1.) Spring stats mean what?
2.) Which current Cub can match Jose Bautista’s 54-HR season?
3.) Results of my Charlie Sheen Cubs Poll.
1.) During my youth I poured over spring training stats. I was giddy with excitement when my favorite players hit well over .400, and felt down when they struggled. But what I soon came to realize, beginning Opening Day, is that spring stats mean very little, if anything. Once the opening bell rings, spring is over and so are the Cactus League statistics.
Consider the following: Marlon Byrd is currently hitting .650. Soriano is at .364 and Bobby Scales tops out at .375. We know that’s not-gonna-happen come April 1.
So what do spring stats mean? Nada. Basically, I’m looking for guys to stay healthy. That’s about it. The real fun begins in less than a month. So do yourself a favor and forget the spring stats sheets–and that includes withholding judgment on Carlos Silva.
2.) Jose Bautista crushed 54 HR in 2010 for Toronto. His season included 124 RBI, 35 doubles and a .260 batting average. And, he only played two games at DH.
This monstrous season came as a big surprise considering Bautista’s previous high for HRs was 16, coming six years earlier. So this got me thinking…which Cub is most likely to pull off a Bautista-like 2011?
Aramis, Soriano, Pena, Castro & Colvin are all out. Health permitting, it wouldn’t be a shock for Aramis, Pena or Sori to chase 50 HR. Castro and Colvin are still coming into their prime and we already expect big things from them anyway. So that leaves this list of potential candidates:
-With the exception of Marlon Byrd’s 20 HR campaign in 2009 with Texas, his previous high for homers was 10. In his first season with the Cubs he leveled off with 12 dingers.
Given Byrd has one year under his belt in Chicago, and his strong dedication to fitness and becoming more of a team leader, is it possible Byrd becomes the Cubs’ version of Bautista?
-How about Kosuke Fukudome? The Japanese slugger averaged 20 HR per year during his eight seasons in Japan. But during his three years with Chicago he’s averaged just 11 HR.
Perhaps, if Fukudome gets off to another one of his fast starts, and stays hot, he could challenge Bautista’s mark. Kosuke has managed a .259 overall average with the Cubs, and we know there’s some power in that swing too. All hail the spin-o-rama!
-Bautista was 29-years old last season, the same age as the Cubs’ little known outfielder Brad Snyder. During Snyder’s last nine seasons, one year at Ball State and eight in the minor leagues, he’s averaged 17 HR per year. Although he’s yet to homer in 12 games with the Cubs, the kid’s shown some pop.
If something clicked for Snyder, the way it did for Bautista, maybe the little known rook would become an overnight sensation on the North Side! Highly unlikely, of course. Snyder probably won’t even make the Opening Day roster. However, the surprise of seeing Snyder take on the challenge of Bautista’s 2010 season would be on-par with Jose’s career year.
3.) With special thanks to Charlie Sheen, the results are in from last Friday’s Cubs poll asking whether Carlos Silva’s dugout blowup was more ‘Bi-Winner,” or ‘Tiger Blood?”
-57% say Tiger Blood
-28% say Bi-Winner
-14% say Neither, Silva’s a Warlock.
Whatever the case may be, Silva’s spring proves he’s not made of Adonis DNA. Sorry, Charlie.