Javy Baez is So Very Good, But Also Still So Very Fun - It's Javy Slide Time! (VIDEO)

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Javy Baez is So Very Good, But Also Still So Very Fun – It’s Javy Slide Time! (VIDEO)

Chicago Cubs

Javier Baez may be slashing .290/.326/.567 (132 wRC+) and his 2.9 WAR might just be tied for the 15th best mark in all of baseball this season, but … wait. Actually I don’t know where I was going with that, because that’s all very good and so is everything that was going to come next. The “but” was unnecessary.

I guess I meant to say something like in addition to being one of the best players in baseball this year, Javy Baez is also still one of the most fun players to watch on a daily basis (unlike that boring old wet towel Mike Trout). You just never know what you’re going to get out of him on any given day (a crazy tag, a diving stop, a ridiculously hard throw), but you’ll usually get either something you’ve never seen before or something you’ve seen before, but only from Javy.

And yesterday, that something was one of his patented magic, matrix slides:

What looked like an obvious, easy double off the bat quickly turned into a close play at second base, as Baez’s hard ground ball down the third baseline caromed off the wall and directly into the left fielder’s path. Had Baez not been busting it out of the gate and around first – like I suspect many players would on a ball that seems so obviously deserving of two bags – he would’ve been out by a mile. But he was running as hard as usual, and even then needed to break out the swim move to get in safely.

I mean, look at this beaut!

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Equally impressive, but often under-discussed, is Baez’s ability to stay on the bag after the slide using the lower half of his body and feet to hook the base. By having such impeccable limb control, he’s able to come in a lot harder and faster than most without risking the post-base-grab pop-up.

That was Baez’s 21st double of the season – just three fewer than he hit 2017 and two more than he hit in 2016 – and 43rd extra base hit overall. He’s a stud in all aspects of the game and probably going to head into the break as the Cubs’ first-half MVP.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami