What day off? NL Player of the Week Javier Baez mentors local youth

Vince Lovergine
NBC Sports Chicago

Just because he has an off day, it doesn't mean Javier Baez is barred from winning awards or having fun with young athletes.

Within a five minute span of Jon Lester being named NL Pitcher of the Month for June, Baez was named NL Player of the Week.

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Baez has been tearing the cover off the baseball as of late. Over the last week, he has tallied a .483 AVG, 1.363 OPS, eight XBH, 10 R and 11 RBIs.

But, that isn't the only thing that was on Baez' mind. After an offensive explosion by the Cubs and a sweep of the Twins this past weekend, Baez is enjoying the Cubs' idle Monday by hosting a baseball pro camp at Elk Grove High School.

Baez, along with a group of area high school and college coaches, led a camp of over 500 boys and girls in grades 1-8. Campers experienced various aspects of baseball fundamentals.

"This is the future. It's really important the parents bring their kids here. It's important to teach these kids the right way." Baez said. "That's what it's all about. You'll see a bright future for these kids. Every time I see a kid, I always think there too young to see what's going on, and they mention all these crazy plays I do. They understand the game really good. More than I think they did."

When Baez was asked about what the kids talk to him about, it's to see what athletes do on a daily basis

"Do I play PS4, what kind of food do I eat, Just kids questions." Baez said with a smile. "It's always fun."

After the Cubs took the finale at Dodger Stadium and swept the Twins at Wrigley, scoring 46 runs in those four games, Baez says the team is just fine.

"We're in a good position, we started to get hot again, and we just do the simple things as a team, everybody in the lineup and on the bench, is really good. We just got to do the simple things and we will be good moving forward."

We all know Baez is flashy and a fun player to watch, but he knows the game is not easy.

"No it's not, I make it look easy, but it's really not, you fail more than you succeed, it's hard and it's important to make adjustments, and to be ready mentally fail too."

Seeing the talent in the youth in Elk Grove Monday morning, Baez also notices the kids are there to learn and look up to him.

"You can see really good talent, and see the kids trying to get better. I even see kids having the glove I use. It's huge for me because they follow me, it's big."

After Baez and his fiancée welcomed his new baby boy to the family, Baez says it's an adjustment especially changing diapers, and teammates like Addison Russell and others have helped him through the process.

"Yeah I have. I'm trying to get used to it. I have before with my nephews, but just trying to get used to it again…they keep working me through the fatherhood."

 

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