FanPost

Fanposts Revisited: Javier Baez has not been good at swinging a bat this year.

Over the course of the offseason, I'm going to look at the fanposts I made during the season and reflect on them, finding out if my opinions were off base or not, and giving myself a grade from STRIKEOUT to GRAND SLAM. Third in the series: Javier Baez has not been good at swinging a bat this year. I recommend at least skimming that fanpost before reading this one.

Recap

My major points were as follows:

  • Javy is my favorite player on the Cubs.
  • He swings a ton and he and misses a ton.
  • He misses more than anyone else in MLB. By over 2%.
  • When I posted the original, only 22 games had been played, and Baez didn't even qualify for the batting title at that point.

Review

Quick and easy this time. Two big charts, just as the doctor ordered. All are clickable for embiggening purposes. First up, the Cubs' plate discipline numbers. This chart is limited to those with 100 or more PA.

Well, he still was worst by far on the Cubs. But he did show a ton of improvement. His swinging strike rate dropped by over 5%. His contact rate increased by over 10%. He took 3% more pitches that were outside the zone. He swung at 6% more pitches that were IN the zone, and of pitches that were in the zone, he made contact with over 6% more. Basically, he did become a much more disciplined hitter over the rest of the season. Very different from how he was doing in April. But how did he stack up against all other qualifiers in MLB?

Welp. There he is, right at the top. Looks like everyone else shook off their dust too. Javy and Joey Gallo swung and missed at 3% more pitches than any other qualifier in all of baseball. Looking at contact numbers, though, Gallo is way worse. The number that really sticks out for Javy when compared to Gallo is O-Swing%, or pitches swung on outside the zone. I checked that number out, and Javy was second worst in MLB over Corey Dickerson, who had 35 walks this year, but 29 were unintentional compared to Javy's 15. Pitchers knew this, too. He was given a lower percentage of pitches in the zone than all but seven players in baseball. The only column on this page that Javy's not in the top or bottom thirty of is first pitch strikes.

Verdict

Well, this one seems tough to call. He did improve, but not enough to make much of a dent in his standing against the rest of MLB. I think the best way to approach how I did on this is to compare him to himself. How much did he improve his ability to put bats on balls when compared to last year?

This is not good. He got worse in pretty much every aspect of his game, and in some areas set career worsts. I'm awarding myself a GRAND SLAM for this early fanpost. Please save Javy, Chili.

Previously on Fanposts Revisited: Javier Baez is not a leadoff hitter, The Cubs do not have a clutch hitting problem.

Up next: Kris Bryant just keeps getting better.

FanPosts are written by readers of Bleed Cubbie Blue, and as such do not reflect the views of SB Nation or Vox Media, nor is the content endorsed by SB Nation, Vox Media or Al Yellon, managing editor of Bleed Cubbie Blue or reviewed prior to posting.