Chicago Cubs Second Baseman #9

by BRIANNA NORTON

Javier “Javy” Baez, was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, on December 1, 1992. Baez and his mother, three brothers, and sister moved to Florida in 2005. His family made the move to Florida so his sister Noely could receive medical treatment for her spina bifida condition. Javy’s sister Noely died on April 8, 2015, at the age of 21. Baez took a leave of absence from Iowa Cubs to spend time with his family, coping with the loss of his sister.

Moving to the United States Javy was not fluent with speaking or understanding English; he learned English through the trial and error method, taking him three years to learn English. During Baez’s high school baseball career people thought that he did not have the talent to go any where, his stats proving them wrong. Baez’s father Ángel Luis Báez, passed away when Javy was ten years old. Angel was the reason that Javy and his two brothers Rolando and Gadiel got interested in baseball. The three brothers decided to get matching tattoos of the MLB logo; the meaning behind the tattoos, ‘baseball has been in their lives forever.”

Rolando was the first brother to play in the professional leagues; he was drafted by the San Diego Padres, in 2002. Javy was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 2011 MLB Draft, being drafted in the first round and ninth pick overall. Javy bats and throws right handed. Javy started off in the minor leagues with the Arizona Cubs, playing shortstop, where he ended up playing in only three games. Javy was promoted to the Boise Hawks. Before the 2012 season began, MLB.com rated Javy at the 62nd prospect in baseball; before the 2013 season began he was the 16th best prospect in baseball. Javy was named the Minor League Player of the Year, ending the season as being the top prospect in baseball.

His major league debut on August 5, 2014, he hit his first career home run, which won the Chicago Cubs the game against the Colorado Rockies in the 12th inning. In his third Major League game he hit two home runs. With winning the World Series in 2016, he was also named the National League Championship Series MVP. Before the start of the 2017 MLB season, Javy played for the Puerto Rican National Team and played in the 2017 World Baseball Classic; and he won a silver medal. Javy hit one home run, had five RBIs, four stolen bases, and a batting average of .296.

Through the 2017 season Baez had a batting average of .255, 47 home runs, 158 RBIs, and 28 stolen bases. Javy was the first Chicago Cubs player to steal home since 1907 in a postseason game; it was in the second inning of the first National League Championship Series game. Baez has always been known for his great defensive plays; “the fastest hands in the Midwest.” “El Mago” was Javy’s nickname for players weekend in 2017, which translates into “the magician” to acknowledge his incredible inhuman like defensive plays, slides, jumps, and hops.