bnpodcastimagesmallIt’s the 22nd episode of a super awesome podcast featuring me and Sahadev Sharma. You can listen to the podcast there below, or download it for later listening. You can also subscribe via iTunes. Here’s your iTunes link, and you can also find it by searching in the iTunes store. For those of you who use other feed-catching services, here’s the podcast feed. For those of you just tuning in who want to catch up on prior episodes, here’s the whole lot.

As always, you can send questions, comments, etc. to the official podcast email address (podcast AT bleachernation DOT com) if you want your thoughts included on a future show. We had another great set of emails in this one, ranging from how to be a scout, to Alfonso Soriano’s coaching future, to the lack of catching depth in the farm system. And Sahadev and I try our hand at explaining politics in Chicago. I start out sounding smart, but end up sounding really stupid. So that’s fun.

From there, we jump right into BASEBALL. Finally BASEBALL is around the corner. And we get to talk about BASEBALL.

It’s a season preview episode of the podcast, featuring our thoughts on the Cubs, our thoughts on every other team in baseball (30 teams in 30 minutes 39 minutes), our thoughts on surprise players and teams, and what the playoffs might look like. Unsurprisingly, this is a super-sized episode. But that just means there is more super awesomeness to consume.


  • Myles

    I’m pretty sure that every Cubs blogger is growing their family right now (my wife is 38 weeks pregnant).

  • Noah

    On the BABIP thing regarding how much it increases the batting average and other numbers, it entirely depends on how much a player walks, hits home runs and strikes out. So let’s say, hypothetically, you have a player who always puts the ball in play. No walks, no strike outs, no home runs. Then a 30 point increase in BABIP would directly correlate to a 30 point increase in batting average and on base percentage.

    But let’s say you have a guy who hits a home run in 5% of his plate appearances (which would be about a 30 home run season), walks in 10% of his plate appearance, and strikes out in 20% of his plate appearances. For the sake of making the math easier, we’ll say no sac flies, sac bunts, HBPs. So we’ll use 600 PAs for out sample. The guy walks in 60 plate appearances, so he has 540 at bats. He hits 30 home runs, and strikes out 120 times. So 150 of his at bats aren’t affected by his BABIP, and 210 of his plate appearances aren’t.

    So we’ll do the math, or at least as well as I can in short time (if there’s anyone who can correct this if anything is wrong, please do). 150/540 = 27.8%, so BABIP affects 72.2% of his plate appearances. So the batting average increase you’d see from a 30 point increase in BABIP would be 72.2% of that increase, which would be a .022 increase in batting average.

    For on base percentage, you have 210/600 plate appearances that aren’t impacted by BABIP, which is 35%. So 65% of plate appearances are effected by BABIP, so a 30 point increase in BABIP would result in a .020 increase in on base percentage.

    This sample is actually fairly close for Valbuena, who walked just over 10% of the time and K’d just under 20% of the time. Just eyeballing it on the average/obp front, a 30 point increase in BABIP for Valbuena would have probably resulted in around a .244/.332. If you presume his ISO would have stayed the same, giving him a line of around .244/.332/.365, which would have been a .697 OPS. And that’s probably a little generous on slugging, since BABIP much more largely impacts the number of singles a player will hit than the number of home runs.

    • OCCubFan

      Your math is correct. I would have approached the problem by noting that a 30-point increase in BABIP results in an increase of a shade less that 12 hits (.03 * 390 ABs). The increases in BA & OBP follow. The increase in slugging would be at least as much as the increase in BA, but probably very little more.

      • Brett

        Thanks, gents. I knew I was taking a very rough approach. Sahadev was right to bust my chops …

  • Spencer

    It is totes Sahadev’s fault your 30 in 30 thing went way over.

    • Brett

      I knew it would be. I tried to warn him.

  • Kyle

    My thoughts on fixing the organization’s catching depth?

    Don’t. Develop so many awesome hitters and pitchers that your lineup can easily afford to carry some Navarro retread type.

    • Brett

      Because of the unpredictability of finding a good young catcher?

      • Kyle


        Drafting HS catchers is basically just burning a draft pick.

        A college catcher who can hit enough to make me excited about, I’d rather just move him to a different position.

        If some random 62nd round pick (I know, we don’t go that deep anymore) turns into Mike Piazza, I won’t complain, but it’s not a position I’m worried about.