Statcast's New Defensive Metric Pegs Javy Baez As THE BEST Defensive Infielder in Baseball

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Statcast’s New Defensive Metric Pegs Javy Baez As THE BEST Defensive Infielder in Baseball

Chicago Cubs


Today, Statcast unveiled its Outs Above Average metric for evaluating infield defense, and the very best infielder in all of baseball in 2019? It was Javy Baez:

As described by Mike Petriello, the metric is describing a player’s defensive effectiveness against the backdrop of four elements of infield defense: (1) How far the fielder has to go to reach the ball, (2) How much time he has to get there, (3) How far he then is from the base the runner is heading to, and (4) On force plays, how fast the batter is, on average.

It’s no surprise that Baez rates well, because we know his quickness, arm strength, and overall range are incredible. Other metrics also have him among the very best few infielders in baseball, so yeah, this is just further confirmation that he’s a stud through and through.

If you’re curious about other Cubs infielders, the samples are pretty tiny for all but the regulars, but you can see the full crew here (minimum 25 attempts). Kris Bryant – contrary to other talking points – rates middle of the pack for third basemen (tied with Anthony Rendon and ahead of Manny Machado, just sayin’). David Bote rated slightly above average at both third base and second base. Nico Hoerner rated average at shortstop. Anthony Rizzo, surprisingly, rated as one of the worst defensive first basemen, so that’s interesting.

Back to Baez for one more thing: EXTEND HIM.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.