I know it’s too early to think about what Javier Baez can do for the New York Mets in the postseason. The team hasn’t clinched anything yet. But we can dream, can’t we?
Adding Baez to the roster at the trade deadline gives the Mets one more guy with postseason experience. He joins New York with a total of 36 postseason appearances. The overall numbers leave a lot to be desired. In his 128 plate appearances, he’s a .221/.250/.385 hitter with 5 home runs, 14 RBI, and 41 strikeouts.
It’s the worst of Baez yet not the complete story.
Javier Baez won’t necessarily be a postseason bust for the Mets
The 2016 postseason is when Baez became a regular for the Chicago Cubs. It also happened to be the year when his club would win it all—in part because of his performance.
Baez was great in the NLDS. He hit .375/.412/.563 with a home run. In the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Baez took home the series MVP. He hit .318/.333/.500 with 4 doubles and 5 RBI in this memorable series.
The World Series was a different story. Although the Cubs came back and won, Baez was quite miserable in his 30 plate appearances. He batted only .167/.167/.267 with a home run and 13 strikeouts! Baez didn’t draw a single walk either. This isn’t too big but when compared to the regular strikeouts, it is alarming.
Baez’s postseason career following the World Series hasn’t been very good at all. He went 0 for 14 in the 2017 NLDS. Though he did hit two home runs in the 2017 NLCS, they were his only two hits in 12 at-bats. Baez managed to strike out 6 more times.
This is what I think the Mets can expect from Baez even in the regular season. His discipline at the plate is horrific. I know a thing or two about bad discipline. Try putting a donut in front of me.
The difference between the regular season and the playoffs is the time it takes to get in a groove. In such a short series, if things aren’t going well, you’re going to sink fast. The opposite is true, too. A hot bat during a short period of time translates well and can turn a guy into a postseason hero.
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Baez isn’t a typical “all-or-nothing” player we have seen in the past. His Cubs career batting average is .262 and he does manage to reach base at a clip in the low .300s on a regular basis. Certainly not ideal or close to superstar status on a consistent basis, the best hope in October baseball is for Baez to get hot or at least refrain from going completely cold.