Chicago Cubs: Breakout season has Javier Baez in the mix for NL MVP

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: League leader in magic (and a bunch of other statistics)

Since the Cubs drafted Baez way back in the first round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft, we knew he could be something really special. We’ve seen flashes of that as the Cubs evolved from cellar dwellers to the toast of the league – and, this year, it’s been more than a flash.

Entering Saturday’s matchup with the Padres, Baez leads the National League with 84 runs batted in – already a new career-high. He’s tied with several players for second in doubles, with 29, and has 23 long balls to-boot.

Despite just a .333 on-base percentage (with a .299 average), Baez ranks seventh in the league in OPS at .914. With one more stolen base, he’ll join the 20-20 club for the first time. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that he could reach 30-30 before season’s end, either.

This may read like a big book of statistics, but it’s because he’s amongst the league leaders in so many categories. He leads the NL in total bases (a career-high seven triples doesn’t hurt matters there) and has put an offense that’s been remarkably inconsistent on his back too many times to count already in 2018.