JAVIER Ednel Javier BAEZ
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   2B-SS-3B
Home: N/A Team:   CUBS
Height: 6' 0" Bats:   R
Weight: 190 Throws:   R
DOB: 12/1/1992 Agent: Wasserman Media Group
Uniform #: 9  
Birth City: Bayamon, P.R.
Draft: Cubs #1 - 2011- Out of high school (FL)
2011 AZL AZL-Cubs   3 12 2 4 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 .333 .500 .333
2011 NWL BOISE   2 6 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 .167 .167 .167
2012 FSL DAYTONA   23 80 9 15 3 1 4 13 4 2 5 21 .244 .400 .188
2012 MWL PEORIA   57 213 41 71 10 5 12 33 20 3 9 48 .383 .596 .333
2013 SL TENNESSEE   53 214 39 64 15 0 20 54 8 2 19 67 .352 .650 .299
2013 FSL DAYTONA   76 299 59 82 19 4 17 57 12 2 21 78 .338 .535 .274
2014 NL CUBS   52 213 25 36 6 0 9 20 5 1 15 95 .227 .324 .169
2014 PCL IOWA   104 388 64 101 24 2 23 80 16 8 34 130 .323 .510 .260
2015 NL CUBS   28 76 4 22 6 0 1 4 1 2 4 24 .325 .408 .289
2015 AZL MESA   4 12 3 5 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 .533 .500 .417
2015 PCL IOWA   70 281 49 91 14 2 13 61 17 3 21 76 .385 .527 .324
2016 NL CUBS $512.00 142 421 50 115 19 1 14 59 12 3 15 108 .314 .423 .273
2016 PCL IOWA   4 15 3 4 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 4 .267 .467 .267
2017 NL CUBS $609.00 145 469 75 128 24 2 23 75 10 3 30 144 .317 .480 .273
  • Javier is very athletic and muscular.

  • Baez grew up in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He idolized Alex Rodriguez.

  • In 2005, his family moved to the U.S. because his sister, who is one year younger, has special needs, and they wanted better medical treatment. "I wanted to stay in Puerto Rico," Baez said. "I knew it would be different over here. But baseball is the same."

  • Javier's sister Noely Baez has spina bifida, the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States.

  • During his high school years, he lived with his high school coach, who is also his legal guardian, though his mother is still in the picture. In 2011, Baez hit .771 (64-for-83) with 22 home runs and stole 28 bases as a high school senior at Arlington Day School in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • Baez had an explosive demeanor. He  plays with energy, but it's not always positive, and he turns off some scouts with emotional outbursts and an off-field demeanor some describe as aloof. But, like most 17-year-olds, Javier matured.

    His makeup is no longer questionable. The Cubs saw a ton of talent and some raised questions about his makeup. He plays with a lot of flair and swagger and convinced the Cubs that he takes the game seriously and will be a solid teammate. So, the Cubs chose Baez as their first round selection in the 2011 draft, the 9th overall choice.

    "He's a very quiet young man off the field, and very fiery on the field,'' Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken said. "He's more of an astute type young man. He's confident but it's a silent confidence. He's got very good makeup off the field.'' (2013)

  • Baez is overly and emotional at times, he'll need time to mature on and off the field. (Spring 2012)

  • Manager named Javier as 2012's  most exciting player in the Midwest League, where he also rated as the No. 1 prospect, and one scout said watching Baez take batting practice was the highlight of his summer.

  • In the spring of 2012, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Baez as the second best prospect in Cubs' organization, behind only CF Brett Jackson. Then, in the springs of both 2013 and 2014, they had Javier as the #1 prospect in the Cub farm system.

  • In 2013, Baez was named the Cubs organization's Minor League Player of the Year after he led the entire Minor Leagues in extra-base hits (75) and RBIs (111).

  • How certain is Baez that he'll reach the big leagues? The first tattoo he got was the MLB logo on the back of his neck. His two brothers, Rolando and Gadiel, have the same tattoo.

