It’s easy to get lost in #JavyMania, but I want to turn your attention to the root of Baez’s success. His eight-pitch at-bat Tuesday in Cleveland was a perfect example. We rarely, if ever, saw Baez lay off so many close pitches in previous seasons. That, my friends, is a sign of maturity.
With all the HRs tonight, wanted to make sure this Javy at-bat in the first didn’t get lost in the shuffle. He sees eight pitches, fouling off three. Works the count full. Goes oppo with a pitch on the outside corner. Aggressive baserunning gets him a double. Javy is locked in. pic.twitter.com/6f1J6SzXdY
— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) April 25, 2018
Javy may never be a hitter who will take walks and limit strikeouts to a great degree, but he’s made noticeable improvements in pitch recognition. Notice how he is spitting on breaking pitches low and off the plate this season (right image), whereas he used to chase at those same offerings consistently in 2017 (left image). His results so far show how a small improvement in pitch selection can have dramatic results.