Soto, Samardzija Up For Rookie of the Month
It looks like I'm four months late on this, but it appears that Rookie of the Month honors in the MLB is voted by the fans. The Cubs have two nominees, Geovany Soto and Jeff Samardzija and they'll go up against Cardinals reliever Chris Perez and Rockies third basemen Ian Stewart. Soto is looking for his second win of the year and voting runs through Monday.
Samardzija provided a bullpen boost for the first-place Cubs. In 14 1/3 innings, he was 1-0 and didn't allow a run. Samardzija had 13 strikeouts during the month. Soto won rookie honors in April and has continued to be a firm offensive and defensive presence for a Chicago team that has taken charge of the NL Central. Soto hit .355 in August with five doubles, three homers and 21 RBIs. Soto drew 13 walks and scored 17 runs while handling himself well behind the plate and providing a level of comfort for the Chicago pitching staff.
A look at Geovany Soto's year compared to other Cubs catchers of years past after the jump...
I looked up the EqA (Equivalent Average) via Baseball Prospectus (adjusted for all-time) of some of our catchers over the years. Top Season as a Cub (with a decent number of AB's for that season) followed by career average:
Gabby Hartnett -.333/.292
Rick Wilkins - .314/.262
Geovany Soto - .297/.297 (not counting his 2007 season for top honors)
Michael Barrett - .292/.250
Bob O'Farrell - .290/.257
Jody Davis - .274/.251
Randy Hundley - .268/.233
if you want to try and adjust for defense, let's take a look at their season using BP's WARP-3 (Wins Above Replacement Adjusted for All-Time) stat.
Gabby Hartnett (1935) - 9.7
Rick Wilkins (1993) - 9.5
Johnny Kling (1903) - 8.7
Geovany Soto (2008) - 8.6 (so far this year)
Bob O'Farrell (1922) - 8.1
Randy Hundley (1969) - 6.5
Jody Davis (1986) - 6.5
Michael Barrett (2004) - 5.3
Back to just the bat, the list of top Cubs catchers sorted by OPS+ (with at least 450 PA's), a list dominated by Gabby Hartnett. Soto's 2008 is currently 7th on the list.
- Hartnett (1935) - 151
- Wilkins (1993) - 150
- Hartnett (1930) - 144
- Hartnett (1928) - 142
- O'Farrell (1923) - 131
- Hartnett (1934) - 129
- Soto (2008) - 126
- O' Farrell (1922) - 126
- Kling (1908) - 119
- Kling (1903) - 118
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM