

      Someone pass this information to Len Kasper. I have a feeling the common way broadcasters will say it is simply “Suuurr zuuur”

    • ogyu

      The Passenger: My name is Lina Szczepanowska.

      Percival” Sh I beg your pardon

      Lina: Szczepanowska

      Percival (dubiously): Thank you

      Tarleton (very politely): Would you mind saying it again?

      Lina: Say fish.

      Tarleton: Fish.

      Lina: Say church.

      Tarleton: Church.

      Lina: Say fish church.

      Tarleton (remonstrating): But it’s not good sense.

      Lina (inexorable): Say fish church.

      Tarleton: Fish church.

      Lina: Again.

      Tarleton: No (but resigning himself) fish church.

      Lina: Now say Szczepanowska.

      Tarleton: Szczepanowska. Got it by Gad.

      –George Bernard Shaw, “Misalliance”

      • TWC

        Shaw was an absolute master.  I love attending readings, even more so than full productions.

      • MichiganGoat

        Nice, today is a day for educating. We’ve covered mathmatetics and now Diction and Pronunciation.

        • CubsWin

          What is mathmatetics? If you’re going to spend 90% of your time correcting other people, you should take special care to be perfect with your own writing.

          Just a fair assessment.

          • MichiganGoat

            Agreed I was wrong (see how easy that is) typing quickly on a IPhone is not the easiest or best way to express yourself. Thank you for the correction.

          • BetterNews

            CubsWin-LOL, good catch!

            • MichiganGoat

              Yes LOL mistakes are funny and part of life, but YOU continue to avoid accepting YOUR mistake. Time to put on your big boy pants and be responsible with your mistakes.

              • ogyu

                Your mistake, Goat, is to continue to hold out the forlorn hope that this dude even understands anything you are saying.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Alas it is my tragic flaw, the desire to teach the unteachable.

                  • Turn Two

                    Just read through all those posts MG and on second thought not sure how you kept your patience that long.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      I teach in a high problem high school my patience is extraordinary.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Trust me this is not easy.

              • BetterNews

                MG-I have on my big boy pants, it’s called calculus not H/AB!

                • MichiganGoat

                  Calculus has nothing to do with this! You lack the simple understanding of how to calculate batting average, take responsibility, and not act like a troll on a consistent basis. Adieu, I never should have engaged with you in the first place you lack the basic understanding and maturity necessary to have a quality conversations. Sorry your education failed you and shame on me for trying to talk with such ridiculousness. It’s true, you can’t teach everybody.

                  • BetterNews

                    MG-Adieu, I think calculus has a lot to do with the mathematical premises that you presented today regarding baseball. You can average anything. Though it might not equate to your theory or the recognized H/AB of baseball, does not mean it is WRONG! Go ahead and explain Sabermetrics to Theo dude! I think you’ll come back with your tail between your legs! Goodnight.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Wow, you really don’t get this do you! Batting average is not a complex equation, it is simple: take the total number of hits over the period of time you are evaluating (H) and divide that over the total at bats of that same time period (AB) therefore BA=H/AB. There is nothing complex in this concept, it’s a 7th grade standard. Your “law of averages” don’t apply here you can’t simply take 3 seasons add and divide. Of course I’ve said this before and you continue to be a fool and not learn. Enjoy your ignorance it will get you far.

          • ogyu

            Yea, because making a typo and committing (and then endlessly trying to defend) an egregiously imbecilic mountain of mathematical kaka are exactly the same thing. Just a fair assessment.

            • MichiganGoat

              I admit to my mistakes that is the difference in all this, that and I’m not trying to rewrite the rules of spelling.

    • Evolution

      That was awesome, Mark…and clearly, it’s even harder than trying to get people to correctly pronounce Yiddish.

      You know…say “schmuck” instead of “smuck”.

      Which…based on some of the commentary in this thread alone, might come in handy.

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    “It’s too bad we won’t get to hear Ron Santo try to manage it, though.”

    Heh. I loved him and I miss him. I grew up listening to Vince and Lou broadcasting in those great years. My father had me painting the house and I’d go out there and turn the radio on while I painted. I’ll never forget the day Billy Williams went 8 fer 8 in a double header against the Giants: 2 homers, 2 doubles, 4 singles, 8 RBI’s. What a great, great hitter.

    • ogyu

      So, Billy batted 1.000 that day. And he batted .290 for the rest of his career. Let’s see … (1.000 + .290)/2 = .645. Oh my God! Billy Williams was a .645 career hitter!
      Sincerely,
      BetterNews

      • MichiganGoat

        Perfect math! glad to see people are listening!

      • BetterNews

        Sure! Based on the information you provided Billy only had a 2 year career! One in which he was pefect(1.000) and one in which he hit .290. Law of averages would put him at .645 for a 2 year career.

        • ogyu

          I am so proud to have my reasoning confirmed by the master.

