Javier Baez: Best Cub Ever

Javier Baez: Best Cub Ever

After blasting his second home run in as many games, I think it's clear that Javy Baez has leapt from atop the list of top prospects right into the pantheon of all-time great Cubs.  Anson, Brown, Wilson, Hartnett, WronaBanks, Williams, Santo, Sandberg*, Ramos, Jenkins, Pico.  The list goes on.

He might be the best player on the North Side right now and he will be a front-runner for ROY, MVP this year.  Baez will eventually lead the team to multiple World Series titles, and then will go into Hall of Fame in a Cubs cap and not some blank lid like that scrub wannabe Maddux.

Listen: he knocked out a car window with a BP blast.  Who does that?  The only way this kid could possibly be any better would be if his name was either Javier Bryant or Kris Baez.  Hyperbole, schmyperbole.

At least, that seems to be the popular sentiment flooding through fans short on reality and long on hope.  But I've got a message to anyone clamoring for him to break camp with the Cubs: Simma down now!

Okay, all joking aside, I love this kid's swagger and his swing, the latter of which is Sheffieldian in its violence. Dude takes his cuts with seemingly no regard for human life.  I really do half-expect to see a redux of the scene from The Natural, the one in which Roy Hobbs literally tears the cover of the ball with a particularly vicious hack.  Maybe Baez is at least part Wonderboy.

And thanks to Brett Taylor over at Bleacher Nation, we've got a video of said swing and its result on Wednesday afternoon.

Pardon me, but I'm getting a little swooney here; maybe even verklempt.  Give me a moment.  Here's a topic: frozen rope is neither frozen nor a rope.  Talk amongst yourselves.

Thank you, much better now.  It's a little harder to poke fun at all the adulation being heaped on this kid when you actually see something like that.  The frightening beauty that's on display when Baez uncoils his bat in its destructive arc...gah.  No words.

But, difficult though it may be, we all need to curb our base desires to demand his promotion.  After all, you're going to have plenty of time to watch him at Wrigley, maybe even for the majority of the 2014 season.  So with both the present and more distant future in mind, the Cubs too will fight the urge to throw caution to the wind with their future star.

Baez might throw haymakers at the plate, but Justin Jabs (new CI contributor whose first post will run later today) lays out the specifics of the whole time service aspect of Javy's call-up and why keeping him in the minors for a little more seasoning is best for the club in the long run.

If keeping him under club control at a lower number for longer is the result, then I'm all for sacrificing a few games in April and May.  Fans want what's best for the team, but sometimes the selfish desires for what's best for them, for us, cloud the recognition of the greater good.

For now, Baez will be able to build upon his Bunyan-esque myth in the minors, which is really what's best for both Javy and the organization.  So is he the best Cub ever? No.  Well, not yet.


*Really, Baseball-Reference.com, that's the picture you chose for Ryno?  For shame.


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  • Baez: like butter

  • 1. He hasn't busted a window on Waveland yet.

    2. If we are going to have to put up with 40 years (starting now) about they kept him out of the HOF (like Santo), I'm going to puke.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jack:

    I remember Barroid Bonds putting out a window on Sheffield. And Glenallen Hill putting one onto the roof of a building on Waveland.

  • Yes and Barry Foote out out a window on Waveland?

  • Like the tempering the over-the-top Cubs fan enthusiasm. Here's my prediction on Baez and Castro, which certainly won't make that crowd happy. Given both of their defensive issues, neither Baez or Castro is probably our long-term solution at SS. This doesn't mean one or both get traded, it just means that a World Series champion has never featured a Silver Slugger at SS who did not also win a GG. Ever. Only Silver Slugger-only SS to start at short in a World Series was Garry Templeton in '84 with the Padres.

    One can hope, Baez goes from 45 errors in the minors down to the low teens, or for Castro halve his errors quickly, but the odds aren't great. And the SS position is just too important defensively on championship teams -- especially in this error of pitch counts and thinner bullpens. Theo/Jed have witnessed this firsthand after their dalliance trying to sign Garciaparra to a long-term only to smartly trade him mid-season in 2004 before making the World Series with gold-glover Orlando Cabrera who they acquired in that deal. Also considered the Whitey Herzog's 1980s Cardinals whose pivotal move was trading Templeton for rookie shortstop Ozzie Guillen and went onto 3 World Series.

    Does that mean Baez is our 3B of the future and Castro our 2B of the future? Maybe, maybe not. Time will shake that all out. Let's just hope they keep hitting and whether we keep them or trade them, we'll sure to have a some quality pieces to the puzzle. (But I would bet for at least one to be traded at some point in the next two years -- just as happened when the Cubs had the Palmiero/Grace stockpile at 1B.)

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