RelatedUTech Rewards Students for Academic and Sports Excellence RelatedUTech Rewards Students for Academic and Sports Excellence FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Over 150 students of the University of Technology (UTech) were, on Thursday (Oct. 4), presented with awards by the institution in recognition of their outstanding achievements in sports and academics during the 2010/11 and 2011/12 school years. The presentations, which were made during UTech’s inaugural Students’ Academic and Sport Awards Ceremony, at its Papine Campus in St. Andrew, saw some 83 students receiving awards for outstanding academic performances. They included: Kemoy Raymore, who made the Dean’s list for the 2010/11 academic year; and Cudian Buckley, Tilvan Grant, Vinston Mattocks, Francine White, Stacey Peart, and O’Brien Brown, who made the list for 2011/12. Eighty-six student athletes, who were able to attain and maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA), or higher score, were also recognised. Among them were: Jacques Harvey, who received the 2010/11 Male Student Athlete of the Year award; and Carrie Russell and Anneisha McLaughlin, who shared the Female title. The 2011/12 Male Student Athlete award went Simon Tomlinson, with Olympic champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, copping the Female version for the period. Speaking at the ceremony, UTech President, Professor the Hon. Errol Morrison, noted that the institution has been successful in mastering the combination of sports and academics. “This is something unique being pioneered by UTech, where we’re recognising the combination of academia and sports. UTech shows the way in combining these two (areas) in a meaningful way through its Faculty of Science and Sport,” he remarked. Professor Morrison said the success of this undertaking was evidenced through the continued outstanding performances of its athletes, who, in the process, have managed to maintain high grades. “Of our over 300 student athletes…30 per cent of them are performing in their academic pursuits at a GPA of 3.0 or more,” he remarked. Professor Morrison made special mention of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, whom, he said, continues to perform at a remarkable level, both in her sport and academic pursuits. He noted that the Olympian, who won three medals, two Gold and a Silver, at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, will graduate from the institution this year with “excellent grades, and plans to go on to post-graduate studies”. “Let Shelly-Ann’s success be a motivation to our youth throughout this country, and beyond. Reminding them of the good old adage, ‘what man has done, man can do’,” he stated. In his remarks, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Sport, Associate Professor, Dr. Colin Gyles, said the faculty’s main aim is to have students attain the highest levels of sports performance, while maintaining top academic grades. “We recognise that the period for sports performance is very short-lived. And not only is it short-lived for those who actively compete, but some will also compete and not be the best. So persons must be prepared to be able to take care of themselves and have a fulfilling life after the days of successful sport performance,” he remarked. Meanwhile, Chairman of telecommunications firm, LIME, Christopher Dehring, who was guest speaker, underscored the importance of Jamaicans recognising the economic impact that sports can generate for Jamaica. “It (sports) is one of the biggest, most complex, and fastest growing industries in the world,” he remarked. Mr. Dehring informed that the earning potential from sports for Jamaicans and the country, on a whole, is remarkable. He cited, as an example, Jamaica and West Indies cricketer, Chris Gayle, whom, he pointed out, is able to generate earnings in excess of US$1 million, from participation in six weeks of competitive cricket matches. In noting the significant impact which Jamaica has on sports globally, he stressed the need for the nation’s administrators to make every effort to exploit the derivable economic opportunities and benefits. “Our brand in sports is so powerful that we need to be taking this opportunity to invest in it, to build it, and to create an industry,” Mr. Dehring emphasized. UTech’s Faculty of Science and Sport gives scientific support to the training and development of world-class professionals, in keeping with the institution’s focus on promoting “Excellence through Knowledge”. It offers electives in some 14 modalities, including: football, tennis, badminton, track and field, and golf. RelatedUTech Rewards Students for Academic and Sports Excellence UTech Rewards Students for Academic and Sports Excellence EducationOctober 8, 2012 Advertisements
‘ ‘ Published on January 24, 2021 ‘ Western Province’s insipid semi-final defeat needs to be compartmentalised. There are bigger questions that must be answered about ‘off-field’ performance, writes CRAIG LEWIS.It can’t be overlooked that for many onlookers who have a vested interest in WP, there was a cruel sense of irony about the Sharks’ victory over Western Province in Saturday’s semi-final.Just 24 hours before the clash, the Sharks had announced a new partnership with the internationally acclaimed agency Roc Nation, which aims to take the brand of the Durban-based franchise to a global level.WATCH: Sharks launch global partnershipThe deal was a direct spinoff of the even bigger news earlier in January that American company MVM Holdings had acquired a 51% controlling share in the Sharks, with president of Roc Nation Sports International, Michael Yormark, forming part of the consortium.This multi-million dollar deal was completed in double quick time after WP’s so-called ‘leaders’ in the boardroom postured and procrastinated until the consortium members opted to look elsewhere, and very quickly found a more-than-willing partner waiting just up the east coast of South Africa.In the current climate of extraordinary financial pressures, the Sharks quickly realised that MVM boasted the wherewithal to provide much-needed investment and expertise. Conceding a controlling share was never seen as a deal-breaker, and WP Rugby’s loss was very much the Sharks’ gain.Although there is a salary cap that was enforced in South African rugby from 2019, you can rest assured that the Sharks will very carefully reassess all there squad options in the coming weeks and months, before looking to recruit highly-regarded players in key positions.READ: ‘We want the Sharks to have the best players’The investments and opportunities are sure to extend off the field as well, as the Sharks look to position themselves for long-term stability and success.Only time will tell if all the investment ultimately materialises into proposed on-field success, but what cannot be questioned is that while the Sharks are moving forward, Western Province are left wondering what may have been.There is a reason so many WP players were unequivocal in advocating for the MVM deal to go through, and yet, after the loss of potential stability and security, one of the first fallouts is set to be the departure of Springbok captain Siya Kolisi.ALSO READ: Kolisi coup a sign of things to come for SharksThere are sure to be more departures, but will anyone be answerable and accountable?Don’t forget that back in November, key American consortium members met with WP Rugby president Zelt Marais and chairman Ebrahim Rasool.But then the talks went cold.Not long after, I chatted to one of the leading consortium members. To say he was exasperated would be a gross understatement.‘The deal will never go ahead,’ he said. ‘There has to be two willing parties to make this happen. And there just isn’t.’Days later, the deal officially imploded. A few weeks after that, the Sharks unveiled the completion of their partnership with MVM.In conversation with key role-players from the Durban franchise, the overwhelming sentiment was one of incredulity that Western Province had botched the opportunity to bag the investment.Still, no one quite knows why. As one other consortium member asked me when negotiations fell through: ‘Why don’t WP want to do this deal?’Was it simply an unwillingness to concede the control of a majority share? Boardroom politics? Simple maladministration? He was none the wiser, which spoke volumes about the level of communication from WP negotiators.These bigger questions still persist during a period of turmoil when the departure of disgruntled board members, bungled partnerships, dodgy dealings and damages claims all hang over WP.And even for former players, it appears they are watching on with tears in their eyes (see tweets below).These are troubling times for WP Rugby. But it’s also time for some answers and accountability.Sad to see @WP_RUGBY lose but the fact the they didn’t manage to sign MVM still grieves me. The @TheSharksZA will just get stronger from here so maybe we must get used to losing to them.— CorneKrige (@CorneKrige6) January 23, 2021 MoneyMorningPaperThe 10 Richest Families Of The World. Especially No. 6 Is A Complete Surprise.MoneyMorningPaper|SponsoredSponsoredUndo Newlands stadium ‘ Post by Craig Lewis Posted in Columns, Craig Lewis, News, Stormers, Top headlines #WPvSHA Looks like Marco Mazotti backed the right horse! Congrats to the Sharks! Heart bleeds for WP and Dobbo! #keepstrong!— Keith Andrews (@KeithKandrews) January 23, 2021 Ditto Pooitjie what a sad way to close the curtain on a stage that held countless memories blood sweat tears and joy! What a limp way to close the old greatest stadium in the world and I have played in most of them! https://t.co/qm1TsYyaJN— Rob Louw (@roblouw6) January 24, 2021 ‘ 熱門話題對肚腩脂肪感到後悔！