By the small sample advanced defensive metrics this year, Kris Bryant and Javy Baez have been defensive negative players.
That is to say, if we had confidence in those stats as having stabilized already – we don’t – the duo went from being excellent last year defensively (extraordinarily excellent in Baez’s case) to being an actual drag on the Cubs’ overall defense. The eye test says nah, so we’ll await more data.
In the interim, each was showing off last night what he can still do with the leather, robbing a couple sure-fire hits.
Bryant took one away from Giancarlo Stanton:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 7, 2017
Because that was Giancarlo, it was 102.5 mph off the bat – aka “soft contact” for him – and Bryant had almost no time to react. Given his size, Bryant isn’t the quickest to get the ball away once he’s left his feet, but he was quick enough to get the job done.
Later, Baez made what I’m going to call the more impressive play, taking a hit away up the middle from Dee Gordon:
Javy Baez pic.twitter.com/E306r0O3qD
— Kevin Marchina (@kg_holler) June 7, 2017
Given who was running down the line and how deep Baez had to go to get that ball, I honestly can’t believe he made that play. Baez’s transfer is so quick, and he is able to get so much on the throw that it wasn’t really even a close play.
Some great pictures of the play from @MBDChicago, too, including the feature image up top of the post:
— MBDChicago (@MBDChicago) June 7, 2017