The Second Coming of Bill Madlock?
This topic doesn't really merit a full post, but the site won't allow me to reply directly to inquiries aimed my way about Marquez Smith so I took another route in.
I've assembled a hodgepodge of data about Mr. Smith and pasted it below. He's been on a tear of late and helped keep the team afloat at the top of the PCL standings while many of his teammates have been called up to sink their parents toward the bottom of the NL Central. There's a link to a recent feature in the Des Moines Register, a clip from a recent edition of I-Cub game notes summarizing his hot streak, an excerpt from those same notes that shows the team has a much better record with Matt Camp at 3rd than Smith [FWIW], a "scouting report" from his former coach at Clemson [wasn't he a teammate of Colvin's there?] who extols his defensive abilities and a stat line from his brief demotion to Tennessee in the spring where he really did nothing to merit a recall to Triple A. I can't remember the circumstances of his return to Des Moines, but he has certainly capitalized on the renewed opportunity. As for AZP's estimation of former third-sackers Smith might ultimately equate to, why not shoot for the moon and invoke the memory of Bill Madlock? He's built along the same lines as I remember Madlock, although Mad Dog's listed in stat archives at a mere 180 lbs., substantially fewer than Marquez is pulling around behind him. Smith is a low center of gravity guy which might lend itself to the dives so often called for at the corner. When I've seen him he has impressed at the plate and not really done anything one way or another to draw my scrutiny as a fielder.
Will Clemson have the Cub infield cornered in 2012?
ON THE MARQ: With two more hits last night, 3B Marquez Smith extended his season-high hitting streak to 10 games and has hit safley his last 12 starts. In those 12 games, Smith is batting .512 (22-for-43) with 15 runs scored, five doubles, nine home runs and 20 RBI. He has hit nine home runs in his last 14 games. For the month of August, Smith leads the league in batting (.429), home runs (9), slugging (1.00), and OPS (1.492). He is tied for the league lead with Mat Gamel of Nashville with 14 extra-base hits and tied with Jason Lane of Las Vegas with 56 total bases. He is second in the league with 21 RBI (Bret Pill of Fresno has 22) and in on-base percentage (.492).
Marquez Smith Tennessee 5/15-6/3 .182 16 44 8 8 2 0 3 5 5 13 0 0 1
Smith 58 (31-27), Camp 34 (23-11),
"Marquez is one of the better third-baseman, certainly in the ACC and maybe in the country. He played a lot last year as our third-baseman. His fielding percentage, consistency, and accuracy are all outstanding. He has great hands and is going to hit in the middle of the order. He's a great team player, and he's one of the keys to our success."
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.