Chicago Cubs: Top five single-season performances of the last five years
Chicago Cubs: #3 – Baez and Yelich take it down to the wire in 2018
Most Cubs fans view 2018 as the beginning of the end when it comes to the team’s prospective chances at becoming a modern-day dynasty. The team dropped a winner-take-all Game 163 at home to the rival Milwaukee Brewers, then followed suit by losing the NL Wild Card Game to the Colorado Rockies, of all teams.
The biggest bright spot was undoubtedly Puerto Rican standout Javier Baez. El Mago finished runner-up to the Brewers’ Christian Yelich but permanently put himself in the national spotlight with his performance.
Baez not only put the team on his shoulders as teammate Kris Bryant battled a shoulder injury that sapped his power – but he showed he’s more than an offensive threat. On a near-daily basis, he was making highlight-reel defensive players while also putting up some impressive numbers with the bat.
With a league-leading 111 RBI and a personal-best 129 OPS+, Baez set the tone for the Cubs offensively. He ripped 40 doubles – and a staggering 47 percent of his hits on the season went for extra-bases. Night after night, he pulled a rabbit out of his hat – and that showing won’t soon be forgotten.