Javier Báez

Ednel Javier "Javy" Báez (born December 1, 1992), nicknamed "El Mago" (Spanish for "The Magician"), is a Puerto Rican professional baseball utility player for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). Born in Puerto Rico, Báez attended high school in Jacksonville, Florida. The Cubs selected Báez with the ninth overall selection of the 2011 MLB Draft. He made his MLB debut in 2014.

He was the first player for the Cubs to steal home in a postseason game since Jimmy Slagle in 1907. In October 2016, Báez was named the National League Championship Series co-MVP alongside left-handed starter Jon Lester as the Chicago Cubs clinched their 2016 National League pennant.

Javier Báez
Cubs second baseman Javier Baez looks on during batting practice before NLCS Game 6. (30418049321)
Báez with the Chicago Cubs in 2016
Chicago Cubs – No. 9
Infielder
Born: December 1, 1992 (age 26)
Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 5, 2014, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
(through June 12, 2019)
Batting average.271
Home runs98
Runs batted in315
Stolen bases51
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life and introduction to baseball

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Báez moved to Florida in 2005 along with his mother and siblings, two brothers and a sister.[1] The move was so that his sister, Noely, could get medical treatment for her spina bifida condition.[2] In Puerto Rico he and his two brothers, Gadiel and Rolando, became familiar with the sport through their father, Ángel Luis Báez who, before his death when Javier was ten, heavily influenced their life and was responsible for their interest in baseball.[2] The brothers would later immortalize this interest by getting tattoos of Major League Baseball's logo, which symbolized that "baseball has been in [their] lives forever."[2][3] As a middle school student, it took time for Báez to adapt because he was unable to fluently speak or understand English.[1] Báez eventually learned the language through trial and error in a process that lasted for three years, memorizing words before knowing their actual meaning.[1]

Báez attended Arlington Country Day School (ACD) in Jacksonville, Florida. His coach at ACD, Ron Dickerson, noted that initially scouts were not impressed by him, noting his talent, but not believing he could become a star.[1] Dickerson emphasized that Báez's work ethic was responsible for positioning him as a real prospect.[1] As a sophomore, he had a .463 batting average with 38 hits, of which nine were doubles and 13 were home runs.[4] Making 82 plate appearances in 25 games, he also gathered 60 runs batted in (RBIs). By the time that his junior season was over, Báez was a highly rated Aflac All-American.[1] In his senior season, he recorded 64 hits in 83 at-bats to gather an average of .771, which included 20 doubles and 22 home runs. In total, Báez recorded 52 RBIs in 30 games.[4] During his time at ACD, he never played a position steadily. After working at second base, Báez was moved to shortstop once the team lost a player.[5] Besides these positions, he also played as a center fielder and as a catcher.[6] He committed to play college baseball at Jacksonville University.[7]

Professional career

Minor leagues

The Chicago Cubs, led by Jim Hendry, selected Báez in the first round, with the ninth overall selection, of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft.[3][8] He began his professional career by playing shortstop for the Arizona Cubs of the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he only played in three games, recording three hits, including two doubles, in 12 at-bats and two stolen bases.[9] Promoted to the Boise Hawks of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League, Báez recorded one single in six at bats across two games.[10] On September 29, 2011, he was selected third overall by the Leones de Ponce in the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente's (LBPRC) rookie draft, but did not play due to the Cubs' limitations.[11]

Before the 2012 season, MLB.com rated Báez as the 62nd best prospect in baseball.[12] He remained with the Cubs in extended spring training with other prospects, participating in 26 games and hitting 6 doubles, 3 triples, and 8 home runs, with 28 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and 23 strikeouts in 94 plate appearances.[13] He made his regular season debut with the Peoria Chiefs of the Class A Midwest League.[14] He was promoted to the Daytona Cubs of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League (FSL).[14] Baseball America included Báez in two of its "Best Tools" lists, naming him the "Most Exciting Player in the Midwest League" and the "Best Defensive Infielder" in the Chicago Cubs system.[15]

Javier Báez 2013
Báez batting in the Florida State League All-Star Game in 2013

Before the 2013 season, MLB.com rated Báez as the 16th best prospect in baseball.[16] The Cubs invited him to join their major league team in spring training, competing in the Cactus League. Báez hit four home runs in five at-bats over the course of two games,[17] including in an unofficial exhibition game against the Japanese national baseball team that was preparing for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.[18][19] He concluded spring training with a .298 batting average and 10 RBIs.[20] Báez returned to the Daytona Cubs to open the 2013 season. On June 10, 2013, Báez hit four home runs in one game, becoming the second player to do so in the history of the FSL.[21] Báez was named one of the five finalists in the fan vote for the final spot on the World Team's roster for the 2013 All-Star Futures Game, but he finished second to Carlos Correa.[22]

