Javier Baez
Javier Baez
26-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Chicago Cubs
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Baez took another step forward at the plate last season, setting new career-highs in homers (23), runs (75), RBI (75) and slugging percentage (.480) while topping 500 plate appearances for the first time in his big-league career. The knock on him has always been the volume of swing-and-miss in his game, and while that remained an issue in 2017 (28.3 strikeout percentage), he showed a more discerning eye and drew walks at 5.9 percent clip. In order to take another step forward at the plate, Baez needs to improve his swinging-strike rate after he ranked second among qualified MLB hitters (19.2 percent) in 2017. Defensively, he's an above-average option at both middle-infield spots, and he spent more time than usual at shortstop last season while Addison Russell was on the shelf due to injury. A slight drop in playing time could occur in 2018 if Russell is healthy, leaving Baez to start regularly against lefties and part-time against righties as the Cubs mix and match at the keystone. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#105
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$Signed a one-year, $657,000 contract with the Cubs in March of 2018.
Scores three times in win
SSChicago Cubs
September 30, 2018
Baez went 2-for-4 with a walk, a double and three runs scored in Sunday's 10-5 win over the Cardinals.
ANALYSIS
Baez's strong performance helped the Cubs to a win and a one-game playoff with the Brewers for the NL Central division title on Monday. The 25-year-old has been dynamic all season, as he's posted new career highs with 34 home runs, 40 doubles, 101 runs scored, 111 RBI and 21 steals. Baez could very well end up as the NL MVP at the end of the year.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+8%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+25%
OPS vs LHP
2016
 
 
+23%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .907 414 60 21 83 12 .311 .362 .545
Since 2016vs Right .782 1189 166 50 162 31 .270 .305 .477
2018vs Left .933 145 28 8 30 6 .306 .359 .575
2018vs Right .865 500 73 26 81 15 .286 .317 .549
2017vs Left .934 133 18 9 32 1 .315 .353 .581
2017vs Right .747 375 57 14 43 9 .258 .304 .443
2016vs Left .850 136 14 4 21 5 .311 .375 .475
2016vs Right .689 314 36 10 38 7 .258 .288 .401
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+1%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+20%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+6%
OPS at Home
2016
 
 
+24%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .810 786 116 34 108 29 .278 .316 .494
Since 2016Away .817 817 110 37 137 14 .282 .323 .494
2018Home .798 313 45 13 46 14 .270 .298 .500
2018Away .959 332 56 21 65 7 .310 .352 .606
2017Home .819 252 45 13 38 8 .272 .315 .504
2017Away .775 256 30 10 37 2 .274 .319 .456
2016Home .817 221 26 8 24 7 .296 .344 .473
2016Away .661 229 24 6 35 5 .252 .285 .376
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Stat Review
How does Javier Baez compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.17
 
