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Notable Statistics, Soft Soler Projection, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

soler batting mbdThe Wife goes back to work today, and The Littlest Girl does not start her school until February, so it’s daddy-daughter double-duty time for the next month. Thankfully, I’ll be getting support throughout the month from various wonderful grandparents. Today, however, it’s a solo day for me, so I’m hurrying through these Bullets as she happily slaps at some rings on her “reach mat.”

  • An always fun read when Chris Kamka is busting out random Cubs stats – he did it for the 2016 season, and it’s great to peruse. An example: “On May 6, Zobrist hit 2 home runs off Max Scherzer, who went on to win the 2016 NL Cy Young Award. The last Cubs player to hit 2 HR in a game off that season’s eventual Cy Young winner was Ernie Banks in 1963 (off Sandy Koufax).”
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  • The Royals’ ZiPS are out, which I share primarily for the bit on now former-Cub Jorge Soler. ZiPS is not enamored, projecting a .241/.315/.420 line, which is a slightly below average bat overall. Soler had better numbers last year with the Cubs, and has a better career line (.258/.328/.434), so I’m a bit surprised at a relative pessimism. But, then, there’s a whole lot that goes into these projection systems beyond simply looking at a guy’s career numbers, recent numbers, and career trajectory. I guess we’ll see if Soler ever truly reaches that offensive breakout. Should these ZiPS-level projections prove to be where Soler establishes a baseline for the next few years, however, any lingering doubts about the trade for Wade Davis should completely melt away for any last holdouts.
  • A look at some of the players whose exit velocity and HR/FB ratio surged in 2016 (no Cubs mentioned). What’s interesting is that there’s basically an across-the-board correlation between an increase in exit velocity on fly balls/line drives and HR/FB ratio. Obviously that squares with what you would have guessed, but it’s still notable to see the additional data confirmation. Hit the ball harder in the air, and more of your fly balls will leave the ballpark.
  • If you missed it this morning, Munenori Kawasaki is reportedly close to re-signing with the Cubs.

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  • Speaking of great pics, check out Dylan Heuer’s set of Cubs stars from when they were in AAA Iowa:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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