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BCB After Dark: In the Nick of time

The secret hangout for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks you how well do you think Cubs infielder Nick Madrigal will hit this year.

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Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the coolest nightclub for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re so happy that you stopped in. Please make yourself at home. Especially if you’re at home right now. I hope we can warm your cold winter night tonight. Please treat your waitstaff generously. Bring your own beverage.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

Last night I asked you what your opinion of The Marquee Network was now that we’re two years into it. Winning the vote, with 32 percent, is “I don’t get the Marquee Network,” which is a problem. You can count me in amongst those who don’t get Marquee. But of those who do get it, 28 percent gave the Cubs network a “C.” A grade of “D” was in third place with 16 percent and a “B” got 13 percent. Basically, we got a good bell curve of grades around the grade “C.” The professor that I used to TA for would no doubt be pleased with those results.

On Tuesday nights/Wednesday mornings, I do an abbreviated version of After Dark that skips the movie discussion. But I did promise yesterday that I’d have more to say about the original 1947 version of Nightmare Alley tomorrow night and you could still join in the discussion of that film or the 2021 version. But I do always have time for a jazz video, so if you’re going to skip that, now’s the time. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Since I guess it’s Brazil week on BCB After Dark after yesterday’s selection, I thought I’d present this concert by Astrud Gilberto. The video doesn’t include a lot of information, but this performance appears to be from France sometime between 1963 and 1966.

This video also shows that Astrud Gilberto was a lot more than just “The Girl From Impanema.” But the first song she sings is “The Girl From Impanema.” Even in jazz, audiences demand the hits.

Welcome back to everyone who skips all that jazz.

Today’s question concerns Cubs second baseman Nick Madrigal. whom the Cubs got from the White Sox in the Craig Kimbrel trade last summer. I’ve been accused of being down on Madrigal and maybe that’s true, but one thing that I will be the first to admit is that Madrigal can hit. And what I mean by that is that Madrigal has a very good hit tool. He has a strong ability to make contact and hit the ball hard enough to get a base hit. On the scouting scale of 20 to 80, Madrigal’s hit tool is at least a 65 and a scout could easily justify sticking a 70 on it. That puts Madrigal among the best hitters in the league for average.

Now we can argue all day about the actual value of batting average. It certainly isn’t as valuable as we thought up until about twenty years ago and it’s not as important as on-base percentage. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t have any value.

Madrigal has 324 career plate appearances and has a career batting average of .317. Madrigal hit .305 last year for the White Sox before he went out for the season with a hamstring injury. That .305 average would have finished fifth in the American League had Madrigal had enough at-bats to qualify.

So today, I’m going to ask you what you think Madigal’s batting average will be in 2022? I personally think there’s a strong chance that Madrigal wins a batting title one day. If Madrigal had hit his career average of .317 last year, he would have been third in the majors behind Trea Turner and Yuli Gurriel. So clearly he has the talent to do it, but there’s more to it that just being talented. Staying healthy is a big factor, and Madrigal couldn’t do that last year. Luck plays a role too.

So what is Madrigal’s batting average going to be in 2022? If you say he’s going to hit .320 or better, you’re saying that Madrigal will either win the batting title or come really close. If you say .310 or better, you think he’ll finish in the top 5 of the National League. If you say he’ll hit .300, then Madrigal will probably finish in the top ten. This assumes he has enough plate appearances to qualify, of course.

So what will Nick Madrigal’s batting average be in 2022?


What will Nick Madrigal’s batting average be in 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    .320 or better
    (15 votes)
  • 23%
    .310 to .319
    (29 votes)
  • 35%
    .300 to .309
    (43 votes)
  • 24%
    .285 to .299
    (30 votes)
  • 4%
    Below .284
    (5 votes)
122 votes total Vote Now

Also, I do want to recommend this article by Ken Rosenthal about Madrigal’s off-season and how the lockout has been affecting it. (The Athletic sub. req.)

That’s it for tonight for BCB After Dark. We hope you’ve enjoyed yourself this evening. We’ll have someone get your hat and coat. Tip generously. Get home safely. And join us again tomorrow night when there will be another edition of BCB After Dark.