試了在萬寧賣的這個後…熱門話題|SponsoredSponsoredUndoFrom the magazine: Jano Vermaak names his Perfect XVSA Rugby MagUndoWatch: Springbok centre Jesse Kriel goes full CR7 after excellent trySA Rugby MagUndoAlphaCuteOprah’s New House Cost $90 Million, And This Is What It Looks LikeAlphaCute|SponsoredSponsoredUndo ‘ Answers needed for WP woes Very true! https://t.co/Bpm7Om6pg0— CorneKrige (@CorneKrige6) January 23, 2021 贷款| 搜索广告在香港獲得貸款可能比您想的要容易贷款| 搜索广告|SponsoredSponsoredUndo BuzzAura16 Cancer Causing Foods You Probably Eat Every DayBuzzAura|SponsoredSponsoredUndo Watch: Kolbe makes Test players look amateur – Ugo MonyeFormer England wing wing Ugo Monye says Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe is one of the most devastating runners in the game ever.SA Rugby MagUndoLoans | Search AdsLooking for loan in Hong Kong? Find options hereLoans | Search Ads|SponsoredSponsoredUndoCNAHow is life for Cambodian boy linguist after viral fame?CNA|SponsoredSponsoredUndoGoGoPeak10 Most Beautiful Cities You Should Visit Once In Your LifetimeGoGoPeak|SponsoredSponsoredUndo熱門話題不要被酵素騙了！在萬寧賣的「這個」直接針對脂肪…熱門話題|SponsoredSponsoredUndoLife Exact BrazilGrace Jones Is Now 72 Years Old, This Is Her NowLife Exact Brazil|SponsoredSponsoredUndo 2029 251 Five one-cap Boks that could still represent South AfricaSA Rugby MagUndo
LOC Group today announced the appointment of Shi Wenchao to the role of Managing Director of LOC China. Shi Wenchao will be based in Shanghai and will oversee the Group’s Chinese operations, which includes offices in Shanghai and Tianjin. Sea News, March 26 R.V Ahilan, CEO of LOC Group, commented: Author: Baibhav Mishra Shi Wenchao has over 10 years’ experience in the nuclear and power & utilities sectors. He joins LOC China from Bureau Veritas China, where he was Business Unit Head of Power and Utilities. His responsibilities involved leading sales & marketing, project implementation and business development strategies. Prior to this, Shi Wenchao was Project Secretary at State Nuclear Power Engineering Company where he was heavily involved on the China-US nuclear power efforts. “I am delighted to welcome Shi Wenchao to LOC Group. Shi Wenchao has a stellar track record in China and we believe that his addition to the team will help us achieve our ambitious growth targets in-country. He joins us at an exciting time for LOC, as we have made significant strides in the Chinese market in recent years’ and are helping companies and countries as they look to transition from carbon intensive energy sources to a greater dependency on renewables.” Olof Koning, Head of Asia Pacific Operations at LOC Group, commented: (Image Courtesy: LOC Group) “We are excited to welcome Shi Wenchao to the team and for him to join us as Managing Director of LOC China. He has significant experience across a number of the sectors LOC is involved in. Shi Wenchao will work closely with the Shipping team to help build on the Group’s considerable experience and service offering in the sector.” Shi Wenchao holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Automations, from a prestigious University in China, and a Masters in both Engineering and Management in Energy (MME) from Tulane University in New Orleans, USA.
The records and honors continue to pile up for the NFL’s best team, but the Ravens have a simple objective in the penultimate game of the regular season.A win over Cleveland locks up the top seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, something the Ravens haven’t enjoyed in their accomplished history dating back to 1996. Topping the Browns would also give Baltimore its 13th win of the regular season, matching the 2006 team for the most in franchise history.A victory is paramount, but the Ravens can continue to rewrite the record book Sunday as Pro Bowl quarterback Lamar Jackson is just one touchdown shy of setting a new franchise record for touchdown passes while running back Mark Ingram is 37 yards shy of giving Baltimore just the seventh 1,000-yard rushing duo in NFL history. Jackson and Ingram would be the first teammates to do that since DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in Carolina in 2009.As expected, Pro Bowl left tackle Ronnie Stanley is active and will start after missing the Week 15 win over the New York Jets due to a concussion. Stanley had been officially listed as questionable on the final injury report, but he was a full participant in practice all week, eliminating uncertainty about his status.Reserve inside linebacker Chris Board (concussion) is also active after sitting out in Week 15.There were no other surprises on Baltimore’s inactives list with an unusually healthy roster at this late stage of the season.Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon (knee) is inactive for the sixth time in the last seven games, which doesn’t help a Cleveland front that’s already without suspended Pro Bowl pass rusher Myles Garrett. Tight end David Njoku was a healthy scratch for the Browns.Sunday’s referee is Alex Kemp.According to Weather.com, the Sunday forecast in Cleveland calls for sunny skies and temperatures reaching the high 40s with winds 10 to 15 miles per hour and no chance of precipitation.The Ravens are wearing their white jerseys with black pants while the Browns don brown tops and brown pants for their home finale.Sunday marks the 42nd all-time meeting between these AFC North teams with the Ravens enjoying a lopsided 30-11 advantage. Baltimore is 19-4 against Cleveland in the John Harbaugh era, but the Browns are aiming to salvage a disappointing season with their first season sweep of the Ravens since 2007.Below are Sunday’s inactives:BALTIMOREQB Trace McSorleyWR Jaleel ScottCB Anthony AverettCB Iman MarshallOL Parker EhingerDT Justin EllisG Ben PowersCLEVELANDDE Olivier VernonTE David NjokuWR Taywan TaylorS J.T. HassellOT Kendall LammG Drew ForbesTE Pharaoh Brown
The neon “OPEN” sign was flipped on in the window of Bob’s Mini Mart recently, signaling the return of a community institution in the heart of the Western Carolina University campus and the opening of the first business located in the university’s new Noble Hall mixed-use facility.Aside from the sign lighting up, there wasn’t much in the way of fanfare as the convenience store that first opened on WCU’s campus about three decades ago re-opened at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, following a hiatus of a year-and-a-half. Store owner Bob Hooper said his hope was to be back in business in time for WCU’s Homecoming so that visiting alumni could come by the store. “Quite a few” did pass through Saturday, Oct. 29 – the day of the Homecoming football game, Hooper said. “It was nice to see them come by,” he said.The history of Bob’s Mini Mart goes back to the 1980s. Hooper said his father was originally from Cullowhee, but he was born in Atlanta and moved to Cullowhee in 1974 in search of “peace and quiet.” In 1979, the younger Hooper took over ownership of a laundromat operating in the university’s old commercial strip, and then, a few years later, he opened a second business – Bob’s Mini Mart. He eventually got out of the laundromat business but continued to operate the convenience store as a tenant in the university-owned commercial strip alongside other campus fixtures such as the Townhouse Restaurant, the Varsity Shop and Pressley’s Barber Shop.The years of doing business went by, until fire broke out in WCU’s commercial strip on Centennial Drive during the morning of Nov. 21, 2013, heavily damaging space occupied by three businesses – a Subway sandwich shop, Rolling Stone Burrito and the Mad Batter Bakery and Cafe. Over the ensuing months, the Board of Trustees of the WCU Endowment Fund, owner of the property, decided to accelerate the development of a mixed-used facility that was already in the university’s long-term master plan for construction at the site. The space occupied by Bob’s Mini Mart was not damaged in the blaze, and Hooper was allowed to operate until April 26, 2015, when he had to close down to allow for demolition of the entire commercial strip to make way for the new building.The new 120,000-square-foot Noble Hall, with capacity for 420 student beds spread over all four floors, and commercial space on the ground floor, opened for student housing just in time for the start of WCU’s current fall semester, but preparation work for business tenants has been ongoing since then. The $29 million facility is named in honor of Noble Nine, the group of nine trustees from the late 1800s who were instrumental in the development of the little mountain school that evolved into WCU.Hooper, who holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Georgia, said the customer count at Bob’s Mini Mart has been improving gradually since his Oct. 26 re-opening in his new 2,179 square feet of space. He said he expects business to get better as more people on campus find out he is back in operation, and especially as other businesses open in Noble Hall. He has hired four WCU students to work in the store and said he may be hiring two more as sales pick up.WCU general counsel Mary Ann Lochner has provided updates on when other businesses are expected to open. A new Subway should begin operating later this month, while two others, Chili’s Grill and Bar, and MadStone Cafe and Catching Light Books, are predicted to open in early January. Blackrock Outdoor Co. is expected to commence operations sometime in early 2017, she said.When the owners of the combination cafe/bookstore and the sandwich shop join Hooper in operating out of Noble Hall, it will signify the return to campus of four of the business owners who were uprooted as a result of the 2013 fire. In addition to the Subway, owners of Rolling Stone Burrito and the Mad Batter are partnering with City Lights Bookstore of Sylva on the new MadStone Cafe and Catching Light Books venture.
