If there’s one thing Chicago Cubs infielder/super-utility man Javy Baez is known for it’s … well, there’s not really just one thing, is there?
He’s actually known for quite a bit – base running, magical slides, stellar defense, outrageous bat speed, etc. – for someone who isn’t a traditional “everyday” player. But lately, something else has stood out, too.
Javy Baez has displayed an innate ability to execute extremely-coordinated, lightening fast, seemingly impossible tags on unsuspecting baserunners. And not unlike the recent trend of body-contorting slides, quick tags were not necessarily something with which we were intimately familiar before Baez started putting on nightly clinics.
At FanGraphs, August Fagerstrom discusses the elite skill you won’t find on Javy Baez’s scouting report – namely, these impressive tags – and how he’s quietly and quickly proved to be the best in the business in this particular field. With a little time to kill before today’s game against the Cardinals, you should give it a look.
Through the use of GIFs and videos, Fagerstrom breaks down the different types of Baez tags, and how he’s excelled and actually provided value in an area that is mostly left undiscussed. Quotes from Joe Maddon liken Baez to a fast/quick-twitch boxer and advanced statistics place him among the most defensively-inclined second baseman throughout the league.
Moreover, Fagerstrom digs into just how much value Baez’s quick tag ability offers the Cubs (short version? Probably not a ton, but also not nothing), and also notes specifically that Baez is already one of the most valuable second basemen in baseball at making the turn on double plays at second base (the theory there being it’s the same quick twitch ability on display).
Jason Heyward and Addison Russell may have saved a (then) no-hitter recently with their gold glove work, but Javy Baez continues to inspire on defense. So give Fagerstrom’s piece a look, I’m guessing you’ll leave happy.