The Cubs Were Not Fast, Joyful Baseball in the DR, Amaya Credits Hoerner, and Other Cubs Bullets

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The Cubs Were Not Fast, Joyful Baseball in the DR, Amaya Credits Hoerner, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It may be Chicago Marathon day for incredible runners, but for it’s pumpkin patch day for the Taylor fam. I hope the place we’re going still has the killer apple fritters …

  • Nico Hoerner long had a reputation as having plus speed, and he certainly had some plays at AA that made you think it was true – maybe even underselling him. But in the big leagues, there were a number of infield grounders where I felt like, just based on my internal clock, I was surprised Hoerner wasn’t beating them out. For what it’s worth, in the end, he *did* rate as the fastest player on the Cubs this year, including the best home to first. The team as a whole was definitely not fast, though, so maybe that’s what is actually skewing my anecdotal perspective. Then again, Albert Almora continues to rate as pretty fast, according to Statcast, so who knows. Either our eyes COMPLETELY lie to us, or the sprint speed metric is not perfect.
  • Side note on speed? The Cardinals are extremely fast, with FIVE of the top 27 speeds in baseball this year, and all five are youngsters who more or less just came up (Tyler O’Neill, Lane Thomas, Harrison Bader, Randy Arozarena, and Tommy Edman). The Cubs have just one guy, Nico Hoerner (88) in the top 95. The Cubs’ fifth fasted player, Robel Garcia, doesn’t show up until number 146.
  • Overall, the Cubs were below average in baserunning value this year (slightly negative), and were also near the bottom of the league in FanGraphs’ speed rating. Just a year earlier, the Cubs were more middle-of-the-pack.
  • I don’t know that you specifically go after speed to the exclusion of other important offensive abilities, but it’s not as if speed doesn’t have value – and it’s definitely one of those things that impacts results at the margins (i.e., one of the small factors that might lead a team’s results to be less than the sum of its parts). Something to consider this offseason as the Cubs approach their roster reconstruction.
  • Oh, one more just for fun, since we’re looking at speed: the Cubs’ piano-back champion is NOT Anthony Rizzo, as he comes in as the Cubs’ second-slowest runner. Just a click slower, according to Statcast? Victor Caratini.
  • Lotta Deals of the Day at Amazon today, from books to home decor to scales to pillows to underwear and more.
  • This exchange is fantastic, and is a good reminder why the Cubs send players to the DR to see that environment:

  • Miguel Amaya and Jordan Minch were the Cubs’ representatives in the Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars game yesterday, and although Amaya didn’t get a hit, he got in half the game, and also shared this before the game:

  • Gotta love it when one of the Cubs’ top prospects is getting some of his grind from another top Cubs prospect. That’s what you want to see throughout the farm system.
  • I’d never seen this play before, and it is fun:

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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.