Cubs Quick Hits: Javy Baez’s Dramatic Grounder Reduction
Javy Baez mania is peak right now, and I am here for it. The electric second baseman is among the league’s best in wRC+ (188) and wOBA (.451) and is quite literally swimming around the bases. It almost feels like Baez is the Devin Hester of baseball, right? Javy’s surge to the top of MLB’s leaderboards is no fluke either because many of his batted balls are in the air, not the ground like last season.
It’s not just about Javy’s grounder rate being lower. Sure, El Mago’s grounder rate is 18.1 percentage points lower this season compared to last season. But Javy’s high-drive rate, which is the batted ball most likely to fall for base hits, is up from 11 percent last year to 27 percent this year. And Javy’s dribbler rate is down from 31 percent to 19 percent. In other words, Javy is trading dribblers for high-drives, which sounds like a good strategy to me.