Memes, gifs, and ugly highlights have made him quite famous on the web.
He is notorious for taking huge hacks and completely missing the ball.
Of course, when he connects, the ball usually travels very far.
However, the 2022 season – his first one with the Tigers – was rough for him.
He comfortably led the league in swings and misses on pitches out of the strike zone.
Most whiffs at out-of-zone pitches, 2022:
Javier Báez, 289 😮
Adolis Garcia, 233
Nick Castellanos, 229
Trea Turner, 225
Jeremy Peña, 222
Luke Voit, 221
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) January 17, 2023
That’s actually the pitchers’ goal: fooling a hitter into swinging at balls because there is a good chance they will miss, and if they make contact, it will definitely not be ideal save for a few exceptions.
Baez makes bad swing decisions too often for him to have a chance at a .300 season or at putting an OBP over .330.
Last year with the Tigers, he slashed .238/.278/.393 with 17 home runs and a 90 wRC+ (100 is considered the league-average offensive performance).
He was not that far from being average, but it was his worst full season in MLB in terms of wRC+.
His strikeout percentage was 24.9 percent, his lowest mark since 2016 so that’s progress.
However, it appears that he tried so hard to make contact that it often wasn’t ideal contact.
Evidently, if Detroit is going to have a chance at making the playoffs soon, they need Baez to stop swinging at pitches outside of the zone so much.
That is obviously easier said than done.