Javier Baez
(Lynne Sladky/AP Photo)

New York Met Infielder Javier Baez Is Fernando Tatis Jr Lite

A flashy, showboating infielder making diving stops while crushing the ball 400+ feet from home plate. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it? This could be San Diego superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr, but it’s also Javier Baez, the overrated middle infielder for the New York Mets.

The baseball world incredibly overhypes Javier Baez. The reason fans enjoy watching him is his attitude on the field itself. He brings wild energy that has the younger generation swooning and the older generation booing. Fernando Tatis Jr does this too but with actual talent and numbers to back it up.

For starters, Baez is a free swinger who is practically unable to get on base. He doesn’t take his walks whatsoever. In fact, he has only 145 walks in 825 games and his career on-base percentage is .302. To put that into perspective, the Major League average sits around .335. Even during the year in which he was the MVP runner-up, he still only had a .326 OBP with 29(!) walks.

With the fall of his On-base percentage from the start came the eventual fall of his batting average. In his last 160 games with both the Cubs and the Mets, he’s batting .220 with an ugly .267 OBP.

The strikeouts have always been there but he currently leads the National League in the category with 145 in 2021. That’s 220 in his last two seasons combined in 160 games.

Baez is a better fielder than Tatis Jr. He has a Gold Glove award to show for it too. In 2021 so far, Tatis has a .933 fielding percentage while Baez has a .953. It is marginal however as both players have 20 errors this year.

I guess another saving grace for Javier Baez is the fact that he has major power. He’s hit as many as 34 home runs in a season. However, with baseball’s obsession with getting on base, Baez does not fit the mold whatsoever of a three true outcomes type player.

Simply put, Fernando Tatis Jr and Javier Baez have a similar skill set. The only difference is one knows how to be disciplined at the plate and can control himself, while the other cannot and swings wildly for the fences.

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