Don't look for flying saucers in the shaky video, though you might find what looks like a UFO. It's probably the fourth home run of the game hit for Daytona on Monday night by Chicago Cubs top prospect Javier Baez, who tied a Class A Florida State record. Baez went 4 for 4 with seven RBIs, equaling a former Cubs prospect — Ryan Harvey — who was the first player in FSL history to hit four homers in the same game back in 2006. The Florida State League is 94 years old.
By the count of SABR, it's the 129th time since 1889 that a professional player — including North America, Japan, Cuba and South America — hit at least four homers in a game. Josh Hamilton in 2012 is the most recent major leaguer to do it.
And Baez celebrated in a way that only an internet-savvy 20-year-old might — by re-posting at least 128 messages of support people sent him on Twitter:
And so on, and so on, and so on. If you follow Baez on Twitter, that's what his timeline (and yours) looked like Monday night.
At first glance, it might look like Baez is congratulating himself on the big night — and perhaps he is in a way — but it's less cynical to look at it like a celebrity giving out re-tweets to acknowledge a fan saying "hello." It's sort of cute.
The Cubs are expecting big things from Baez, a first-round pick in 2011 who is batting .291/.339/.570 with 13 homers in 254 plate appearances. His 60-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio is troubling, but he's not the first young player to struggle with that. Baez's defense is just OK, and J.J. Cooper of Baseball America says he projects to be a major league shortstop someday, which could change.
Hitting coach Mariano Duncan said this, from MiLB.com:
MLB.com's No. 15 prospect smacked Matt Tomshaw's 2-2 pitch for a two-run homer the opposite way to right-center field with one out in the first inning and he added his second with a solo shot on a 2-0 offering to straight-away center to lead off the third.
In the fifth, the shortstop pulled the first pitch he saw from Adrian Salcedo for a three-run homer to left field, and in the seventh, he hooked another first-pitch fastball just inside the foul pole down the left-field line for his historic fourth roundtripper of the night.
And Twitter would never quite be the same.
Big BLS H/N:@ChadMoriyama
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