guest author 1 The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild, unregulated world. Facebook and LinkedIn, among other online social networks, are vast private communities that have thrived without oversight from any policy-making body. And new social networks are proliferating like bed bugs in a cheap hotel. As a result, trademark protection on social networks is becoming a serious concern for corporations.Your personal and corporate reputation and popularity on these networks pivot on an identity known as your username. The role of usernames as brand identifiers is following a similar pattern as domain names but without any of the protections that trademarks owners enjoy.Guest author Tom Barrett is founder and president of EnCirca, Inc, a domain name registrar formed in 2001. EnCirca is also the company behind TM.Biz, which helps protect trademarks on social networks. Barrett lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts and is a member of more social networks than he can keep track of.Social networks are at a crossroads in terms of balancing the free spirit of their community and embracing the rights of brand owners. The relationship can either be adversarial or cooperative. Everyone wins if it is cooperative. Besides, for a new type of social network, trademark protection is going to happen anyway. The Internet Corporation of Name and Numbers (ICANN) is the non-profit governance body for the Internet. While its mission is the stability and security of the Internet, it is also focused on introducing competition and increasing domain name choices for consumers across the world. This fall, it will publish the Applicant Guide Book for parties wishing to launch their own top-level domain (TLD) to compete with .com. This guide has been several years in the making and encompasses many of the best practices learned from the first 15 years of the World Wide Web, including trademark protection.Isn’t it just good business practice for today’s social networks to treat usernames by the same rules as domain names?Even before its publication, over a hundred proposed groups have announced their plans to apply for their own TLD. This includes communities oriented around cities, countries, ethnic groups and special interest groups based on sports, games and entertainment. Microsoft, Nokia and IBM are all rumored to be exploring the idea of their own TLD. In reality, most of these new TLDs will resemble what we think of as a social network with communities of members with shared interests. Since a community username will essentially be the same as a domain name, these social network TLDs will be applying ICANN’s trademark protection policies to usernames. The result will be predictability for the end-user and predictability for trademark owners. And the policies represent good business practices for these social networks too. These policies include:A trademark dispute policy for ownership of domain names: A trademark dispute policy helps the Social Network TLD stay out of any legal disputes that occur between the network member and the trademark owner. It minimizes legal costs for Social Network TLDs, just as it has for existing domain registry operators.A sunrise period and/or monitoring service: A sunrise period for trademark owners allows trademark owners to secure their brands before the general public. This will generate goodwill among the trademark community for the Social Network TLD. A Whois database of usernames: The Whois database allows trademark owners to look up who has registered a domain to help determine if it’s someone with legitimate rights to the name. Social network TLDs will likely have some additional privacy controls in place compared to today’s typical Whois, but nonetheless ownership of the user’s domain name would likely be disclosed to rights owners and law enforcement that provide bona fide requests for such disclosure.Overall, adopting these rules will help the Social Network TLD’s lower their legal costs, avoid distractions to their business model and enlist the very business partners they need to create a viable business. It is a win-win for social network operators and brand owners.Integrating trademark rights into business strategy is not so bad. In fact, Facebook already experimented with this last year when they allowed trademark owners to reserve vanity Facebook names ahead of the general public. The move prevented the legal headache of dealing with thousands of irate trademark owners finding their brands snatched by whimsical members. Facebook also created some good will among a group of corporate sponsors that will likely be a primary source of revenue for their business.So, the question arises: Isn’t it just good business practice for today’s social networks to treat usernames by the same rules as domain names? Should existing social networks voluntarily start adopting a trademark dispute policy and other brand policies even if they are not required to? Tags:#social networks#web#Web Culture
In this episode of Chip Chat Randy Meyer, Vice President & General Manager at Mission Critical Systems at HPE and Peter Schrady, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Proliant Servers at HPE discuss the HPE Integrity Superdome X, HPE ProLiant DL580 Gen9, and HPE Integrity MC990 X Server that will be leveraging the new Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 v4. Randy and Peter chat about the demand for mission-critical computing that has driven the collaboration of Intel’s processing power and HPE’s “digital core” strategies. These products have been praised for their performance, reliability, availability, and compelling consolidation/virtualization efficiencies. To learn more go to www.hpe.com/serversOpens in a new window or follow Randy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/meyer_randy.
