Javy Baez is one of the best defenders in all of baseball, and can hold his own at pretty much any position around the infield – in fact, he’s even won back-to-back Fielding Bible awards for “multi- position defender” in 2016 and 2017.
But unlike some defenders, his prowess isn’t all about physicality and reflexes. No, Javy also has one of the highest baseball IQs in the game and is constantly cooking up plays in the heat of the moment that I don’t understand until a few replays later.
Take, for example, this “drop” in the 2016 NLCS against the Dodgers:
With just one out, two runners on and a 1-0 deficit in Game 2 of the 2016 NLCS, Baez let’s soft-liner fall just in front of his glove so that he can more easily double off the runners who don’t quite understand what the hell is going on.
And look at the shortstop, Addison Russell! Even he needs a minute to figure out exactly where to throw the ball. And then there’s Javy, who couldn’t have possibly “prepared” for that situation (it’s so specific), which means he crunched the numbers, the risk, and his ability to pull it off within fractions of a second.
Dude’s insane and oh-so-fun to watch.
And then Javy was all like, "I know …" pic.twitter.com/d0Nah25z1d
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) November 28, 2017