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Javier Baez Is Already In Midseason Form

I declared on Twitter a few weeks back that I was going to take it somewhat easy on Javier Baez this year. Last year was the second year of his massive contract, and at that point, you pretty much know who a player is. I feel like going forward, he’s just going to be old and finished, but then I saw this footage of Mason Englert, a former Rule Five draft pick, making Javier Baez look silly, and I immediately flashback to hundreds of memories I have of me wanting to bash my head against the wall watching this guy swing a baseball bat.

Look, it’s not a personal thing with Javier Baez. I’ve said this 1 million times: he might be the sweetest guy in the world. I don’t enjoy watching him at the plate. He’s a maddening baseball player to watch. For what it’s worth, a guy has provided me with plenty of material. Some of my best blogs and videos have been because of him, so in a lot of ways, I’m bizarrely indebted to him. The fact that we’re about 15 minutes into spring training, and there’s already footage of him chasing an off-speed pitch in the dirt is objectively hilarious. Now if I see this shit in August, and this team is competing for the American League Central, I’m going to be pretty pissed off, but for the time being, I’m just happy to have baseball back. 

If Miguel Cabrera taught me anything, it’s that I’m not listening to anybody who writes blogs talking about how a certain baseball player is in the best shape of his life. With Javy, it doesn’t really matter. I’ve never viewed him as somebody that’s out of shape. To me, it’s more between the ears. I think he goes into every at-bat fully intending not to chase pitches; he just ends up breaking. He’s like an excitable dog.

I get asked every night on live streams if there’s any hope for Javier Baez this season. There isn’t. If there was ever going to be a year where he found some sort of balance, it would’ve been last year in the second year of his massive deal. Now he’s just washed up. He has four years left on his contract. I think he will last until the Tigers find a shortstop who can replace them. Whether that shortstop is somebody who comes up through the system or somebody they acquire via trade, I don’t think the higher-ups in the organization can sit through four more years of this guy. I can laugh at it now, but I can’t have him doing this in big games.