  • April 2014: After being ejected from a game for losing his temper against a Pacific Coast League umpire, it escalated  into a dugout altercation with veteran teammate Eli Whiteside.

    And whether it had more to do with a 21-year-old’s 0-for-9 frustrations to start the season, it might have offered a brief glimpse into the kind of pressure the Cubs’ top prospects face during a long rebuilding process .

    “It’s all part of development,” president Theo Epstein said. “Players are in the minor leagues to develop physically and fundamentally, and also mentally and emotionally.

    "It's an instance that could wind up being a great thing in the long run for Javy’s development,” Epstein said. “It was not a huge deal but something he can grow from . . . and he will.”

  • August 5, 2014: Playing his first Major League game, Baez launched the first pitch he saw from Boone Logan leading off the 12th inning into the bullpen for his first big league homer. The Cubs won 6-5 over the Rockies. He became the first player to hit a go ahead homer in extra innings in their Major League debut. 

  • September 26, 2014: "It's gone very much as expected," Cubs president Theo Epstein said of Baez's first two months in the big leagues.

    Since his promotion to the big Leagues, he has had a tough time at the plate. The good news for the Cubs is that Baez hasn't carried those struggles onto the field.

    "He's played incredible shortstop," Epstein said. "Beyond the tools that he has and the plays that he's made, he's shown a great baseball head on his shoulders and really good instincts, really good focus. He's won the respect of a lot of veterans here with the way he plays the game on the field. That's big, and not to be taken for granted from a 21-year-old.

    "Offensively, it's gone as expected," Epstein said. "Javy's extraordinarily talented but very raw offensively. He hasn't quite learned a consistent approach and swings at the pitches he wants to swing at, and he's letting the pitcher dictate the course of the at-bat by not being selective enough. When you do that in the big leagues, it can get ugly in a hurry." (Carrie Muskat - MLB.com - 9/27/2014)

  • Baez not only has impressive bat speed, but can play solid defense, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "The thing nobody talks about is this guy is a really good baseball player," Maddon said. "His defense is spectacular, baserunning is outstanding. His acumen on the field is well beyond his years. The thing that's lagging is the adjustment at the plate. Of course, he needs to get better, of course he needs to make adjustments.

    "I do know I like him as a baseball player, and he could be a very good Major League Baseball player once he figures out the command of his swing."

    "He has things he has to learn how to do yet," Maddon said of Baez. "He shows signs of brilliance at times. To this point in the spring of 2015, he's had a lot of good at-bats and hit some balls hard. Then he'll show the out-of-control swing that bothers him a little bit, and I think it bothers the fans more than it bothers me.

    "It's a young guy trying to figure this all out. [He has] sterling bat speed, incredible bat speed. He just needs plate appearances."  Baez not only has impressive bat speed, but can play solid defense, Maddon said.  (Muskat - mlb.com - 3/19/15)

  • Javier's sister, Noely, passed away on April 8, 2015, and he took an indefinite leave of absence from the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa team. Noely was 21.

    Noely was born with spina bifida, a disabling birth defect which happens when the spinal column does not close all the way. The Baez family had moved from Puerto Rico to Jacksonville, Fla., so Noely could get better care. Javier was involved in a fundraiser for spina bifida in Jacksonville to raise awareness.

    "We don't see her as someone who is different from us," Baez said in an interview in December 2013. "She's a miracle for us. She's a miracle in our lives."  (Muskat - mlb.com - 4/9/15)

  • December 2016: Baez committed to play for Puerto Rico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

  • Feb 24, 2017:  Javier Baez will never forget his first World Series championship, and he has a new tattoo on his left shoulder to commemorate it. The tattoo features the trophy, the year, the Major League Baseball logo, and "World Series Champions" plus part of the Cubs' logo. It's just the start of what Baez has planned for his left arm.

    "When my whole arm is finished, it's going to make more sense," he said. "It looks really nice but it's there, alone. I've got another thing [planned] for my arm."

    The tattoos to come will feature his family, Baez said.He has the image of his late sister, Noely, on his right shoulder, and that arm is completely covered. What if the Cubs win another championship?  "I still have my legs and my back," he said.

