Sometimes statistics illuminate an otherwise obscured truth. Other times they warp the truth beyond all recognition. And still other times, they confirm that Alfonso Soriano's throwing arm is even more wicked than you thought while watching all of those Cubs games last summer.

Writing for The Hardball Times Monday, John Walsh did his annual analysis of outfielders' abilities to abuse, intimidate and obliterate baserunners. Soriano, who tied for the Major League lead with 19 outfield assists in 2007 and recorded 22 assists in '06 when no other LF had more than 12(!), not only "completely lapped" his fellow leftfielders in '07 according to Hughes, but "lapped them two or three times."

Surprising to me was the presence of former Cub Craig Monroe's name in the second slot among all leftfielders, a distinction he obviously earned during his 97 games as a leftfielder for the Tigers, not the 5 games he played in left for the Cubs.


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