RB Salzburg striker Erling Haaland struggling to make Liverpool clashby Paul Vegas25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRed Bull Salzburg’s star striker Erling Braut Haaland is struggling to be fit for Wednesday’s visit to Liverpool in the Champions League.The 19-year-old frontman has plundered 17 goals in 12 appearance for the Austrian side this term, including a hat-trick in their Group E opener with Genk earlier this month.However, the Norwegian forward is now a doubt for the game with illness, with the club’s sporting director detailing the importance of the next 48 hours.Sppeaking to Viasat, Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund: “The next two days are important. He is checked by a doctor every day.”He’s sick, and we don’t quite know when he will be back. Hopefully over the next few days.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
In the eternally running discussion thread “Hey Bill” at billjamesonline.com, the website of sabermetric legend Bill James, the question came up of measuring the growth of sabermetric knowledge. James’s idea? Measure the extent to which teams are taking park factors into account when judging their rosters. But Tom Tango, author of “The Book,” offered another gauge: look at which teams are using good hitters in the No. 2 lineup slot.Traditionally, the two-hole was the domain of contact hitters with good bat control, with premiums placed on the ability to hit behind the runner, to sacrifice bunt, and to generally move the leadoff man over (even if it meant making an out). You can see this statistically: During Major League Baseball’s expansion era (1961-present), the No. 2 slot has the highest aggregate contact rate of any batting order position.But research by Tango and his compatriots suggests teams have been doing it wrong. After examining how important each batting event (single, double, walk, etc.) is to each lineup slot — based on factors such as how many runners are likely to be on base and how many outs they’re likely to hit with — the data says a team ought to bat its three best hitters in the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 slots, with the most balanced hitter occupying the two-hole. That’s a far cry from the conventional wisdom of slotting the best hitter either third or fourth, and putting a weak contact specialist at No. 2.So, if there are more good hitters in the second position, it’s a possible sign sabermetrics has penetrated the managerial mindset. But if there’s a pattern toward a more enlightened lineup card, it’s not detectable by looking at the average quality of No. 2 hitters (according to weighted runs created, known as wRC+) since the introduction of the designated hitter in 1973:If we take a five-year moving average to smooth out year-to-year variance above, it’s even clearer that we’re not in the golden age of great hitters batting second:Historically, the quality levels of MLB leadoff and No. 2 hitters tend to track with each other — and contra the performances of third and fourth hitters. (Meanwhile, Nos. 5 and 6 have stayed fairly stable over the years, with the five slot outproducing six by a decent amount.) The good news is that it appears the two-hole has emerged from the dark ages of the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, when slot Nos. 3 and 4 vastly outpaced Nos. 1 and 2.It may not be coincidental that the bleakest of times for the No. 2 spot came during MLB’s so-called steroid era. The stat we’re using, wRC+, compares a player’s per-plate appearance productivity against the average of all hitters, and the power hitters who frequently bat third and fourth may have received the benefits of performance-enhancing drugs at a greater rate than the overall population of MLB batters. (This would cause No. 2 hitters to move backward relative to the overall average, even if they themselves saw no change in talent.) With the specter of performance-enhancing drugs reduced in today’s game, the gap between hitter No. 2 and Nos. 3 and 4 has returned to its long-term norm.Still, today’s two-hole batters lag behind those of the halcyon late 1980s and early 1990s, when players such as Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Roberto Alomar, Julio Franco and Lou Whitaker were doing a large share of their damage from the second spot in the lineup. It’s plausible that the conditions of the game back then simply favored the traditional archetype of the No. 2 hitter more (batting averages were higher, as was the ratio of on-base percentage to slugging), but today’s managers also don’t appear to be moving toward the sabermetric ideal of penciling the team’s best hitter into the No. 2 spot.Sabermetrics has come a long way since the first analysts began tinkering with mathematical models, and there are certainly places where statistical thinking has made its way onto the field (for example, the explosion of defensive shifts in today’s game is rooted in probability theory regarding where a batter is most likely to hit the ball). But when it comes to the two-hole, baseball’s decision-makers still have a bit of a climb ahead of them.
