Chicago Cubs: Decade’s top five single season performances
Chicago Cubs: There was no doubt El Mago had his most magical run in 2018.
While the ending of the 2018 season was bitter and gross, Cubs fans will always cherish what Javier Baez did that season. The young infielder was entering his prime and he took the league by storm as he was a front-runner for the MVP for much of the season before bowing out to Christian Yelich in the voting.
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With so many ups and downs in that 2018 season, one of the main reasons they won 95 games was Baez. He finished with a slash of .290/.326/.554 with 34 homers, .881 OPS, 131 wRC+, 2.9 UBR, and 5.3 fWAR in 160 games. Baez was far and away the best player on the team that year. Honors during the season included a trip to the All Star game and participating in the Home Run Derby.
Also remember his RBI double in the Wild Card game was the only run the Cubs run driven in during their very brief postseason appearance that year. It pretty much summed up the 2018 right there. While El Mago was popular before 2018, this season really boosted his popularity among the fanbase and in baseball in general.
Whether a long home run, stealing home or an amazing diving play, Javier Baez had something in store seemingly every day in 2018. It was such a treat to watch.