The El Mago Show Was on Full Display Friday at Wrigley

As he continues to build his case for National League MVP, Javy Baez put all of his skills on display Friday against the Padres. There was power, there was baserunning, and there was defense. The Full Mago, if you will.

First, the power. Javy blasted his 23rd home run of the season, tying his career high. He’s already set a new career high for RBI this season and he’s now just one home run away from doing the same for homers.

Next, the baserunning. Javy lined a ball into the right field corner and kept chugging past second, diving into third base. Padres’ third baseman Cory Spangenberg is not the first person to be victimized by Javy’s patented swim-move slide, and he won’t be the last. That said, it never gets old watching Javy maneuver his way out of being tagged with Matrix-level precision.

Finally, the defense. With one out in the 8th and the tying runner on second, Javy fielded a chopper at second and rocketed a throw to Victor Caratini. Naturally, it was right on the money and Caratini applied the tag to help preserve the Cubs 4-2 lead. Many players might not make that throw, given the high margin for error, but Javy never shies away from taking a risk to make a big play.

After the game, Javy shared some thoughts on his performance.

Baez finished Friday’s game with a .299/.333/.580 slash line, 23 home runs, 84 RBI, and a 137 wRC+. If those numbers, combined with his stellar baserunning and defense, don’t convince you he is in the discussion for MVP, perhaps his rankings in comparison to his competitors might help.

It’s Javy’s world, folks, and I for one am very happy to live in it.

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