Cubs: Fret not, Javier Baez will get back to his magical ways this year

Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports /

Many players across Major League Baseball struggled in 2020. For countless reasons, it was a tough year for everyone and members of the Chicago Cubs were no exception.

Many of the Cubs’ core group of players didn’t play up to the level we’ve grown accustomed to during the 60-game sprint. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez all had down years last season. Bryant and Baez had the worst years of their big league careers. It’s been talked about how it shouldn’t be looked into that much because of the short season, but at the end of the day, it was a downright bad year for these guys.

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Baez never really seemed like himself in 2020. There were multiple reasons behind that. Not having fans was a big one. We all know Baez feeds off the crowd and not having that was hard for him.

"“It was worse than facing a pitcher in spring training in the backfield. I didn’t like it all”"

Then on top of having no fans in the stands, the players were not allowed to use in-game video to make adjustments. This was due to the news of the Houston Astros cheating scandal that broke last year.

Baez wasn’t the only player to speak out on the fact that they were being punished for something they didn’t do. The Washington Nationals’ Trea Turner and J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox also spoke out on not being able to use video during the games. I get where these guys were coming from because they didn’t do anything wrong but were among those being punished for it.

In 59 games last season, Baez hit .203/.238/.360 with eight home runs and 24 RBI. He has made a point about how important in-game video was to his game to make adjustments mid-game. To say the least, it’s now very clear Baez needs that in-game access to video to be at his best.

Cubs: With in-game video back, Javier Baez will again be magical

Major League Baseball is reverting back to the former policy when it comes to in-game video access for the 2021 season. Obviously, guys like Baez were ecstatic about the news.

"“I always like to compete and get better every day,” Báez said. “But last year offensively was tough for me. This year, we got the video [and] I got the comfort in that. It’s going to be great for me.”"

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People forget. We’re just a few years removed from El Mago dazzling his way to a runner-up finish in National League MVP voting when the Brewers’ Christian Yelich surged late to surpass the Cubs star. With the return of fans (at least to some degree) and full access to in-game video, I fully anticipate El Mago getting back to dominating in 2021.