The Chicago Cubs sent Javier Baez to the minor leagues this week. The cause is obvious of course: through 52 at-bats in spring training he was hitting .173/.218/.231 with one homer, three walks, and 20 strikeouts. Attempts to get Baez to develop some measure of plate discipline are not necessarily developing to Chicago's advantage.
Now, there's plate discipline and then there's plate discipline. It isn't necessary for Baez to become a walk machine, but his current approach simply isn't working and the Cubs have other options at their disposal.
Baez is a frequent topic of discussion around these parts but I want to centralize all that talk right here. So, whaddya think? Will he turn it around eventually? Is this another Brandon Wood-type situation?
In one way it is extremely different than Wood: Many people felt that part of Wood's problem might have been over-thinking and trying too hard, unable to relax and let his abilities flow naturally (Lars Anderson had a similar problem). Sometimes it looked like Wood was "playing too tight" so to speak.
Baez is, well, very different in personality. He plays with reckless abandon when I've seen him. In the past I felt that perhaps he would be able to channel that aggression into more refinement if he got angry enough at the pitchers getting him out. So far, that's not happening.
Let's approach this discussion along three tracks:
****Track One: If you've seen Baez play a lot, in person or on TV, what are your subjective impressions?
****Track Two: Sabermetrically, can someone here with the expertise to do so take a good look at Baez's batted ball data and explain what the more detailed numbers show?
****Track Three: a poll question.