So much for regression: Javy Baez keeps getting better


So much for regression.

Javy Baez is not only duplicating his 2018 MVP-caliber campaign, but he's actually improved upon it. 

He hit another homer in Arizona during Friday night's 8-3 loss — a 446-foot shot and his 3rd longball in the last four games. He also singled in the contest, which marks his eighth multi-hit effort in the last 11 games. 

Baez's homer was his 9th of the season in his team's 24th game, which makes him the first Cub to do that since Andre Dawson accomplished the same feat in 1987 (h/t Chris Kamka) when "The Hawk" won the National League MVP for a last-place Cubs team:

It also puts Baez well ahead of Sammy Sosa's pace for each of Sosa's three 60-homer seasons:

After Baez enjoyed a breakout 2018 season, many baseball pundits and fans cried regression, believing his free-swinging ways would get the best of him and his numbers would fall back to Earth.

Well, not only has that not happened, but Baez is actually...getting better?

Check it out:

Through 24 games (2018)

.304/.360/.685 (1.045 OPS), 7 HR, 26 RBI, 8 2B, 3 3B, 20 R, 6 BB, 21 K, 28 H

Through 24 games (2019)

.327/.358/.673 (1.031 OPS), 9 HR, 22 RBI, 6 2B, 1 3B, 21 R, 5 BB, 28 K, 33 H

Last year, Baez finished with a slash line of .290/.326/.554 (.881 OPS), 34 homers, 101 runs scored and a league-leading 111 RBI.

This year, he's on pace for 61 homers, 149 RBI, 142 runs and 216 hits. 

Talk about an encore. 

And those stats don't even include Baez's defense at shortstop, his rocket arm or his incredible baserunning.

"You can't read about Javy," Jason Heyward said earlier this week. "You can't read about him. That's what I feel like is special. You gotta watch him, you gotta watch what he's doing, you gotta watch how he's thinking on the field. 

"It's exciting. He's always thinking ahead, he's always not giving up on a play, always trying to do what he can to win. It's special to have someone like that. We got a lot of special guys like that here, but Javy's Javy."

He's striking out more and walking a bit less than last year (though 4 of those 6 free passes in his first 24 games were of the intentional variety), but it's safe to say Baez's superstar status is here to stay.

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