The Cubs Didn't Really Hit the Ball Hard, Happy Javy B-Day, and Other Bullets

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The Cubs Didn’t Really Hit the Ball Hard, Happy Javy B-Day, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

It’s a big day today, with the tender deadline coming tonight, Shohei Ohtani expected to be officially posted, and those Giancarlo Stanton trade talks getting very serious.

The Little Girl was also extremely stoked to get donuts this morning at school, so it’s a big day all around.

  • Doing random perusing, as one nerdily does, I couldn’t help but notice that there were no Cubs in the top 63 spots in 2017 in hard contact (among qualified batters). Anthony Rizzo shows up first at number 64 with a 34.4% hard contact rate, not that much higher than the league average (31.8%). Odd, right, given that the Cubs scored the second most runs in the NL. I suppose that underscores how important their 9.9% walk rate (second best in the NL) was.
  • Kyle Schwarber (36.4%) and Willson Contreras (35.5%) had slightly higher hard contact rates than Rizzo, though not enough plate appearances to qualify for the leader board. If we drop the threshold to 400 PAs so that they both qualify, they come in at 62nd and 79th, respectively. It’s no surprise, then, that the Cubs were 18th in the league in hard contact in 2017. They were 12th best in least soft contact, though, and 8th in medium contact. So, basically, the Cubs weren’t dribbling the ball a lot, but they also weren’t ripping the ball. Probably not what you expect from a team with so many good young hitters.
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
  • Mike Oz has another video of players opening 25-year-old baseball card packs (what a fantastic concept), and it includes Anthony Rizzo. His remark upon getting a Jose Canseco card, a bemused “he dented our game pretty well.” (You’ll recall, Rizzo was pretty p.o.’d when Starling Marte tested positive for PEDs earlier this year.)
  • The full transcript from Ohtani’s February interview with Jon Morosi came out, and (lol) ouch for the Phillies:

  • To be fair, Ohtani’s perspective could have changed quite a bit since then, but it still makes you laughingly picture the Phillies slowly, quietly withdrawing their posting bid.
  • Happy 25th birthday to Javy Baez:

https://twitter.com/BleacherNation/status/936597985290579969


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Author: Brett Taylor

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