If you have watched a Chicago Cubs game this season, you would know the North Sider’s are loaded with power-hitting position players. As a team, the Cubs currently rank sixth in the majors with a .426 slugging percentage, a number that is helped greatly by second baseman Javier Baez.
In his fifth season with the big league club, Baez seems to have figured things out at the plate. The 25-year-old is in the middle of an offensive explosion that has him slashing .292/.326/.558. While his batting average and OBP are nothing too special, Baez’s slugging percentage has been the story-line for the youngster this season. Among qualified batters, Baez owns the tenth highest slugging percentage in the majors.
That elite power number has produced 17 home runs in 86 games for Baez this season, a year after he hit 23 long-balls in 145 games.
For his efforts, Baez has reportedly been selected to take part in the 2018 Home Run Derby that will take place on July 16 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
Since his call-up in June of 2015, Schwarber has been launching balls out of stadiums all across America. During his rookie campaign, Schwarber produced 16 home runs, en-route to posting a very strong .487 slugging percentage. Those numbers were further backed up during the 2015 postseason. In nine games, the left-handed slugger mashed five home runs, cementing his reputation as a power-hitting corner outfielder.
That reputation has only been furthered in his season and a half since missing the entire 2016 regular season to a knee injury. Across 207 games, Schwarber has hit 47 home runs, producing a .479 slugging percentage and well-above average offensive numbers.
In a game where style and flashiness are often frowned upon, it will be refreshing to watch the always flamboyant Baez take part in his first Home Run Derby and All-Star Game. With that being said, watching Schwarber launch balls deep into the night will make Cubs’ fans happy the front office did not trade him for pitching help in 2016.
This will be the first time in three seasons that the Cubs will send a player to the Home Run Derby. In 2015, both Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo participated in event, with neither of them making it out of the first round. Hopefully, Baez and Schwarber will have better luck this time around.
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