Diamond: How the Cubs’ defense became historically elite

From Jared Diamond at the Wall Street Journal on October 18, 2016:

With five starting All-Stars and three Cy Young candidates, the Chicago Cubs have a lot of ways to win with bats and arms. But it’s their unprecedented ability to catch the ball that has maneuvered the Cubs to within three wins of their first World Series appearance in more than 70 years.

When opposing players manage to put the ball in play against one of the Cubs’ aces, there is a very good chance it will be caught. The Cubs this season converted 74.5% of batted balls into outs, the best mark for any team since 1982.

And that might not even tell the whole story about the Cubs’ dominance. Every stadium grades differently in trying to turn batted balls into outs, and according to Baseball Prospectus, the Cubs’ defensive abilities stand alone as the best ever after adjusting for those factors.

Read the full article here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-the-cubs-defense-became-historically-elite-1476747106

Originally published: October 18, 2016. Last Updated: October 18, 2016.