Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

emilio bonifacio cubsIt hasn’t always been fun for Chicago Cubs fans in the first week of the season, but there has been on clearly enjoyable, repeatable event: whenever Emilio Bonifacio comes to the plate (if not always when he’s (not) standing on first). The 28-year-old utility man, whom the Cubs picked up just before Spring Training when the Royals paid him several hundred grand to go away, has enjoyed a pretty remarkable first week with his new team.

And because his performance has been fun, let’s have a little more fun with Emilio Bonifacio as we await his next game, tomorrow night:

  • Bonifacio has 14 hits through 6 games, which puts him on pace for a cool 378 over the course of a 162-game season. That’s probably not sustainable, but that’s OK – the record is a mere 262, by Ichiro in 2004. Should be a piece of cake.

  • Emilio has been nuts this year, but his .491 wOBA is good for just 11th in baseball, behind such luminaries as Todd Frazier (.499), Matt Joyce (.506), Yangervis Solarte (.536) and Charlie Blackmon (.592).
  • (Incidentally, the wOBA leader so far this year in baseball? It’s an Angel, but not the guy you think. Or maybe the other guy, either. It’s Josh Hamilton, at .610.)
  • Finding the next Cub on the qualifying wOBA list requires clicking through a few pages of 30 names apiece, and then scrolling to the bottom: Anthony Rizzo, at .338. Platoons will do that, though, because three non-qualified players fall between Bonifacio and Rizzo – Ryan Kalish (.481), Luis Valbuena (.362), and Junior Lake (.351).

  • Bonifacio is fourth in Major League Baseball with one intentional walk, tied with, among many others, D.J. LeMahieu for some reason.
  • Bonifacio’s line – .500/.548/.571 – is very attractive, but it was actually bested several times over the course of an entire season by Barry Bonds (asterisk inserted). For example, in 2004, over 614 plate appearances, Bonds hit .362/.609/.812. Bonifacio’s wOBA this year is .491. Bonds’ in 2004 was .537.
  • Bonifacio’s four stolen bases are tied for most in baseball with recent opponent, Ben Revere (who has been on base nine fewer times).
  • Small sample size, obviously, but with everyone talking about all of the hits, no one has pointed out this: so far, Bonifacio’s walk rate (9.7%) and strikeout rate (12.9%) are both considerably better than his career marks (8.0% and 20.3%, respectively).
  • Bonifacio has already been worth 0.6 WAR, according to FanGraphs. His total WAR last year in 136 games, split between Toronto and Kansas City? Yup: 0.6.

  • Emilio Estevez’s career WAR, by the way: 0.0.
  • Emilio Rivera’s career WAR was also 0.0, but he’s made a hell of a go of it as a character actor in a boatload of TV shows and movies. Maybe he, too, is just looking for his leading opportunity. Or, maybe he’s just the Hollywood equivalent of a great utility guy, and we shouldn’t mess with what works. (Now my brain is scrambling for other baseball/Hollywood parallels. Miguel Cabrera = Brad Pitt? Raul Ibanez = Christopher Lee? Ryan Theriot = Carrot Top?)
  • Everyone’s favorite jinx-tastic stat: if Bonifacio goes 0 for his next 18, he’ll still be hitting over .300. He could go hitless in his next 42(!) at bats, and still be above the Mendoza Line (hitting an even .200 at that point).
  • Although I was partial to MVPilio Bonifacio (it was my first idea for a Bonifacio quip, so you can understand), but I’m starting to get behind Super Emilio 64 as the nom de net of the versatile utility man. This picture pretty much pushed me over the edge:

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