Should Emilio Bonifacio Be the Starting Second Baseman? And Other Bullets

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Should Emilio Bonifacio Be the Starting Second Baseman? And Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

emilio bonifacio royalsSeems like an appropriate time to remind folks that there’s a commenting policy at this here place, and you are expected to know it/adhere to it. Three things you agree not to do, that I’ll highlight:

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  • Quick Emilio Bonifacio analysis: we should take a look at some of his projections for the 2014 season, as they haven’t been discussed around here (since he was signed after the projections came out). ZiPS – projecting him with the Royals in the Royals’ ballpark, mind you – sees Bonifacio as a .258/.315/.339 guy this year, with 31 SB against 8 CS. Similarly, PECOTA has him at .261/.318/.335, with 26 SB and 6 CS. That’s not a great player, but it’s above replacement-level, and the projections are better than those for Darwin Barney (.253/.299/.349 from ZiPS, .248/.291/.342 from PECOTA). I have no doubt that Barney has the better glove, though Bonifacio is at least average defensively at second (and he brings a baserunning ability that Barney doesn’t have). I’m not saying Bonifacio should be the starting second baseman (depending on what happens at third, you could make an argument for Luis Valbuena), but I do think it’s reasonable for there to be a discussion.
  • If you’re looking for a reason to believe 2011 Bonifacio (.296/.360/.393) could return this year, Mark Gonzalez reports that the thumb and knee injuries that curtailed his 2012 season bled into the offseason and contributed to his slow start with the Blue Jays in 2013 (after a mid-season trade to the Royals, Bonifacio’s numbers once again resembled the 2011 guy). Of course, if you’re looking for a reason to believe that 2011 Emilio Bonifacio was a blip, you could point to his .372 BABIP, which is a full 40 points higher than his career average.
  • Jason Hammel looks and feels good so far in camp. Recall, he had some forearm issues last year and some teams were a little nervous about signing him, so his Spring health is a notable thing to follow.
  • Anthony Rizzo isn’t making too many mechanical adjustments to his swing this year, just quieting his hands at the plate a bit.
  • Ryan Sweeney added weight this offseason, but he says it’s good, muscle mass, which could help his power.
  • Everybody likes Carlos Villanueva. With his facial hair, how could you not?
  • Todd Hollandsworth is the next person to join WGN’s new FM radio station, where he’ll have a weekend show and serve as something of a baseball insider.
  • Folks get tired of hearing “best shape of his life” stories in Spring Training, but it’s certainly better than hearing that one of your young players (Jesus Montero of the Mariners, in this case) showed up to camp 40(!) pounds over his target weight.
  • Over at the Message Board, BN’er Chris Neitzel discusses why today’s top Cubs prospects are not yesterday’s top Cubs prospects, in no small part because rankings have improved dramatically.

Author: Brett Taylor

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