Chicago Cubs: Could Javier Baez be even better in 2019?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Where will Baez play next season?

As it stands right now, Baez may very well be your everyday shortstop for the Chicago Cubs in 2019 given the situation with Addison Russell.  If that’s the case and Chicago doesn’t bring in anyone else to play short, Baez could be playing one position on a regular basis for the first time in his career.

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No longer will Joe Maddon be able to deploy “El Mago” based on matchups and on a whim. He’d be using Baez as the linchpin of the defense at shortstop on a daily basis.  While some may feel this is a net negative, just imagine what Baez could do when he doesn’t have to adjust his mentality each time he takes the field. You might as well start inscribing his name on a Gold Glove award right now.

While that may seem like hyperbole, just consider that Andrelton Simmons is now in the American League and Brandon Crawford will be 32 years old next season.  Baez also has a better arm than any other shortstop in National League, allowing him to make plays that seem almost otherworldly in comparison to mere mortals manning the position for other teams.

He is also, as mentioned previously, the best tagger in all of baseball and has turned it into an art form that actually gets talked about now. The bottom line is that, with the ability to focus on his natural position, Baez very well could be a Gold Glove winner at the most premium defensive position on the field.