Anthony Rizzo is the most valuable player on the Chicago Cubs. He runs the team. Everyone knows that. What everyone doesn’t know is that Javier Baez is a very close second.
The 24-year-old Puerto Rican shortstop has become an integral piece of the Cubs success in just four seasons in the MLB. This season, Baez has 20 home runs, 61 RBIs with a .270 batting average and 18 doubles. Sure he’s a free-swinging batsman but he sure has the all-around repertoire. He has produced 44 home runs and 144 RBIs in his career. It is pretty safe to say that “JAVY” or “El Mago” is just scratching the surface. Eventually, he will become a top 5 shortstop in the majors alongside the likes of Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, Corey Seager and Francisco Lindor. His defensive game is equally as mesmerizing as his offense. The way Baez dives for ground balls with his glove and throws the ball is just unbelievable. Sometimes I think to myself: How the **** did he do that?
On the intangibles side, Baez is a fan favorite with Cubs fans. His character and demeanor on and off the field are jovial and contagious. He likes to fool around, but in a good way. Baez should remain the franchise shortstop for the Cubs his whole career because there are not many players like him in the MLB. He makes the players around him better and he wins ball games all by himself.
He’s already won a World Series. More titles are on the way, and Baez will be one of the centerpieces for it!