I used to think that Javier Baez is overrated. I used to think that he wasn’t as good at defense as people said he was. Here’s why I was wrong.
One of the fundamentals of Javier Baez’s game is to be good at SS. But combine that with 13% better than average offense in a league where SS don’t give the most offensive production, and you’ve got a star.
One might point out Baez’s fielding percentage. Sure, it’s not too flashy. But the reason that he commits all of those errors is because he creates more plays for himself. If you’re unsure how that would work, let’s say there’s a ground ball up the middle. A normal SS, even an above average fielding SS might not be able to get that ball. But Javier Baez could reach out and block it. He might have a chance to make that play, but chances are he’s going to get an error. Basically, he creates errors for himself because he’s such a good defender.
He also hits a lot of HR, he hits a lot of 2B, and he steals bases. And while he may not draw a lot of walks, he’s shown us that he can consistently hit for a high average, causing his OBP to go up.
In short, Javier Baez is not overrated.