Javy Baez Needs to Learn to be a Leader

Normally a Spark Plug Guy, Javy Baez is Learning to Lead

Javy Baez Needs to Learn to be a Leader
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Javy Baez Learning to Lead 

AJ: One of the things that I’ve noticed with Javy Baez over these first 40 games is he is spinning himself into the ground. We knew he was a free swinger to begin with but his timing has been terrible. He’s been way out in front of balls, rolling over grounding out a lot, not getting the ball in the air.

It’s been bad. That one swing on Sunday where he hit a home run on a missile to the right-center field is a good sign. It’s a good sign because every time we coach players or talk about players that are rolling over and their timing is off, we always tell them, let the ball travel, let the ball travel, force yourself to drive it to that right-center field gap.

And if that pitch was necessarily an outside pitch. It was not straight down the middle, it was a good swing and a good hit. Him letting the ball travel and not trying to kill the ball so far out in front of home plate is going to do him wonders moving forward. And I hope that when he made contact with that ball on Sunday, he was like click, and he’s working out that timing. 

And the other thing with Javy Baez is this. We knew what he was when we signed him. He’s gonna make great defensive plays. He’s going to turn some routine plays more interesting than they need to be and he’s a free swinger. But the one thing about Javy Baez that we have not seen in his career, it’s happening right now, is he’s truly never been a leader of a team. 

And when we signed him this off-season and gave him the dollars that we gave him, we made him the de facto leader of a team. That’s not his role. He’s an energy guy. He’s an up, he’s a down, he’s not a steady, consistent guy. For him to be as successful as we need him to be, he needs his Anthony Rizzo and his Kris Bryant around him that are the leaders of the team.

So he can just go out there and play free. And right now it just looks like he has so much pressure on himself to perform and to lead that he’s not handling it well. And so hopefully you would hope that at some point somebody would get ahold of them and just be like, listen, man, just play ball. Just play ball.

So what they all need to do, they’re all trying way too hard. They’re all just like pressing, everybody’s trying to hit the ball, the ballpark. We’ve talked about it before. Take the Chipper Jones approach and just try to hit the ball as hard as you can through the wall.

Now I’ll tell you one person that I’m impressed with and you’re going to laugh at me. Jameer Candelario man, that guy, the way that he has been approaching his at-bats and drawing walks and getting, 8, 9, 10 pitches per at-bat. I know the average is not there. I know the power is not there, but his approach is what needs to be rubbing off on everybody else. 

Because may have Friday night, I was super impressed with the way that he handled the pitching staff of the Cleveland Indians. He just was taking balls left and right, following them off, getting deep into counts, just a fantastic approach. And we need more of that because we’re obviously striking out way too much and not walking nearly enough.

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