Calling Cubs rookie Javier Baez a free swinger may be the understatement of the year. On Monday night, Baez extended his streak of not having taken a base-on-balls to seven games and 33 at-bats, while swinging at a handful of pitches that bounced in front of the plate. Sabermetrics guru Bill James has come up with some interesting projections on when fans can expect Baez to draw his first MLB walk.
“As the statistics currently show, Baez is on pace to never draw a base-on-balls in his MLB career,” said James. “However, when you look at number of pitches seen per at bat vs. those that he swings and misses at vs. those he takes, my projection is that his first walk will occur on June 15, 2018.”
When asked about his all-or-nothing approach at the plate, Baez pointed to teammate Starlin Castro, who as a 20-year-old rookie walked a measly 29 times in 506 plate appearances, as a positive example.
“Starlin says get the bat off your shoulder and swing for the home run, so I listen to him,” said Baez. “He has also given me pointers on how to swing for the fences with the ladies at the downtown clubs. He is a great mentor!”