Chicago Cubs: Javier Baez has come a long way in his growth

Javier Baez / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Javier Baez / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs Javier Baez is a vital piece of the team and has come a long way in his growth as a player.

There is no denying that the Chicago Cubs’ very own Javier Baez is currently one of baseball’s most prominent figures. The fact that Baez has become a two-time All-Star and a World Series Champion by his late twenties simply speaks for itself. While this is a fantastic feat, Baez didn’t become the superstar player that he is today overnight.

Baez’s road to success with the North Chicago ballclub began in 2011 when the Cubs selected him with the No. 9 overall pick in that year’s MLB draft. In fact, this past weekend marked the anniversary of that draft.

Though Baez joined the organization in 2011, he didn’t see any big league time until three years later when he got the call in 2014. Early on, Baez faced various criticisms, including his flawed swing and his strikeout rates.

However, Baez was still kept in the system and was able to hustle to develop his skills, which ultimately made him the ball player that he is today. In addition to this, he also received guidance from his teammates and former manager Joe Maddon which further pushed him on his path to fame.

More from Cubbies Crib

When Baez came up to the majors in 2014 and played 52 games that season, in those 52 games, Javy’s strikeout rates were considerably high, as he struck out 95 times in 213 at-bats. Consequently, he found himself spending most of the 2015 season in the minor leagues.

After being called back up in 2015, Javy appeared in the final stretch of the season and the playoffs. In fact, during this playoff run, he came through with some really big hits, and that was when his name was starting to be heard.

2016 was the magical year that ‘Javier Baez’ started becoming a household name. Primarily starting at second base, Baez slashed .273/.314/.423. He hit 14 homers and once again came through big in the playoffs. After just one season of significant league experience, Baez found himself becoming a core part of the 2016 Cubs, winning NLCS Co-MVP and further helping the Cubs win their first World Series in over 100 years. This is a massive feat, but Baez didn’t stop there.

In 2017 and 2018, he continued to work hard and garner power. In 2018, he was the starting second baseman for the National League in that year’s All-Star game and finished second for National League MVP. If that isn’t enough, in 2019, Baez kept working hard. The superstar slashed .281/.316/.531, was an All-Star and nearly won a gold glove. Beyond his numbers, Baez became so popular across the league that he is on the cover of the popular video game MLB The Show 2020.

Next. Revisiting the infamous Chris Archer trade. dark

Javy has definitely come a long way since he was drafted in 2011, and the recent anniversary of this draft just reiterates how important he is to the organization and how far he has come. Baez is a consistent piece of the Cubs lineup and hopefully will be a part of the organization for years to come. With his free agency looming, we can only hope for the Cubs and Baez to make a deal.