    Baez also had some new wheels at spring camp, although he didn't drive the vehicle Friday because of the chilly morning. He was renting a white Polaris Slingshot, which is a three-wheel motorcycle with car-like seating.

    "They told me that while I'm here [in Arizona], I can use it," Baez said. "It's a fun little car, and I'm just having fun."

    However, he drove his barber's car Friday and gave the Slingshot to his barber because Baez said he knew it would be cold Friday morning. The car doesn't have a top or a heater. (C Muskat - MLB.com - Feb 25, 2017)

  • After the 2016 World Series, some of the Cubs players were honored with parades in their hometowns, some appeared on talk shows and some decided to go "Dancing with the Stars."  Cubs infielder Javier Baez had a street named after him in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood.

    Baez, who was the co-Most Valuable Player in the 2016 National League Championship Series with teammate Jon Lester, and his mother joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado at the ceremony. Baez also brought along the World Series trophy, which fans posed for photos with.

    "When I was growing up in the city of Chicago, it was that you always wanted to grow up and be like Mike," Emanuel said, referring to NBA star Michael Jordan. "In the city of Chicago, people now are growing up and kids are saying they want to be like Javy."  

    Maldonado explained Baez's story, and how Baez had promised his father, who he lost when he was 11, that he would provide for his family. Baez also vowed to his sister, Noely, that he would take care of her. She died in 2015 at the age of 21.  "It is more than just the game of baseball," Maldonado said. "For Javy, it is the spirit of his beloved father and sister that gave life to the game and helped him achieve greatness. Javy is such an inspiration to so many young people who have faced tragic times and had to deal with losses."

    Maldonado said he wanted to celebrate Baez's achievements, both personally and professionally, by naming the street after the popular Cubs player.  "Javier 'Javy' Baez Way" now stretches along West Luis Munoz Marin Drive from Sacramento Avenue to Division Street along Little Cubs Field in Humboldt Park, which has a large Puerto Rican population.

    Humboldt Park has 15 different softball and baseball fields, and more than 45 years ago, the Puerto Rican community created a baseball league in which all the teams are named for towns on the island.  In his resolution honoring Baez, Maldonado said the young infielder has "given Chicagoans [and] Cubs fans across the world and all of Puerto Rico great reasons to celebrate."  (Muskat - mlb.com - 4/11/17)

  • Cubs second baseman Javier Baez bares all (or most), posing in the buff for ESPN The Magazine's annual "Body Issue" and sharing the highs and lows of personal loss and professional acclaim.

    "I'm a strong person, mentally speaking. I have learned to be that way; I've learned to be strong. My father and my great-grandmother died within the very same week," Baez told ESPN's Marly Rivera in the issue that launches online July 5 and hits newsstands July 7.

    Also, his sister, Noely, died two years ago at 21 after suffering from spina bifida.Obviously, last season brought happier times as Baez and the Cubs won the World Series, but he said he keeps himself from getting too high or too low.

    "Because of all the things I've gone through, I am not that emotional," he said. "I never show how happy I am. For example, when we won the World Series, my girlfriend said to me, 'Aren't you excited?' I keep my emotions in balance. If I make one of those plays that impress people, it's not that I'm bragging that it was easy for me. I approach it like a routine play so I can be ready for the next one."

    Baez posed for the "Body Issue"'s cover, one of several covers that the magazine has made, and is one 23 athletes featured in the pictorial. But he's the first to be shot on a smartphone. Photographer Dylan Coulter used an iPhone 7 Plus.Baez continues a run of "Body Issue" covers for Chicago athletes that most recently included Jake Arrieta, Dwyane Wade, Christen Press and Elena Delle Donne. (Phil Thompson-Chicago Tribune-June 21, 2017)

  • June 30, 2017: Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez, considered one of the most electrifying players on the field, is now finding stardom off the field, too.

    Baez, 24, who has emerged as one of the top 10 Major League Baseball players in endorsement deals, signing deals worth $2 million alone in the last six months, is now the face of David's sunflower seeds.

