Javier Baez- The Newest Mets All Star Player (2021)
He & his brothers were introduced to baseball by their father before his death. The family moved to the Jacksonville, Florida area, so his sister could get proper medical treatment for a spina bifida condition. English did not come easy to the young Javier, but after a few years he did learn. His strong work ethic had him become a star baseball player.
He was selected as a Chicago Cubs first round draft pick in 2011, the ninth pick overall.
MLB Career: Baez made his MLB debut on August 5th, 2014 & hit a game winning top of the 12th inning HR, off Boone Logan to beat the Rockies 6-5.
In his third career game, he hit two HRs while driving in four
runs, leading the Cubs to a 6-2 win. He would hit four more HRs in the month & drive in 15 runs but his average was just .188 by September 1st. He finished with 9 HRs & 20 RBIs batting just .169.
In 2015, he lost his sister & them missed time with a broke his finger. He spent most of the season at AA Iowa batting .324 in 70 games. He was called up in September & played in the post season.
2015 Post Season: After collecting two hits in the NLDS opener against the Cardinals, he hit a three rum HR off John Lackey to put the Cubs ahead for good, in the 6-4 win. He got just one hit in the NLCS loss to the NL Champion New York Mets.
In the Cubs 2016 World Championship season, he batted .273 hitting 14 HRs with 19 doubles & 59 RBIs. On May 8th, he hit a walk off HR off Blake Treinen to beat the Nationals in the bottom of the 13th inning. He hit six HRs in June, including a 15th inning grand slam off the Reds, JJ Hoover. The next month he raised his average up to the .290 mark before falling off. He ended the year with 14 HRs 19 doubles & 59 RBIs while batting .273.
2016 Post Season: In Game #1 of the NLDS, he hit a HR off the Giants, Johnny Cueto, which was the only run of the game in John Lester's 1-0 shut out. The Cubs entered the top of the 9th inning of Game #4, down 5-2. They scored three runs & tied the game up at five. Baez then singled off Hunter Strickland, bringing in Jayson Heyward with what was the winning run to clinch the series.
Baez was the NLCS co-MVP, along with pitcher, Jon Lester. He batted .318 with seven hits, including four doubles & 5 RBIs. in the victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He collected two hits with an RBI in the Game 1 win. After driving in a run in Game #4, he had a big Game #5 collecting three hits, with an 8th inning double & three RBIs.
2016 World Series: In the World Series, he collected four hits in the first six games, then hit a 5th inning HR off Corey Kluber in Game #7. The Cubs won the game & ended their curse, winning their first World Series since 1908.
After the Championship: By 2017 he became one of the best defensive players in the game, making exciting plays with a fantastic throwing arm. He also showed great ability to make quick tags on base runners trying to steal. Baez would star at both short stop & second base. At the plate he batted .273 with 23 HRs 24doubles 75 RBIs & 75 runs scored. He also stole ten bases.
2017 Post Season: He went hitless in the NLDS win over the Washington Nats. He struggled in the NLCS as well, going hitless again, with the exception of two HRs in Game #4leading the Cubs to a 3-2 win over L.A. The Dodgers went on to win the series.
In 2018 Baez became one of the most exciting & best all around players in the league. He led the NL in RBIs (118) while hitting 34 HRs (7th in the NL) he hit nine triples (2nd in the NL) had 40 doubles (6th in the NL) with 101 runs scored & 176 hits (both 8th in the NL). That year he hit a career best .290 & stole 21 bases. Baez also struck out 167 times. He came in second to Christian Yelich in the MVP voting & made his first All Star Game.
On April 10th, he had the first of two consecutive multi HR games over the Pirates, driving in six runs in the two games. Three days later, he had another four RBI game. In early May he hit HRs in three straight games, coming against the Cards & Marlins.
On June 26th, he hit two HRs & drove in five runs at Dodger Stadium in 9-4 win over the Dodgers. In ten game span he drove in 13 runs to end June. On July 15th he had another five RBI game, led by a three HR to beat the Padres.
Trivia: At the All Star break he was the only player other than Willie Mays to have 18 HRs 18 doubles 18 stolen bases & 5 triples by the break.
2018 All Star Game: Beaz went 1-3 at the All Star Game, played in Washington D.C, where the AL won 8-6.
Baez second half was highlighted by a span where he drove in 14 runs in ten games into early August.
2018 Post Season: In the NL Wild Card Game, Baez doubled & drove in the only run n the Cubs 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field.In 2019, he had his second All star
season. Baez hit .281 with 29 HRs 38 doubles 89 runs scored & batted .281 in 138 games. He struck out 156 times as well. He started out on Opening Day with two HRs & driving in four runs in a win at Texas. He hit nine HRs in April & was batting over .300. A 15 game hit streak had him up to .330 in May before tailing off.
On June 23rd, he hit his 100th career HR, it came off the Mets Seth Lugo. That month he had eight multi RBI games, including three with three or more RBIs. On June 29th, he hit a grand slam off Robert Stephenson leading the Cubs to a 6-0 win over the Reds.
2019 All Star Game: Baez started short stop for the NL, going 0-2 in the loss to the AL at Cleveland.
On August 29th, he hit two doubles & a HR against the Mets, with the HR & a double coming off Marcus Stroman. The Cubs sweep of the Mets hurt the Mets chase for the Wild Card race, after a strong run in August. On September 1st, his season ended after he injured his thumb sliding into second base.In the 2020 Covid19 shortened season, he won his first Gold Glove. In 2021 he played 91 games
with the Cubs before getting traded on the July 30th deadline, in a Cubs fire sale where they sold off all their top players.
In 91 games Baez batted .248, leading the league in strike outs (131) with 22 HRs 9 doubles & 65 RBIs with 13 steals. No Mets played had more than 8 steals up to that point.
Family: Baez is married to his long time girlfriend Irmarie & they have two children. His wife's sister is married to the Twins pitcher, Jose Berrios.
Mets Career: Baez is a longtime friend of the Mets Francisco Lindor. Beaz will play in his first Mets game on July 31st.
Quotes- Mets acting GM- Zack Scott: "We think he adds alot, brings a ton of energy to our team. Knows how to win, knows how to do a lt of things to help us win, Plays elite defense & baserunning & power."