Even before he broke out with the bat this year, Javy Baez was an immensely fun and valuable player.
Consider that he plays elite defense at second base, and can also play excellent defense when necessary at shortstop and third base. He has always hit – overall – well enough for the glove to carry the day. He tags better than anyone in baseball. And he runs the bases with the kind of zest you had when you played as a kid … except he always seems to actually get where he wants to get. How many runs has he “stolen” over the past few years? It’s gotta be in three hands territory by now.
Baez effectively stole a run yesterday by literally stealing second base in the second inning. Of course, he was dead to rights on the play … until Javy does as Javy does, and pulled off another incredible swim-move, Matrix, ninja, magic slide (@MLB):
— MLB (@MLB) May 12, 2018
So quick. So much body control. How does he do it, man? Well:
Javy on his slide: I don't know how to explain it. But when he caught the ball, everything slowed down for me. That's how I see it. I just went around the tag. I don't know how I do it, I don't know how I react to it.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) May 13, 2018
I can’t get enough of this stuff, and it calls to mind the age old question: could Javy Baez pull off a slide so magical that even Javy Baez couldn’t tag him out?
Wise elders have been pondering the question since the dawn of time. I doubt anyone will ever truly know the answer.