    Yes, the iconic brand of sunflower seeds that has been around ballparks since 1926.

    Baez will become the first baseball player to appear on the company’s packaging since former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter back in 2005. (Bob Nightengale -USA TODAY Sports)

  • Lost in the crowd of more than 450 youngsters at the Baseball ProCamp sharing his name, Javier bounced around from station to station until one small child finally grabbed his attention.

    "Javy," the child shouted. "Your bat is on fire."

    Perhaps, but that wasn't why Baez had ventured out to Evanston Township High School. Instead, Baez was there to help kids grades 1-8 learn the fundamentals of baseball as part of a ProCamp that partnered with the McCormick Boys & Girls Club to provide camp scholarships to disadvantaged kids.  

    And that was exactly what Baez did after returning his thanks to the child, who proceeded to run off with a sheepish smile to go tell his friends about the moment. The Cubs star went over to one of the groups, teaching them the proper way to lay down a bunt. It was a familiar image throughout the day.

    "Really fun, really fun," Baez said. "In life, you don't stop learning. It's the same with baseball. You always learn something new about the game, and you get better. So we decided to teach some kids how to get better at baseball and motivate them to keep working, because that's where it really pays off."

    Certainly there were plenty of lessons to go around. There were plenty of smiles as well.  Baez worked through tens of groups of campers, playing a few games of catch and stopping for photos at just about every turn. Among the moments that stood out was an instance with one camper who simply wanted a better look at the tattoo on Baez's left shoulder and some others that were interested in learning the secret to a perfect tag.

    "To work. To work and practice," Baez said, when asked what the most important thing to remember was. "It really pays off."  (Chasen - mlb.com - 7/20/17)

  • Baez is relatively quiet off the field. He's not one to clown around with his teammates in the clubhouse or make himself the center of attention. But once he steps across the white lines, he wears his passion on his sleeve.

    He has fun, celebrates accomplishments and is not averse to the occasional bat flip. This can all rub some fans the wrong way, as they misinterpret his emotion as cockiness.

    "You play the game with a lot of passion and obviously a lot of energy," Baez said. "You're just trying to leave everything out there and go day by day. That's them. I don't control what they say or what other people do. I just play my game, and whoever wants to support me, obviously, they're going to be welcome. Whoever doesn't like it, it's my style. It's the way I learned to play the game." (Gary Cohen - October, 2017)


  • June 2011: The Cubs chose Baez in the first round, out of Arlington Country School in Jacksonville, Florida. He signed on August 15, the deadline, for a bonus of $2.6 million, via scout Tom Clark.

  • March 4, 2016: The Cubs and Baez agreed to a one-year deal for $521,000.
  • Baez can hit good pitching with authority. He has power to the opposite field from a compact righthanded swing. His bat speed is ridiculous, drawing comparisons to Gary Sheffield and Hanley Ramirez. Javier has tremendous strength and quickness in his hands and wrists. And he has natural loft in his swing, exhibiting an ability to center the ball on the barrel consistently.

    He also might remind people of Adrian Beltre at the plate. He knows he can hit just about any pitch very hard. He really doesn't seem to have any real holes in his swing. Oh, he can drift at times thanks to his leg kick, but he hits the ball so hard, he doesn’t have to square it up to hit it out of the park.

  • The Cubs think Baez could develop into a 65 hitter with 70 power, a .260-.280 average with 25-30 homers per season. He can hit the ball out to any field. (Spring 2013)
  • Javier has a spread stance with his bat cocked towards the pitcher.

    He has a lot of moving parts to his swing.

  • Baez is one of the better hitters you will see. He has a dead-pull approach at times, and he has the bat speed to let balls get deep in the zone. Javier has plus raw power as well, which may serve him well if he has to move to third base.

    And in 2012, he learned to hit the ball to the opposite field. He stays short to the ball and hits it to right field easily, now.