On July 6, 2013, the Cubs promoted Báez to the Tennessee Smokies of the Class AA Southern League after displaying more plate discipline and walking more often during the previous month.[23] Báez was named to both the FSL and Southern League All-Star teams at the conclusion of the season.[24][25] The Cubs named him their Minor League Player of the Year, closing the season as the top-ranked prospect in the team's system and third overall in the Southern League.[26][27] On October 28, 2013, Báez won the MiLBY Award for Best Minor League Game of the Year, recognizing his four-home run game.[28]

The Cubs invited Báez to spring training in 2014. An injury suffered by Starlin Castro allowed him regular playing time. To increase his versatility, Báez began practicing at second base and third base.[29] He was reassigned to Minor League camp during the final week of spring training.[30] Bothered by a back injury, he opened his participation with the Iowa Cubs of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL) immersed in a slump, with his only hit in 20 at bats being the first home run of the season.[31][32] During the second week of the season, Báez had his first multi-hit game and hit a second home run before being placed on the seven-day disabled list with an ankle sprain. Báez slumped following his return, and his batting average fell below .150 in May, while his strikeout-to-walk ratio worsened. With a more patient approach at the plate, Báez began a hitting streak on May 16, 2014. On May 26, 2014, Báez was named the PCL Player of the Week for the previous week.[33]

On May 22, 2014, the Cangrejeros de Santurce of the LBPRC signed Báez by exploiting a legal loophole that allowed players to be considered free agents unless properly signed within three years of being drafted.[34] However, the Leones de Ponce quickly reclaimed his local player rights, claiming that they had approached him with the intent of formalizing a contract but that the "extreme fatigue" clause of the Winter League Agreement had interfered.[35]

Chicago Cubs

2014

On August 5, the Cubs promoted Báez to the major leagues.[36] In his debut that day, he hit his first career home run; the game-winner in the 12th inning victory against the Colorado Rockies, becoming the first player since Miguel Cabrera in 2003 to hit an extra innings home run in his debut.[37] In his third game, Báez hit two home runs, becoming the first player since Joe Cunningham in 1954 to hit three home runs in his first three MLB games.[38] On August 18, 2014, Báez hit his fifth home run in 14 games, joining Jason Kipnis as the only other second baseman to do so in the last 100 years.[39]

On September 2, Castro injured himself in an awkward slide at home plate and did not return for the remainder of the year.[40] Báez finished the season at shortstop. In 52 games with the Cubs in 2014, Báez struck out 95 times while batting .169 with 5 stolen bases, 9 home runs, and 20 RBI.

2015

After struggling in spring training, mostly due to a high number of strikeouts, the Cubs optioned Báez to Iowa on March 30, 2015.[41] He batted .324 in 70 games for Iowa, missing time due to the death of his sister and a broken finger.[42]

At the end of Iowa's season, Báez was called up to the major leagues as a part of September call-ups on September 1. Báez hit his first home run of the season on September 4 in a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.[43] His three-run home run in the second inning of game 4 of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals helped the Cubs to a 6-4 win as they advanced to the National League Championship Series.[44]

2016

On May 8, in the last game of a four-game series at Wrigley Field, Báez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 13th inning to lead the Cubs to a 4-3 victory and a four-game sweep of the Washington Nationals.[45] On June 28, Báez hit a grand slam in the 15th inning to lead the Cubs in a win over the Cincinnati Reds.[46]

In Game 1 of the 2016 National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants, Báez hit a solo home run off Giants starter Johnny Cueto in the 8th inning to account for the only run in a 1-0 Cubs victory. It was the first 1-0 win in a playoff game for the Cubs since game 4 of the 1906 World Series against the Chicago White Sox. In Game 4, Báez drove in Jason Heyward to cap off a four-run rally in the top of the ninth, sending the Cubs to the 2016 National League Championship Series with a 6-5 victory.[47]

