Chicago Cubs: Looking at the team’s heroes in the NLDS

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Oct 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez (9) hits a three run home run during the second inning in game four of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Javier Baez

The 2015 season has been one of resilience and battling for the young Cubs infielder, who failed to even make the big league roster out of camp this spring.

Throw in a broken finger and the devastating loss of his 21-year-old sister and it’s hard even fathom how Baez continued to stay focused on the task at-hand this season. He opened the year with Triple-A Iowa, where he worked to address the weaknesses that were glaringly exposed last year in Chicago.

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The infielder batted .324/.385/.527 with Iowa in 70 ballgames, doing enough to earn a September call-up to the Windy City. In the season’s final month, he showed a much more compact stroke at the plate, batting .289 with a .325 OBP – and while his power waned, the strikeouts were drastically reduced, as well.

Fast forward to the NLDS and Baez showed that mental toughness yet again.

After replacing the injured Addison Russell in Game 3, Baez made a pair of defensive miscues, looking timid and nervous in the field, prompting Cubs fans to question his readiness for the big stage once more.

But on Tuesday, the slugger showed his value, hitting a go-ahead, three-run home run against John Lackey that propelled Chicago to a series-clinching win.

So for those of you say he’s not ready, he’s ready and willing to prove you wrong.

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