Presented By Cubs Insiders

It's been one hell of a week for The Most Exciting Player in Baseball.

Javy Baez got engaged, put his name in the Cubs history books and helped his team win a handful of games with highlight-reel plays at bat, on the bases and in the field.

It's Javy's world. We're just living in it.

How does he feel about an epic performance in the first two games of the Cubs' 2018 slate at Wrigley Field?

"I'm excited; look at my face," he said, smiling in front of the cameras.

But after hitting a pair of homers for the second night in a row (and becoming the first Cub to do so since Alfonso Soriano in May 2008) Wednesday, Baez actually spent more time talking about his seventh-inning popout than his two dingers.

"You know what I really got out of today and what I learned?" Baez asked a gaggle of reporters that crowded around his locker for the second time in a 29-hour span. "How ugly I looked when I got out today on that fly ball. I tossed the bat really high, I didn't run to first base.

"One of my teammates came up to me and he said it in a good way and he said, 'You learn from it.' After I hit that fly ball and tossed the bat really high, I was kinda mad about it. Not because of the fly ball, just the way I looked for the kids and everybody that follows me.


"That's not a good look. So I learned that from today."

To be fair, even when Baez pops out or swings out of his shoes, he's still a delight to watch play the game. 

The bat-throw and reaction he referenced made more than a few people in the Wrigley Field press box giggle. All those wild, crazy, out-of-control swings-and-misses that result in Baez falling to his knee or on his back? Fans eat that stuff up.

Especially when he's going like he is now.

Over the last week, Baez has turned heads with his prowess on the bases in Milwaukee, tallied a Little League homer thanks to a ball that bounced off the back of his head, flashed the ever-popular #JavyTags and collected 5 extra-base hits and 9 RBI.

The free-swinging infielder has even drawn 5 walks in the last 6 games, thanks in large part to other teams intentionally placing him on first base.

And then there's the dropped-third strike in the sixth inning Wednesday when he reached first base, advanced to second on a groundout, stole third and then broke on contact when Tommy La Stella hit a grounder to the drawn-in Pirates infielder. That run gave the Cubs a lead they did not relinquish in a 13-5 victory.

"He knows how to play the game of baseball," Joe Maddon marveled after the game.

Baez is a self-proclaimed slow starter, yet will wake up on April 12 with a .714 slugging percentage and 1.086 OPS through 11 games.

He credits that success with all the areas of his game he's worked on, from improving his focus when he's at the plate and blocking out all the noise to trying to stay within himself.

"I'm gonna swing hard most of the time, but it's something I can control," Baez said. "I'm trying to stay under control, but it's really hard for me. As long as I stay under control, I'll be really good."

How good can he be if he starts consistently using the whole field and stops trying to hit every ball onto the rooftops across the street from Wrigley?

"As he matures as a hitter, I have no idea what he's gonna do because he is one of the most exciting players in the game right now," Maddon said.

Maddon and his coaching staff have always made sure not to coach the Javy out of Javy. They don't want him to lose any of the incredible instincts that make him so great defensively or as a baserunner.

That freedom has allowed the real Javy to shine through, and we may just be scratching the surface of the complete player he can be.

"Just gotta be you," Baez said. "A lot of people put a lot of pressure on themselves and you're gonna make mistakes, but you gotta make them to learn."