Javier Baez

Javier Baez

2B,3B,SS - CHC
Age: 26Bats: RThrows: R

Next Game

ARI @ CHC
M. Kelly #132
Fri, 4/19 2:20pm
Matchup (?)
Rank H #16
Projection (?) 4.5 pts

Ownership

 
Yahoo
99%
 
ESPN
100%

Eligibility

Yahoo 2B,3B,SS
ESPN 2B,3B,SS
CBS 2B,3B,SS

Despite recording the second-worst swinging-strike (18.2%) and outside-swing (45.5%) rates, Baez managed to hit .290. Among 17 hitters with a contact rate of 70.0% or lower in at least 300 plate appearances, Aaron Judge was the only one besides Baez to bat above .266. That's a better baseline for 2019. Given his middling 4.5 walk %, he might not reach base enough to steal another 21 bases. Don't expect a full encore despite his backers already rejoicing after a two-homer Opening Day.

Baez was excellent last year, hitting 34 homers with 21 steals, 101 runs and a league-leading 111 RBIs. While he is surely a star, every projection model sees those numbers regressing in 2019, especially his batting average which was propped up by a .347 BABIP

Baez fits into a similar category of player as Francisco Lindor and Trevor Story: shortstops coming off of 30-20 seasons who have sky-high upside but also a bit of risk. The biggest risk for Baez is that his elevated strikeout rate leads to some regression in last season's .290 batting average. He also may not run quite as much after stealing just three bases in the second half last year. Still, Baez should be able to at least produce a .270-30-15 kind of season, which would be enough to keep him among the elite fantasy options at shortstop.