PERCENTILE RANK Weighted OBA9934 HARPERTROUT 25Justin TurnerDodgers220.127.116.11.8 On-Base Pct.10097 2Bryce HarperNationals18.104.22.168.0 4Buster PoseyGiants22.214.171.124.7 PROJECTED WAR/600 PA 2016Batting Avg.9024 2015Batting Avg.9986 8Kris BryantCubs126.96.36.199.0 15Yasiel PuigDodgers188.8.131.52.3 WAR/600 PA9973 20Starling MartePirates4.03.93.93.9 10Carlos CorreaAstros184.108.40.206.6 19Adrian BeltreRangers3.94.14.04.0 18Miguel CabreraTigers220.127.116.11.1 PLAYERTEAMZIPSSTEAMERFG DEPTHAVERAGE 1Mike TroutAngels18.104.22.168.8 24Chris DavisOrioles22.214.171.124.8 13Anthony RizzoCubs4.04.84.44.4 6Giancarlo StantonMarlins126.96.36.199.3 Who’s better, Harper or Trout? A year after posting one of the greatest single seasons in baseball history, Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is off to an even more stupendous start this season. Through Washington’s first 14 games, Harper is hitting .327 with a .417 on-base percentage and an MLB-best .837 slugging percentage; he’s also finished more at-bats with a home run (seven) than a strikeout (six) while producing nightly feats of optimal exit velocity and launch angle, like this blast from Tuesday:Harper’s longtime rival for the mantle of “best young player in baseball” is, of course, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, who has consistently run circles around him. But last season, Harper finally outplayed Trout, and the Millville Meteor has flown in a lower orbit than usual to start the 2016 campaign as well. Here’s each player’s percentile ranking in the major leagues in the most important batting rate statistics, plus wins above replacement per 600 plate appearances: 5Josh DonaldsonBlue Jays5.65.05.85.5 Slugging Pct.10026 9Paul GoldschmidtDiamondbacks188.8.131.52.8 Trout’s still No. 1 … for now 14Kevin KiermaierRays184.108.40.206.3 12Jose BautistaBlue Jays220.127.116.11.4 11Nolan ArenadoRockies18.104.22.168.5 21Jason HeywardCubs3.34.64.03.9 You can probably guess what’s happening now: a variety of articles either wondering whether Harper has surpassed Trout as the game’s best player or flat-out declaring the race over. Never mind that Trout has been the best player in baseball history, for his age, through every one of his full major-league seasons — his spot atop the game is officially in jeopardy.That conclusion is still a bit premature, though. FanGraphs keeps a running set of projected statistics for the season, historically calibrated to find the most accurate balance of short- and long-term samples for making predictions. That means they can give us a pretty good proxy answer to the “who’s the best right now?” question, and all three of the rest-of-season projections at FanGraphs1ZiPS, Steamer and the aggregated projections FanGraphs uses on its depth chart pages. say Trout is still the game’s best bet among position players:2Projections are as of Wednesday afternoon. 7Andrew McCutchenPirates5.05.25.15.1 22Yadier MolinaCardinals22.214.171.124.9 Slugging Pct.10099 16Joey VottoReds126.96.36.199.3 Source: Fangraphs Weighted OBA10098 17Yasmani GrandalDodgers188.8.131.52.2 23Francisco CervelliPirates184.108.40.206.9 WAR/600 PA10099 3Manny MachadoOrioles220.127.116.11.2 All projections of April 20Source: FanGraphs On-Base Pct.9455 That probably won’t come as a surprise to most saber-friendly fans, who may as well drive around with “Small sample size!” stickers on their bumpers this early in the season. Even so, it doesn’t exactly take magical thinking to believe Harper is an exception to the rules of historical projections. At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron wrote a nice, nuanced piece Monday about how the particulars of Harper’s game evolved to get him where he was last year and how their continued development could give his newfound productivity more staying power. The upshot is that over the past year-plus, Harper has turned into a powerful pull hitter with the strength of Chris Davis and the plate discipline of Joey Votto — a terrifying combination that lends credence to the theory that his game has found another gear.I also devoted the Significant Digit segment of Wednesday’s Hot Takedown podcast to looking at how Harper’s numbers have improved this season despite a drastically reduced batting average on balls in play (BABIP), which makes you wonder how zany his numbers could be if he starts experiencing better BABIP luck. (And both of those analyses took place before Harper launched his grand slam Tuesday night.3For those curious, we tape Hot Takedown on Tuesday afternoons.)But in general, it takes a compelling reason to think any player is an exception to the trends of history, which are proven out far more often than they’re upended. Although reasonable people can find reasonable reasons to believe Harper is one of those exceptions, it’s important to remember just how high that threshold is. Otherwise, there’s a preponderance of evidence that Harper still hasn’t chased down Trout — at least not yet.