To begin his career with the Chicago Cubs , Javier Baez went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. Then he came to the plate in the 12th inning of a tie ballgame and changed the entire narrative of his debut by blasting a game winning home run over the right-center field fence.
The next day Baez struggled to get a hit going 0-for-4, but making better contact as he did not strike out.
Then comes today, after coming off of an 0-for-4 performance, Baez shines like no other by going 3-for-4 and hitting two home runs while driving in four runs. This was his best performance to date, and is what Cub fans have been waiting to see.
To many of his teammates, this is what they would describe as “Javy being Javy”. No matter what he has done in his previous at-bats, Javy as he is known by his teammates, is only worried about his current at-bat. After struggling his previous game, Baez showed that he has what it takes to bounce back and contribute the next day.
For Cub fans the arrival of Baez has been long awaited and is welcomed with open arms. As fans we must know how to tame our expectations as he is only 21 years old and has played just three games in the majors. With that being said the potential that Baez shows on days like today just make fans feel like a “kid in the candy store”.
Baez is most known for the raw power that he possess, but with that power comes a lot of swings and misses as we have seen so far. The ferocious swings that Baez takes make for an exciting at-bat every time he comes to the plate whether he swings and misses or hits the ball 400 plus feet. His teammates know the excitement Baez possess and none more than Kris Bryant who has seen it up close and personal, including at the Futures game this past All-Star break when Baez hit a home run. Bryant was asked after the game about the Baez home run and was quoted as saying, “First pitch curveball off a guy who throws 97 (mph), that’s Javy being Javy”.
While Cub fans want Baez to be the next superstar of baseball, you have to learn to accept the good with the bad when it comes to his game. He will certainly help the Cubs win now and in the future, but there will also be days in which he struggles which should be expected of a young player. Whether he turns out to be the superstar that is expected is not known, but for now, just enjoy the ride.