During the first game of the 2016 National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Báez stole home in the second inning. He was the first Cub to do this in a postseason game since 1907 when Jimmy Slagle accomplished this against the Detroit Tigers in game four of the 1907 World Series. Báez is also only one of 19 players in baseball history to steal home in a playoff game.[48] Báez and Jon Lester were named NLCS co-MVPs, after Báez hit .318 with five RBIs, four doubles, and two stolen bases in the series, including three hits and three RBIs in Game 5.[49] Baez would be part of the Cubs 2016 World Series win against the Cleveland Indians in 7 games, earning him his first World Series championship. Báez was the recipient of the Fielding Bible Award for his "defensive excellence at multiple positions."[50]

2017

Báez' ability to apply quick tags of opposing players attempting to steal second base was acknowledged as among the best ever.[51] Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, "A lot of our success is based on defense, and Javy is so important to that."[52] Báez finished the 2017 regular season with a .273 average, 23 home runs, 24 doubles, 75 RBIs, 75 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases. He was a consistent member of the Cubs starting lineup at second base (573 innings) and at shortstop (503 innings) filling in for the injured Addison Russell. Báez was 0-for-23 in the NLCS except for the two solo home runs during Game 4. Báez was the recipient of the Fielding Bible’s Multi-Position award for the second straight season. John Dewan of the FB organization stated, “Báez possesses arm strength that is above average when he plays on the left side of the diamond, and it becomes downright ridiculous when he is playing second base,” says Dewan. “He believes he can make every throw on the diamond, and the vast majority of the time he is correct.”[53]

2018: All-Star season

On April 10, Báez hit two home runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The next day against the Pirates, Báez hit two home runs again. On May 19, Amir Garrett of the Cincinnati Reds struck out Báez and yelled in excitement. Báez approached Garrett and a benches-clearing brawl ensued.[54] On May 27, in an 8-3 victory against the San Francisco Giants, Báez hit his 13th HR of the year and became the first Cubs player with at least 40 RBIs before Memorial Day since Derrek Lee in 2005.

On July 9, while batting .294 with 17 home runs, 63 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases,[55] Báez was named the starting second baseman for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game, his first All-Star selection. Báez was only the second player in MLB history to have at least 18 home runs, 18 doubles, 18 stolen bases, and 5 triples by the All-Star break, Willie Mays was the first. Báez also participated in the 2018 Home Run Derby. On August 23, Báez hit a 481-foot home run, the third-longest home run in the MLB in 2018.[56] On September 2, Báez hit his 30th home run of the year and scored his 100th RBI and was the first Cubs middle infielder since 1990 to achieve both in the same year.[57]

Baez in 2018 had 606 at bats with 176 hits and a batting average of .290. He hit 34 home runs, drove in a league leading 111 RBIs and stole 21 bases. He swung and missed at 18.2% of the pitches he saw, second behind only Jorge Alfaro (23.8%) in the NL.[58] He finished second to Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers in the selection of the Most Valuable Player in the National League.[59] In 2018, Baez was one of three players to record at least 30 home runs, 100 RBI, 100 runs and 20 steals; the other two players were Christian Yelich and Jose Ramirez.[60]

2019

Having played 25 games at the shortstop position, Baez was leading in most team hitting statistics. He had 35 hits in 111 plate appearances with 9 home runs and a batting average of .333. He had 22 RBI's, 15 of which were with 2 outs which led all NL hitters. He continued to display remarkable base-running ability and technique.[61]

International career

World Baseball Classic

Baéz played for the Puerto Rican national team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic where he won a silver medal.[62] Báez averaged .296 with one home run, five runs batted in and four tournament leading stolen bases. Following the conclusion of the tournament, he was named to the 2017 All-World Baseball Classic team.[63]

Personal life

Báez's sister, Noely, died on April 8, 2015, aged 21. She had spina bifida. Báez took a leave of absence from the Iowa Cubs to help cope with the loss.[64] Báez is left-hand dominant and eats and writes with his left hand, and suggests this helps his game.[65] Báez chose "El Mago" (Spanish for "The Magician") as his nickname for the Players Weekend in 2017 and 2018.[66]

Báez announced his engagement to longtime girlfriend Irmarie Márquez via Twitter on April 11, 2018.[67] Their son, Adrián Javier Báez Márquez, was born on June 29, 2018.[68] The couple were married in San Juan, Puerto Rico on January 26, 2019.[69] Báez' wife, Irmarie, is the sister of Jannieliz Márquez, who is married to Minnesota Twins pitcher José Berríos.[70]

