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Chicago Cubs: Javier Baez will be a player to watch for Cubs

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Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez (9) hits a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians in the 5th inning in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 2, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Baez (9) hits a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians in the 5th inning in game seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Baez was the break-out star for the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 post-season.

Chicago Cubs’ infielder Javier Baez thrilled fans with his fielding skills, hitting, and silky moves around second base. He excelled in the series vs. the Dodgers hitting .318 and driving in four runs, three with a bases-loaded double in Game 5.

Baez, 24, was named co-MVP of the NLCS. Jon Lester, the unflappable left-hander, won two games with an ERA of 1.38. He shared the award with Baez. Every Chicago Cubs player, it seemed, had their day in the sun, but Baez’ star shone brightly.

He made a few errors but nailed down some flashy defensive moves. And, his tag on a Cleveland runner who tried to steal second was a gem.

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Catcher David Ross fired a perfect strike down to second and Baez applied the tag as the runner slid into second base all in a flash. Post game, Fox analyst, Alex Rodriguez was extolling the greatness of that play and said that Baez could be the best tagger in the National League.

At 6′, 190 lbs. he batted .273 for the season, hitting 14 home runs and driving in 59 runs. Against the Dodgers, he hit .318 after ripping into the ball earlier in the series.

Postseason Stretch

Against the Indians in the World Series, he cooled off and was four for 21 when in Game 7 he launched a long drive to right-center field for a big home run in the fifth inning to give the Chicago Cubs a 5-1 lead.

When Baez circled the bags it really looked good. The Cubbies had a four-run cushion. But in their long history, the Cubs didn’t do anything easy. And, it took a rain delay and 10 innings to finally come out on top and win the Series.

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Baez will likely be a star for the Cubs this coming season, all eyes will be focused on the probable starting second baseman. Last season he learned to cut down on his swing and made better contact during the campaign.

Javier has such obvious talent, it sometimes seems like he needs to be reigned in, but he is learning. He has a veteran manager in Joe Maddon to point out the nuances of the game.

Last season he had 421 at-bats. It’s a good bet, he will see many more at-bats in 2017.

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