Darwin Barney has enough confidence in his ability he bragged last year he would spend the offseason taking his manager's money on the golf course.
Barney did manage to beat Dale Sveum, though he admitted it really wasn't a fair match.
"Dale gave me like a stroke a hole," he said. "Out of nowhere, Dale is like a scratch golfer. It came down to the last hole, and I stuck the green and beat him. I guess he beat me by 17, but I beat him overall."
Barney has been beating the odds since the Cubs made him a fourth-round draft pick out Oregon State in 2007, climbing the ladder to become the team's starting second baseman in 2011 when he beat out Jeff Baker in spring training.
At the end of the 2010 season, Baseball Prospectus had Barney ranked 18th in the Cubs' system, well behind their top-ranked prospects, Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, Chris Archer and Josh Vitters.
The BP scouting report on Barney read: "He'll never be a star, will rarely start, but Barney could play a decade in the majors."
Entering his third big league season, Barney may not be a star, but he played in 156 games last year, tying a major league record for consecutive error-less games at second and earning his first Gold Glove award.
Now Barney hopes to establish himself as one of the league's top second basemen by improving his offense and becoming an all-around player.
Barney looks to add offense to repertoire
Chicago Tribune | Feb 14