Javier Baez was expected to take a step forward this season for the Chicago Cubs, but no one could have predicted that his 2018 season would be going as well as it has. He has come out strong this season and proved that he has the superstar potential that everyone saw in him a couple years back when he made his MLB debut.
Not only has Baez gotten off to a good start this season, he is also putting up MVP-caliber numbers.
Baez has played in 37 games thus far in 2018 and has recorded a.274 batting average to go along with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs. He has improved his patience at the plate, which has been a major Achilles heel for him. There are still times where he will swing at pitches way out of the zone, but for the most part, he has been able to work great at-bats.
Chicago came into the season with Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant being the two faces of the Cubs. Now, Baez has thrown his name into the hat. Many fans around the league turn on the Cubs’ game to watch Baez play and many others watch him with disdain on their faces.
He has become one of the most polarizing players in baseball. Whether that be due to his flashy plays in the field or his aggressive attitude, other teams and fans of other teams have begun to dislike Baez.
At just 25-years-old, the future couldn’t be brighter for Baez and he is just beginning to scratch the top of his potential.
Even ESPN talked about Baez putting up MVP numbers this season. He is still an incredibly powerful batter and is one of the best defensive infielders in the game.
Bryant even talked about the improvement that he’s seen in Baez and is excited for the infielder’s future. The context of the interview was that Baez is not changing his approach or aggressive nature for anyone.
“He’s not going to get cheated. Some people might think that makes you easier to pitch to, but you saw the other day, he took a bad swing at a curveball in the dirt, then gets another curveball, and he puts it over the fence. That doesn’t happen with a normal baseball player. It makes a pitcher think. He’s super-talented and only getting better.”
Baez is one of the rare players that can take any pitch deep. Chicago fans have come to know and love Baez for what he is — pure entertainment. Without him on the roster, the Cubs would have a major hole to fill.
It will be interesting to see what the remainder of the season looks like for Baez. Whether he can keep up the kind of hot streak he has been on or not will decide his MVP candidacy. Chicago will be a tough team to beat in the regular season and could be a major threat in the playoffs if Baez keeps it up.
Expect to see Baez’s name continue growing in popularity as the season progresses. Chicago may still be viewed as a “Bryzzo” town, but Baez is slowly taking that over. Before too long, he is going to be talked about just as much as Bryant and Rizzo when fans talk about the Cubs.