I am here today to let everyone know that Javy Baez is Javy Baez and I don’t know why people are so surprised. Baez has always had a go big or go home approach to batting and that is why we love him. I will admit that Javy, along with the rest of the Cubs offense, started slow out of the gates and it was frustrating. That being said, 22 games in, we are seeing Javy settle down and be Javy. He is a batter that swings big every time and chases low and away. The fun part of the chases is when he golfs a ball onto Addison Avenue. You take the good with the bad. The part that confuses me is people acting like he has regressed. He hasn’t. The most common theme is “Where is 2018 Javy?” He is here, y’all are just missing it.
When you dive into the stats, most of the worry about Javy is just a result of the Cubs offense’s slow start overall. Not any sharp drop off from Baez. One of Baez’s most impressive stats from the 2018 season was his league leading 111 RBIs. After 22 games in 2021, he is on track for 124 this year. His batting average is down this year, (.290 in 2018, .234 in 2021). Sixty points seems like a big difference on the surface, but over 22 games is a difference of only five hits.
The one concerning stat is 35 strikeouts over 22 games. This puts him on track to strikeout 255 times this year. That is a lot. I don’t believe this pace will continue and is worth noting that in 2018 Baez recorded a career high 167 strikeouts. Baez strikes out a lot, that will never change. He swings big, hits big and misses big. It is also worth noting that the difference in batting average from the first 10 games to the second 10 games. Baez hit .184 over the first 10 games and .232 over the second 10 games. He is settling in and starting to hit more. This trend will only continue over the course of 162 games. So, everyone take a deep breath and calm down. El Mago is still El Mago and enjoy the ride.
Garrett Schreur is a Contributor for Unwrapped Sports Network. Follow him on on Twitter @Garrettfromiowa