BB Rate
4.5%
 
K Rate
25.9%
 
BABIP
.347
 
ISO
.264
 
AVG
.290
 
OBP
.326
 
SLG
.554
 
OPS
.881
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Javier Baez
The Z Files: Historical Top 200
November 10th
Todd Zola takes a look at the end-of-season top-200 performers over the last five years and thinks Charlie Blackmon's being discounted too heavily in early drafts given his track record.
The Z Files: Early Top 15 Hitters
October 25th
Todd Zola lists his initial top 15 fantasy hitters heading into 2019, and warns against jumping the gun on assuming a big regression from Jose Ramirez.
The Z Files: Early Player Pool Observations
October 18th
Todd Zola offers his early thoughts on the shape of the 2019 player pool and suggests that J.T. Realmuto may be the only catcher left worth an early-round investment.
The Z Files: Mad About Max
October 4th
Todd Zola looks at his strategy for drafting an ace heading into the first NFBC league of the 2019 season, and wonders how early might be too early for Max Scherzer.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Wild Card Picks
October 2nd
Sasha Yodashkin dives into the two-game Wild Card slate, kicking things off with Cubs southpaw Jon Lester against the visiting Rockies.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Baez became a fixture in the Cubs' lineup in 2016, showing an improved eye (career-low 24.0 percent strikeout rate) and punishing left-handed pitching at a .311/.375/.475 clip. Thanks to his excellent defensive work, Baez emerged as a regular against righties, and while his .258/.288/.401 split line leaves plenty of room for improvement, he dropped his strikeout rate (v. RHP) from 31.7 percent in 2015 to 26.4 percent last season. Still only 24 years old, Baez has the tools necessary to become an elite offensive contributor in the middle infield. Although he struggled during the World Series, Baez's performance in the NLCS garnered MVP honors in that series, and his home run in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Giants helped spark the team's run to its first World Series title since 1908. With further improvement to his plate discipline, Baez could approach 20 homers and 20 steals in 2017, even if he's technically in a utility role to open the season.
After hitting an embarrassing .169 with 95 strikeouts in 213 at-bats in his first major league season in 2014, it wasn't shocking that Baez started 2015 in the minors. While his 76:21 K:BB in 281 at-bats with Triple-A Iowa was no great shakes, it was an improvement over what he showed in 2014. More importantly, management felt he was ready for a return engagement in the majors, and he played nearly every day over the last month of the season. Strangely, the power-hitting infielder hit just one home run in 76 at-bats with the Cubs (though he had one more in the postseason), but he batted .289 and played all over the infield. Starlin Castro is out of the picture, but the Cubs signed Ben Zobrist to anchor the top of the lineup, so Baez's outlook remains cloudy. That said, he is too talented not to be valued as a strong middle-infield option in drafts, though owners will need to be patient as the playing time sorts itself out.
Baez struggled in his two-month stint with the Cubs in 2014, hitting just .169 with a whopping 95 strikeouts in 213 at-bats, but he's still the frontrunner to win the job at second base this spring. Baez blasted seven home runs in his first 19 games with the Cubs, but he only hit two more in his next 33 games. Still, with 69 home runs and 41 stolen bases in the last two years, the 22-year-old Baez has the potential to be a special big leaguer - provided that he can get his bat on the ball. With Starlin Castro at short, Baez at second, and Addison Russell waiting in the wings, the Cubs have an embarrassment of riches in the middle infield, and that doesn't even include Arismendy Alcantara, who can play multiple positions. The Cubs optioned Baez to Triple-A Iowa in March, as he struggled to improve his approach during Cactus League play. If he rakes upon returning to the PCL, Baez could quickly push his way back into the starting job at second base for the Cubs.
Although there are a lot of good contenders for the honor, Baez is the brightest jewel in the Cubs' minor league system. After mastering High-A Daytona with 17 home runs in 299 at-bats, he was even better with Double-A Tennessee, finishing with 20 home runs and 54 RBI in just 218 at-bats. Oh, and he totaled 20 stolen bases at the two levels for good measure. The 2011 first-rounder is just 21, but he already appears to be ready for the majors – aside from that unpleasant 40:147 BB:K ratio last year – and with Starlin Castro struggling to hit at the big-league level, Baez could be pushing the incumbent shortstop as early as this season.
The ninth overall pick in the 2011 first-year player draft, Baez broke out in 213 Low-A at-bats with a .333/.383/.596 line. He also stole 20 bases and was caught only three times. The 19-year-old (he turned 20 on December 1) didn't fare as well at High-A, with a .644 OPS in 80 at-bats, and he drew only 14 walks in 293 combined at-bats at both levels. He also missed much of the Arizona Fall League with a broken thumb. Nonetheless, he's expected to be ready for spring training and should move through the team's system quickly. Because Starlin Castro is entrenched at shortstop, Baez might have to slide over to third base (something with which the team experimented in the AFL before he got hurt). But the team still prefers Baez as a shortstop, so it's a problem they'll have to work out when he gets to the majors, probably in 2014.
The ninth overall pick in last year's draft, Baez projects as a power-hitting infielder who can steal a base and hit for average. With Starlin Castro presumably having the shortstop position locked down in Chicago for years to come, Baez is likely to shift over to third base. Expect the 19-year-old to get a taste of Low-A this year and move through the team's system rapidly if he's up to the task.
More Fantasy News
Swats 34th homer
SSChicago Cubs
September 23, 2018
Baez went 2-for-4 with a walk, a home run and three RBI in Saturday's 8-3 win over the White Sox.
ANALYSIS
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Smacks 33rd home run
SSChicago Cubs
September 19, 2018
Baez went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, two runs scored and two strikeouts in Tuesday's win over the Diamondbacks.
ANALYSIS
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Smashes homer in win
SSChicago Cubs
September 17, 2018
Baez went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in Monday's win over the Diamondbacks.
ANALYSIS
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Out of action Sunday
SSChicago Cubs
September 16, 2018
Baez is not in the lineup Sunday against the Reds.
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Homers, drives in three runs
SSChicago Cubs
September 13, 2018
Baez went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, three RBI and two runs scored in Thursday's 4-3 win over Washington.
ANALYSIS
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