Javy Baez had a classic Javy Baez strikeout in the World Baseball Classic, and the FOX cameras missed his otherworldly freakout. It was probably for the best.
Javy Baez is either hot or cold — there is no real in between. Since being acquired by the Detroit Tigers in the 2022 offseason, Baez has been mostly cold at the plate.
Javy’s plate discipline has never been a strength of his, which has often led to a high strikeout rate. When Baez isn’t making consistent contact, he’s an eyesore and a gaping hole at the top of any lineup. It doesn’t help that the Tigers signed him to a six-year, $140 million contract rather than anteing up for the likes of Carlos Correa, who has a previous connection with manager A.J. Hinch.
In Puerto Rico’s WBC matchup against Venezuela — a game in which they lost, dropping to 1-1 in the tournament — Baez had a brutal strikeout. It was the fully Javy Baez experience.
Baez did not respond well to this sequence, and took his anger out on the clubhouse — no, I’m not talking about his teammates.
World Baseball Classic: Javy Baez lets anger get the best of him
Entering Year 2 in Detroit, Baez expects to perform far better than he did in his introduction to Tigers fans. Baez struggled to live up to the price tag in his first MoTown campaign.
Manager A.J. Hinch made a better effort this offseason to get to know the player under the Tigers cap.
“I spent some time with Javy over the winter, and I understand him a lot more. He and I have become close, and he’s confided in me in a lot of things,” Hinch said.
The Tigers fell apart last season, and much of that falls on Baez and Hinch, as both were expected to be leaders in the clubhouse.