Oh, oh it’s magic – you know … it’s El Mago. Despite other high-profile names, the Chicago Cubs, Javier Baez is now the biggest piece to their future.
For the last few years, the conversation regarding the most valuable Chicago Cubs started and pretty much ended with Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. While “Team Bryzzo” will no doubt be cornerstones of this franchise through this current window of contention, they are no longer the most indispensable members of the team.
If the ups and downs of 2018 have taught us nothing else, it is that Javier Baez has supplanted those two as not necessarily the best player on the team, (although he has been this year) but the one who is the most indispensable and fundamental to the success of the franchise going forward. Not bad for a guy a lot of people wanted to trade or get rid of just two years ago, as they labeled him a free-swinging failure.
One of the best indicators that Baez is the most indispensable Cub is where the team sits right now. Despite their season-long struggles that have vacillated back and forth between not scoring and not pitching, the Cubs find themselves in first place in the Central and with the best record in the National League. The main reason for this, quite honestly, is none other than the man we now call “El Mago.” While we have all delighted in Javy’s masterful tagging, scintillating swim moves, and grip it and rip it mentality at the plate, it is none of these talents which best showcase the most compelling reason for his nickname.