Chicago Cubs rookie, Javier Baez has only been in the major leagues for three weeks and he is already making a name for himself. In his 19 big league games, Baez has worn the golden sombrero three times already!! Much of the Chicago Cubs’ fan base has been distracted by Baez’s home run power and all the rookie-marks he is setting in that area of the game when it is actually his strikeout numbers that are the real awe-inspiring statistic. The career record for home runs is 762; those happen all the time. Do you know what the career record for golden sombreros in a career is? It’s 17. The career record, held by Bo Jackson, is 17 and Javier Baez already has 3!
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Lets put this into perspective. It took Javier Baez 19 games to move into 146th on an all-time baseball list. That’s like Craig Biggio (#146 on baseball’s all-time home run list) hitting all 291 of his career home runs in just three weeks. It took him 20 years, 12,504 plate appearances, to do that. In an attempt to appease those who are still unimpressed, lets compare apples to apples; it took Bo Jackson 2,570 plate appearances to rack up his 17 golden sombreros and 413 plate appearances to get his first three. Javier Baez picked up his third golden sombrero after just 64 career plate appearances. At this rate Javy will be the all-time MLB golden sombrero leader in no time! In fact, he keeps up his current pace, he’ll surpass Bo Jackson’s 17 golden sombreros after exactly 384 career plate appearances, a mark that he should reach in the first half of 2015!
So for all of you who are hating on Javier Baez’s strikeout totals, bite your tongue. You are watching history in the making. Did people boo Barry Bonds and give him a hard time when he was on the cusp of breaking the all-time MLB home run record? Exactly!
Granted, there are still a few strikeout records that Baez may not break right away. For example, at his current pace, he would need a season of 511 plate appearances to break Mark Reynolds’ single season strikeout mark of 223. And it will take him a while to break Jimmie Foxx’s record of seven seasons leading the league in strikeouts or the record of four consecutive seasons, held by Reggie Jackson, Vince DiMaggio, Juan Samuel, Hack Wilson and Mark Reynolds. Additionally, he’ll need a lot of luck to break the single-game mark of seven punch-outs, but don’t lose faith! (see Baseball-almanac.com for more strikeout leaders) Javy is a talented kid and at this point in his young career, anything is possible!
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