  • Javier is still learning that he doesn't have to overswing to do damage. He is incredibly aggressive at the plate, taking a huge hack at everything, whether it is near the strike zone or not. But he also has a knack of imparting tremendous topspin when he mishits the ball. He plays much more under control in other areas of the game. 

    At some point he's going to have to tone down his swing and take more pitches—probably once he understands that opponents won't challenge him if they don't have to. Some good pitchers have success vs. Baez by expanding the strike zone and exploiting his over-aggressiveness.

    Baez is still very prone to strikeouts, because of general over-aggressiveness. (Spring 2014)

  • Javier Baez had a historic night on June 10, 2013: He hit four home runs and drove in seven runs in Class A Daytona's 9-6 victory over Fort Myers. He is only the second player in the 94-year history of the Florida State League to hit four homers in a game.

    Baez's bat speed is nearly unmatched, but he has to make his aggressiveness work for him rather than against him.

    "They are working with me to slow things down and not guess at the plate," Baez said. "I'm ready to hit the first good fastball, but I can't chase pitches out of the strike zone."

  • In May 2014, Javier Baez and infield coordinator Jose Flores had dinner, and the conversation turned to Baez's mental approach to the game.

    Flores asked Baez what he did last year that made him so effective, and the shortstop apparently figured some things out.

    "This is the first time in Javy's career that he's struggled the way he did early in the season, and it'll be good for him," Flores said at Iowa's home Principal Park. "Every ballplayer goes through struggles. What makes a difference is how you come out of it."

    Baez feels much better about how things are going, even before player/coach Manny Ramirez arrived in Des Moines.

    "It's getting better, and I'm swinging at more strikes and being patient at the plate and just keeping the same approach I had to right-center and getting better every day," Baez said.

    He hasn't changed the mechanics of his swing, which draws oohs and ahhs during batting practice, but he has a better mental approach at the plate, and it shows.

    "Javy has such tremendous tools," Iowa manager Marty Pevey said. "Other teams come out to watch his [batting practice]—it's a professional batting practice. I don't mean Mark McGwire-type BP, and dead pull type BP, but he stays on the ball and drives it to the opposite field so well that once it starts to translate into his game on a consistent basis, staying up the middle and to right-center, he's going to be a force."  (Carrie Muskat MLB.com, 6/20/2014)

  • Of Baez’s hitting approach, one scout called him a “grip it and rip it” player. “He has a huge (bat) wrap but big-time bat speed, and he cuts it loose on almost every pitch. You’ll see a lot of strikeouts and a lot of extra bases.”

    Baez frequently expands his strike zone,though, and his lack of plate awareness showed in his big league performance late in the 2014 season.

  • August 7, 2014: Baez became the first Cubs player ever with a multihomer game in his third career game, and it's the 23rd time it's happened in MLB history. The last player to do so was the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, who went yard twice in his second career game.

  • During the winter before 2015 spring training, Baez played for Santurce in the Puerto Rican winter league. His manager there, Frankie Higginbotham said he believes his contact issues is with an approach that Javier will eventually correct.

    "It's not a matter of whether he’s going to get it. He doesn’t need to change much. His approach is just so aggressive. Once he knowsthe pitchers and the league . . . It’s amazing how free-swinging he is and still can get contact,” Higginbotham said. “The only thing he needs to work on, if you ask me, is he needs to know that taking a walk is a victory. He doesn’t want to take walks. You can’t walk him, basically.”

    Baez uses a violent swing with a large load whether the count is 3-0 or 0-2. With his bat speed, he doesn’t need to sell out for power because he can drive the ball with a shorter, more contact-friendly stroke.

    “Once he learns that a home run can be 330 feet, it doesn’t have to be 500 feet, he’ll be amazing,” Higginbotham said. (J.J. Cooper - Baseball America - 1/30/2015)

  • Spring 2015: Javier does recognize spin. But his being anxious gets him trouble—he tries to do too much. It wasn't nervousness in 2014; it was an anxiety or over-desire to want to do well.

    As Baez starts to slow the game down a bit and understand that everybody knows that if he puts the barrel on the ball, he is going to do some damage.