        • MichiganGoat

          MOAR you just don’t get this average concept do you? You can’t just take two or three numbers add them together and then divide them to get an average and tell us that number is a valid batting average. Your really looking increasingly foolish with each and every post. You are wrong! I am now really glad that Garza didn’t get traded dealing with your logic then would require a crash course in symbolic logic to get you to understand you were wrong. As TWC would say – nitwit.

        • King Jeff

          You really need to visit baseball-reference.com and try your math out there, and then see how it compares to the listed numbers for career average.

        • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

          BetterNews – you are ABSOLUTELY correct. The average of his averages would be .645; however, that number is completely, totally and utterly useless.

          • BetterNews

            Hansman-I’ll agree that number is useless in baseball when assessing talent. That was not was I trying to show. I was simply trying to show that Sandberg(probably my favorite Cub) did NOT knock everybody’s socks off when he was first coming up. It was not till 1984 when he took off. I was trying to explain to Doc Wimsey my reasoning why I think players can “learn” to see a ball better and that everything with hitting is not a God given gift.

            • ogyu

              And to make that point, all you had to do was state that Sandberg’s numbers in 1981-1983 were not earthshaking. End of discussion, no bozo math required.

              • BetterNews

                Not Bozo math pal. Bozo math is the way MLB does things!

                • Evolution

                  Good gravy.

                  I am DEFINITELY checking my kid’s homework tonight.

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    Very good, ogyu. Polish pronunciation is actually pretty easy for English speakers, it’s just that the spelling system throws people off. But once you learn the rules, the system is a perfect fit for the lingo.

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    Math was never my subject, but Billy in The Hall certainly added up for me. Ronnie, too. To me that was a no brainer. Who knows, Szczur?

  • ogyu

    OK, time to go home. I used BetterMath to calculate my travel time and I think I should arrive home about five minutes before I leave the office! Cool, huh? Later.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Betternews, you are a moron if you think that you can average averages.

    Lets see, a guy goes 1 for 2 in one year, for a .500 BA.

    He then goes 100 for 400 the next, for a .250 BA.

    What is his average for those two years?

    By your math, its ( .25+.5)/2=.375

    By anyone with more than half a brains’ math, its (100+1)/(400+1)=.252.

    Massive difference.  You cannot average averages, because averages are fractions.  You have to use the raw numbers, or weight the averages based on PA…which is the same thing in this case.

    • MichiganGoat

      Ah we’ve been at it all night and he still insist you can average anything and those numbers have validity. He either can’t learn or won’t learn and both of those conclusions point to serious medical problems.

      • Evolution

        Based on those numbers, he’d also be willing to pay $11.00 for $4.00 worth of cheese.

        So…don’t say anything. It’s good for the economy.

  • Turn Two

    Better news, I understand your argument on averages. You are saying that if he hits 200 in year 1 and 300 in year 2 and 400 in year 3, his average ba is 300. However if the sample size was miniscule in the 2nd and 3rd year and he had a large sample size in year 1, the arguments becomes void. I could get lucky and get a hit in 1 at bat in 2012. Then play a lot in 2013 and not get a hit, in say 300 at bats and then get luck and get a hit in 1 at bat in 2014. While averaging those ba’s gives me a pretty good average score, I’m still a terrible hitter, even though 2 of my 3 seasons i hit 1000.

    • MichiganGoat

      Yes by BetterMath you’d be a career .666 hitter when in actuality you are a .006 hitter. Yet someone does not understand why his logic and equation is utterly flawed.

      • BetterNews

        What you do is graph the hi and lows of a person and calculate an average! This has nothing to do with H/AB!

        • MichiganGoat

          You are so foolish! You can’t just use seasons with multiple AB and then find the middle ground and call that an accurate batting average! YOU ARE WRONG!

        • King Jeff

          It has everything to do with H/AB. That is what batting average is, that’s how you figure for the entire career. Batting average is always the total number of hits divided by the total number of at bats. No matter what else, this is the absolute, usdisputable truth.

    • BetterNews

      Turn two- This whole thing got blown out of proportion! My first comment was to DocWimsey as to whether batters can “learn to” see the ball. I said yes and he said it’s a natural instinct that can’t be learned. That’s where it started.

      • MichiganGoat

        And then you came up with a flawed math equation to list Sandberg’s BA and when everyone pointed out the errors of your formula you continued to act as if your math was valid. Mix that with calling people jackasses, telling me to look at the “black and white” of the stats, and then refusing to admit that you made a huge mistake is why I am still engaging you. You want us to bow to your wisdom about Garza but refuse to admit your flaw when you can’t even understand how to figure batting averages over multiple seasons. You are either a kid, mentally handicap, psychopathic, or just a troll.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Its pretty simple- averaging the averages weights the years with less ABs much heavier than the ones with more.

