Cubs News & Notes – 11/27/16: Happ & Jimenez Lead AFL, David Ross is Fast, Carl Edwards Elite Spin-Rate
Thanksgiving is over and the headlights of Christmas are shining brightly. I’m heading with the Family to get a Christmas tree as soon as I finish writing this. By then, the kids will be amply pumped with pancakes, syrup and chocolate milk. That sounds way worse when I write it then when we do it. My youngest, aged three, also likes taking sips of my coffee. I don’t give him much more than one sip, for obvious reasons, but it’s clear that he’s going to be a coffee drinker since I drink my coffee black and he always wants more.
Ok, now that I’ve established my questionable parenting practices, it’s time to get to today’s Cubs’ news and noteworthy happenings.
- The Arizona Fall League wrapped up last week, with the Mesa Solar Sox winning the AFL championship game on the back of a huge two home run performance by Ian Happ. Now, both Eloy Jimenez and Ian Happ have been ranked by mlb.com as the 3rd and 8th ranked prospects to play in this year’s AFL. That’s high praise considering that 51% of 2016 MLB Opening Day rosters were comprised of former AFL players. Thirty-three former AFL players were selected to participate in MLB’s 2016 All-Star Game and 247 former AFL players have been selected to the ASG since the AFL’s inaugural season in 1992.
- Cubs Catcher, David Ross, has been named to the 2016 All-Statcast team by mlb.com’s Mike Petriello. Ross was a big reason why runners couldn’t steal on Jon Lester and also why no team in the postseason could take full advantage of Lester’s inability to throw to first base. Ross had the second best caught-stealing percentage in the 2016 postseason, nabbing runners 44.4% of the time (4 out of 9 attempts). Ross’ exchange time – the time from catching the ball to throwing it – was tops of all catchers in the postseason at .66 seconds. That’s fast. Read the full article at mlb.com.
- Carl Edwards, Jr. was also recognized by Petriello and named to the All-Statcast team (same article). As a rookie in 2016, Edwards showed a glimpse of what makes him so special – his elite spin rate (2,659 rpm) on his four-seam fastball. That’s the second highest spin rate in all of baseball, behind only Andrew Bailey. The biggest difference between Edwards and Bailey is how often they throw strikes. Edwards throws strikes 37.7% of the time compared to Bailey, who only hits the zone 21.6% of the time.
- The Cubs had a release party this past Tuesday and rolled out the red carpet for some lucky fans who got to see the 2016 MLB World Series film for the first time. It will be played for all the world to see on December 2 on FS1 (check your local listings). The DVD and Blu-Ray go on sale to the public on December 6. You can pre-order either from Amazon through this link. If you do, and you like what we do here at Cubs Kingdom, a small portion will come back to us here and that helps us to keep bringing you more Cubs news, notes, highlights, updates, photos and more. We appreciate your support!