Chicago Cubs rookie Javier Baez, he of the 60 minor-league homers since the start of 2013, launched his fifth home run Monday since joining the big-league team. It came in the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field and it might have landed in the East River.
OK, the ball wasn't hit that far, but it was absolutely crushed by Baez. It looked like something Yoenis Cespedes hit last season when the Home Run Derby was at Citi Field. Except, you know, this wasn't batting practice.
A homer going into the second-deck in left-center isn't something you too often at Citi Field, but then again, Baez isn't the type of power prodigy you see often either. The 21-year-old has five homers in 14 games since being called up by the Cubs.
His current AB/HR ratio— admittedly a very small sample size at this point — is 13.8. If he could keep that up for a whole season, it would Jose Abreu-like. Abreu's AB/HR ratio is 13.7, third in MLB among qualified players. Edwin Encarnacion is No. 1 at 12.6.
Baez is already showing his power, but he'll need to be more consistent next season when he's not blasting homers. He's hitting just .233 since joining the Cubs on Aug. 5. He's struck out 24 times and only has nine hits that aren't homers.
That's not cause for alarm just yet. Baez is still getting a feel for the game at the big-league level. So while he'll look like an absolute stud sometimes, crushing baseballs to parts of the park other players cannot, he'll also look very much like a 21-year-old rookie some days.
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