    You have to weight every single at bat equally.  Do you agree, BN?

    The only way  to do that is to break each year down into hits and PAs, add them up, and divide. Not average the averages.

    • BetterNews

      ferrets-I can’t agree starting off! A plate appearance is not considered an at bat for various reasons.

    • BetterNews

      ferrets-Yes, mathematically that sounds correct per season.

      • MichiganGoat

        And therefore your equation would be incorrect…correct buddy?

        • BetterNews

          No-If I’m incorrect I will admit it MG! You have not shown anything to this point other than antagonistic comments.

          • MichiganGoat

            Yup showed nothing tonight except the Truth and Facts that you continue to ignore.

            • BetterNews

              Let’s bury the hatchet.

  • oso

    MG I have discovered a formula that may help resolve future mathematical arguments here on BN. It goes like this:

    BetterNews = (die hard + Punctuation – Humor) / give a shit factor

    Or:

    (BetterNews x give a shit factor) + Humor = die hard + punctuation

    • MichiganGoat

      That makes more sense than the math I’ve seen on here tonight.

      • Ogyu

        Goat, you just haven’t yet grasped the technicalities of ButterNoodles’ new science of slobbermetrics.

    • BetterNews

      Die Hard gives some excellent comments here! Some people get blind sided by his wisdom! I am honored to be in the same sentence with the man!

      • Rick Vaughn

        You’re over complicating this.

        Die Hard = Betternews

        Same guy.

        I’m going to grow a mustache to help keep our minds off of this.

        • BetterNews

          Come on Rick! BetterNews+ Die Hard=The truth!

  • Ogyu

    Tweedle-DeeHard and Tweedle-DummerNews

    • BetterNews

      Oh you love us-Where else are you gonna get unbiased opinions?

    • Ogyu

      Never said I don’t love ya. Highly entertaining. Like renting “Dumb and Dumber.”

      • BetterNews

        Where else you gonna get unbiased opinions?

        • Ogyu

          Where else we gonna get math that’s nothing but opinion?

      • BetterNews

        Hah! Made you laugh!

        • Ogyu

          All the time, man.

          • BetterNews

            I’m glad! Die hard probably would piss in your glass the next time he see’s you. Where you going next?

            • Ogyu

              More likely to piss in his own drool cup.

              • BetterNews

                You always been this way?

                • Ogyu

                  What way? You’re the one who brought up pissing.

                • JulioZuleta

                  Enough. This is ridiculous. I know your goal is to piss people off and detract from legitimate conversation, which you are incapable of contributing to, but today was way over the line. Keep the bullshit irrelevant comments and immaturity off this site. Show some respect for people’s opinions, whether you agree with them or not, and show respect for the work Brett does. Before you click “submit” ask yourself if it’s worth it, and if it contributes positively to the site. Up to this point, 99% of your comments fall outside of those parameters. Grow up or go the hell away.

  • JulioZuleta

    Let this serve as notice that some people cannot be taught. Let’s not fill a page with comments irrelevant to the article, or at least to the Cubs.

  • BFiddy

    Trolling only works if you let it.

    BetterNews made an incredibly stupid mistake in calculating the stats.  Thankfully for him, he has read the Internet Troll’s Guide to Hiding One’s Stupidity.

    Excerpt from page 17:

    “…by continuing to make the same asinine assertion over and over, you can create the illusion that your original statement was intended to be a joke.  This method attacks the problem on two fronts.  First, the repeated assertion of an obviously ill-conceived notion is absurd.  As the apparent absurdity grows exponentially with each repetition, it becomes harder and harder to believe.  Second, the “trollee,”(typically the commenter who originally pointed out the error), appears more and more obtuse each time they succumb to the troll by reiterating their challenge.  By simultaneously increasing incredulity toward your original intention and decreasing the credibility of the challenger, you will be able to create the illusion of intelligence.”

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Thank you Bfiddy I will never again fall victim to a trolls logic. I do apologize for wasting everyones time again engaging something that cannot be engaged.

      • BFiddy

        Perfectly understood.  We all fall victim to trolls.  It is quite difficult to see stupidity presented as rationality and ignore it.

        • Evolution

          I’d like to third this emotion…

          I know that it should be “seconded” in this case…but, I’m giving all this new math a try.

  • cubsfan13

    Is Brett Jackson on the spring training team

  • BetterNews wannabee

    Ok, this is my first comment on here, so I better make it a good one…

    Based on BetterNews’ logic, the Cubs have 4 of the top 25 prospects in all of baseball (because 100/4=25, so each prospect HAS to be in the top 25 based on average). What’s even better is that BA ranks the 4 at #’s 32, 47, 61 and 64, which means we have 4 of the top 64 prospects, so each one must be a top 16 prospect in all of baseball (64/4=16).

    I can’t wait for the World Series because we have such great prospects coming up!!!!

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