I love you, MundaneInternetGuy at Reddit for bringing us this incredible GIF:
The resemblance is uncanny, though I am #NotAScout.
Although the swings sure look beautifully similar, we should probably say some things, in fairness to Javier Baez, so as not to perpetuate any of the unfair Baez/Sheffield expectations that float around:
- Although the bat speed is legitimately Sheffield-like, you should remember that Sheffield was a borderline Hall-of-Famer, and expecting that for Baez right now is nuts.
- Baez is the youngest player in the NL at 21. Sheffield reached the big leagues when he was 19.
- Strikeouts will always be a big part of Baez’s game, whereas Sheffield’s career strikeout rate in the big leagues was an unthinkable 10.7%.
- Sheffield’s career walk rate in the big leagues was a similarly unthinkable 13.5%.
- One thing Baez has going for him is the fact that he’s got a Gold Glove ceiling at a premium defensive position (second base is premium these days, yes?). Sheffield, on the other hand, moved to the outfield after a few brutal years in the infield, and then was similarly brutal defensively in the outfield.
- Baez may not be the same offensive player that Sheffield was, but he does have the upside to be a comparable overall player, with 5, 6, 7 WAR seasons sprinkled in at his peak.