Some of the greatest magic tricks ever performed involve escaping perilous situations while bound by all manner of restraints, so of course El Mago should be expected to perform well in 0-2 counts. Even with this understanding, I had to run my eyes and refresh my browser several times just to make sure that I was seeing Javy Báez’s numbers correctly.
The first mind-boggling stat is Javy’s nine homers after getting behind 0-2. When my Cubs Related podcast co-host, Corey Freedman, first shared that stat with me, I thought was citing a career total. But it’s not nine homers in his career, I was told. Javy is tied with three entire MLB teams for the home run lead after facing 0-2 counts here in 2019.
Home runs after falling behind 0-2 in the count this year:
9 Javy Baez
9 Red Sox
9 White Sox
— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) June 23, 2019
With his 0-2 single Monday night, Javy is now slashing .311/.329/.770 over 76 plate appearances in which he’s gone down 0-2. That includes seven doubles to go with the homers, which means 16 of his 23 hits (69.6%) have gone for extra bases. The net output of Javy’s two-strike production is a remarkable 176 wRC+, 53 points higher than his overall season mark.
I’m in awe, folks.