    He is starting to recognize that he has to stay in the zone, in the moment so that he can do the most damage.

  • In 2014, Baez had a rough start at Triple-A, hitting.172 in April with 22 strikeouts in 58 at-bats. His turnaround began in May, was punctuated by an opposite-field homer off Nationals top prospect Lucas Giolito at the Futures Game, included 12 homers in July and August, and culminated with a Major League callup.

  • As of the start of the 2018 season, Baez had a career Major League batting average of .255 with 47 homers and 158 RBI in 1,179 at-bats.
  • Baez was a shortstop in high school, but third base is probably going to be his long-term position. His arm is plenty strong for either spot, and even right field.

  • Javier has average range at any position you put him. His actions and range at shortstop are impressive. But he is erratic at short, in part because he's over-aggressive. He would probably be more consistent at less-demanding positions such as second or third base.

    He has plus arm strength and the capacity to make difficult plays at shortstop, though many scouts see him as a future third baseman because he struggles to slow the game down.

  • His arm is far above-average, getting a 65 or 70 by most scouts, while his overall fielding gets a 55.

  • Baez has strong instincts for the game, both on defense and the bases, where he plays under control.
  • Defense is the biggest concern when it comes to Baez. In 2013, he had 44 errors (31 in 76 games at Single-A and 13 in 54 games at Double-A).

  • By 2016 spring training, the Cubs were hoping Ben Zobrist working with Javier may allow Baez to also be a super-utilityman.

    "He is someone who always enjoyed taking flyballs during batting practice out in center field while shagging, and he’s always looked really good doing so," Cubs President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein said before 2016 spring camp opened.

    "I think left field is pretty hard," Javier said during the 2016 season. "You have to get a good read off the bat, and sometimes you've got to come in, and sometimes you've got to run straight back. But third base, you wait for the ball. You don't have a whole lot of time to think about it -- if you get a rocket hit right to you, you might get hit. But that's what you've got to do, and you still have enough time to throw to first."

  • Baez has excellent instincts and natural defensive abilities. (Phil Barnes - Vine Line Mag. - June, 2016)

  • Javier is Bruce Wayne, James Bond and Val Kilmer from "Real Genius" all rolled into one. And when he steps onto the field, he makes everything look good.

    In a loss to the Brewers, he was back at it again. In the top of the first, Ryan Braun hit a broken-bat ground ball to short. Only problem: The busted bat followed the ball, and even changed its direction en route to Baez's glove. That would be no concern for the Cubs' shortstop. Baez simply changed his trajectory and barehanded the now twice-hit ball before firing to first for the out.

    Baez got to take part in another piece of smooth-as-silk baseball later in the game. Though he's known for his snap tags, Rene Rivera made sure Baez wouldn't need to use one. Rivera's throw was so on point, Baez simply put his glove down and waited for the ball and Orlando Arcia to meet.

    One day, baseball highlights will be displayed in art museums -- and Baez's work will have its very own exhibit.  (Clair - mlb.com - 9/10/17)

  • It was clear when he ascended to the major he had all the tools to be an exceptional infielder. When combined properly, his speed athleticism body control and instincts are a thing of balletic beauty that allows him make magic happen.

    "He's got really great instincts," Ben Zobrist says. "He's instinctually good, no matter where he's at. If the ball is coming to him on the ground, he's going to get to it. Athletically, once he catches it, to get it in his hand and get rid of it is seond to none. He's jut got the athletic flexibility and the ability to make extended plays and get to balls that other people don't get to. His range and ability once he get to a ball to get rid of it are second to none. It's acrobatic. He's incredibly gifted.

    There have been some tough plays that he's made a few errors on this year. But he's getting to balls that other people aren't getting to, which is part of why. Some of those balls are tough plays.

    He's just so gifted right when he steps on the field, it's hard to say 'Oh, well, you can get better at this area or that area' He's already way better than most people when he steps on the field - athletically, his hands, his ability to transfer, to be quick but also loose and strong. All of those things in the field, you can't really teach that," Zobrist said.

