Detroit Tigers shortstop Javier Baez does a lot of things well on a baseball field.
He is a fantastic defensive player both at shortstop and at second base.
He can make routine plays and even diving catches, he has range, and he has flair as that famous no-look tag in the World Baseball Classic showed us.
He is also a speedy runner and can steal bases, plus he has some serious 30+ homer power.
Unfortunately, one of his weaknesses has defined his career and has the potential to make him a liability for the foreseeable future.
His plate discipline is horrible.
It’s actually MLB’s standard for lousy plate decisions.
The numbers don’t lie.
“Most whiffs on out-of-zone pitches since 2017: Javier Báez, 1,430; Nick Castellanos, 1,233; Avisaíl García, 1,002; José Abreu, 999; Bryce Harper, 977; Nelson Cruz, 974; Jonathan Schoop, 967; J.D. Martinez, 951; Aaron Judge, 950; Joey Gallo, 932,” Codify Baseball tweeted.
Most whiffs on out-of-zone pitches since 2017:
Javier Báez, 1,430
Nick Castellanos, 1,233
Avisaíl García, 1,002
José Abreu, 999
Bryce Harper, 977
Nelson Cruz, 974
Jonathan Schoop, 967
J.D. Martinez, 951
Aaron Judge, 950
Joey Gallo, 932 pic.twitter.com/6hcu0nG5mg
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) February 12, 2023
Usually, players are not advised to swing on pitches out of the zone.
Save for a few exceptions – Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Robinson Cano come to mind – swinging at balls will result on whiffs and weak contact.
Baez can’t help himself, though.
He has almost 200 more whiffs on pitches outside of the zone than the second-ranked player since 2017, Nick Castellanos.
He is particularly vulnerable to breaking balls in the lower part of the zone.
He has been known for swinging at pitches that are inches away from the zone, even ones that hit the first before even reaching home plate.
His tendencies have resulted on a career 4.7% walk rate and a lousy 28.6% strikeout rate.
The Tigers sure hope those trends change.NEXT: The Tigers Are Stuck In The Basement In Multiple Ways