    Javy's tagging ability -- the way a player tags runners is normally not noticed by fans -- but Baez has managed to elevate it t an art form. The trick is he lets the ball travel as far as it possibly can in the air -- a thrown ball, especially from Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, moves much faster than a sweeping glove -- before he grabs it and makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it tag often without ever looking down. (Gary Cohen - Vine Line - October, 2017)

  • Javier is an average runner. And it plays up because he has good instincts on the bases. Scouts usually give him a 50, which is average on the 20-80 scouting scale.

  • Baez plays with a cockiness that tends to infuriate opponents. That is the case on the bases, in the field, and at the plate.
  • August 7, 2017: He was out of breath as he laid at home plate after a head-first slide, but Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez had a smile on his face knowing he earned his first career inside-the-park home run in a 5-3 win over the San Francisco Giants.

    Afterward, Baez was still smiling inside the clubhouse.

    "I couldn't see it so I just tried to run faster," Baez said. "I thought [third-base coach Gary Jones] was going to stop me."

    There would be no stopping Baez, though he did manage a glimpse of his right-center blast in the top of the second inning off Giants starter Matt Moore. It traveled to the farthest part of AT&T Park, and as it bounded away from right fielder Carlos Moncrief, Baez picked up steam.

    "Even as it was in the air, going to hit the wall, guys in the dugout were saying, 'That might be perfect for a bounce,'" pitcher Kyle Hendricks said. "Then it hit the wall, and kicked, and guys started yelling and screaming, 'It could be an inside-the-parker.'"

    As Baez rounded second it looked more and more like he had a shot. The Cubs pitcher was on-deck and there were two outs. Why not?  "Once I gauged it and he was halfway to third base, not to take anything away from Jake, with two outs, I thought we had a chance," Jones said.

    Hendricks added: "We would have been all over Jonesy if he doesn't wave him home."

    Jones went for it, leaving Baez with just one obstacle: Carlos Moncrief's arm.

    "The right fielder has a cannon and showed it," the third-base coach said.

    Moncrief finally tracked the ball down, back near where he began the play, then fired a rocket to home plate where a sliding Baez just got in under the tag. (Jesse Rogers-ESPN Staff Writer)

  • In the 2nd inning of the Cubs' 8-4 win over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the 2016 NLCS, Baez lofted a seemingly-harmless pop-up into sort center field that somehow found the grass, and in classic Baez style, hustled it into a double. He moved to third on a wild pitch. With to outs Jon Lester showed bunt, and Baez wandered too far down the 3rd-base line. Dodgers catcher Carlos Ruiz back-picked to third, but Jose bolted for home and outran the return throw from Justin Turner to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

    In August, 2017, Javy did the same thing against Pittsburgh, and again, was successful. Was it a mistake? Yes. Was it exciting? Most certainly

    "It's not really (something you can practice)" Baez said. "It's more reaction. Both times that I stole home, I made a mistake. I played it through, and it really did work for me. Just a reaction, you know, seeing the catcher throwing to third. I just reated faster than he dd, and I took off to try and make it, and I did."

    Baez is no Rickey Henderson -- his career high was 12 in 2016 --  but when you ouple his above-average speed with his 80-grade instincts, it nets out to a huge positive. And the way he runs the bases is a perfect representation of who he is as a person and a player.

    He might make an occasional mistake, but he never gets cheated in any aspect of the game. And if he does make a mistake, it ill be an aggressive one. 
Career Injury Report
  • October 27, 2012: Baez fractured his left thumb while playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. The injury happened while he was frolicking with teammates.
  • April 11-20, 2014: The Iowa Cubs placed Baez on the disabled list with a left ankle sprain.
  • June 7-July 28, 2015: Javier suffered a non-displaced fracture in the ring finger after being injured on a steal attempt in the seventh inning of Triple-A Iowa's game against Memphis.

    Baez was taken to a local hospital where the break was diagnosed. 

  • March 25-April 15, 2016: Baez began the season on the 15-Day D.L. because of a sprained left thumb.