See also

References

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  5. ^ Carrie Muskat & AJ Cassavell (March 16, 2014). "Top prospect Báez getting work at second base". Major League Baseball. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
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  49. ^ "Cubs' Baez, Lester selected as co-MVPs of NLCS".
  50. ^ "2016 Fielding Bible Awards". fieldingbible.com. Fielding Bible. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  51. ^ Rogers, Jessie. "No one quicker than Javier Báez when it comes to tagging runners". espn.com. ESPN.com. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  52. ^ Skirbina, Paul. "Cubs have no second thoughts about second baseman Javier Baez". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  53. ^ Taylor, Brett. "Javy Báez is the Best Multi-Position Defender in Baseball, and He's Got the Hardware to Prove It". bleachernation.com/. Bleacheation.comrN. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
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  56. ^ Statcast | MLB.com
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  58. ^ [1]
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  65. ^ "Javier Baez plays his own game of tag in field".
  66. ^ "MLB Players Weekend to showcase unique nicknames, colorful uniforms".
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  68. ^ "Cubs' Javier Baez Announces Birth Of Son". June 29, 2018.
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External links

2015 Chicago Cubs season

The 2015 Chicago Cubs season was the 144th season for the franchise, the 140th in the National League and the 100th at Wrigley Field. They began the season on April 5, 2015 in a first-ever night game home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals at partially renovated Wrigley Field, and finished on October 4, 2015 on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cubs finished the season with the third-best record in baseball (97–65) which was also the third-best in their division, finishing one game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates (98–64) and three games behind the division winner, the rival St. Louis Cardinals (100–62). As a result, they qualified for the second wild card spot for the 2015 postseason and defeated the Pirates in the 2015 National League Wild Card Game and faced the Cardinals in the Division Series. The Cubs defeated St. Louis in four games and advanced to play the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series. It was the Cubs' first appearance in the NLCS since 2003. However, they were swept in four games and were unable to make it to their first World Series since 1945, which they would do the next season.

In 2015, Forbes valued the Cubs at $1.8 billion, ranking them 17th out of all sports franchises in the world, and the fifth highest in all MLB. The Cubs attendance for the regular season was 2,959,812, up over 300,000 from the previous year.

2015 National League Championship Series

The 2015 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff contested between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets for the National League (NL) pennant and the right to play in the 2015 World Series. The Mets swept the Cubs four games to none for their fifth National League pennant in franchise history. The series was the 46th in league history with TBS airing all games in the United States. Game 1 was played on October 17.This was the first postseason meeting between the Mets and Cubs, and first NLCS in which the losing team never had a lead during a game. It was also the first since 2007 to end in a sweep and the third best-of-seven NLCS to do so (the other being in 1995).

The Mets would go on to lose to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series in five games.

2016 Chicago Cubs season

The 2016 Chicago Cubs season was the 145th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 141st in the National League and the Cubs' 101st season at Wrigley Field. To celebrate their 100 years at Wrigley, the Cubs wore a patch on their home uniforms and wore 1916 throwback uniforms on July 6.They began the season on April 4, 2016 at the Los Angeles Angels and finished the regular season on October 2, 2016 at the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs finished with the best record in Major League Baseball and won their first National League Central title since the 2008 season, winning by 17½ games. The team also reached the 100-win mark for the first time since 1935 and won 103 total games, the most wins for the franchise since 1910.

The Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series and returned to the National League Championship Series for the second year in a row, where they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games.

The Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in seven games in the 2016 World Series, their first appearance since the 1945 World Series and first win since the 1908 World Series. In the World Series, the Cubs came back from a three-games-to-one deficit, winning the final three games. The last time a team came back from a three-games-to-one deficit to win the World Series was the Kansas City Royals in 1985. The Cubs were also the first team to win Games 6 and 7 on the road in a World Series since the Pittsburgh Pirates had done so against the Baltimore Orioles in 1979. The World Series victory put an end to the so-called Curse of the Billy Goat and the longest World Series championship drought in history.

2016 National League Championship Series

The 2016 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff in which the Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League (NL) pennant and the right to play in the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians. As winners of one of the Division Series and the team with the best regular season record in the National League, the Cubs earned home-field advantage regardless of opponent. The series was the 47th in league history. FS1 televised all of the games in the United States.The Cubs would go on to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series in seven games, after overcoming a 3–1 series deficit, winning their first World Series championship for the first time in 108 years, ending the Curse of the Billy Goat.

2016 San Francisco Giants season

The 2016 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 134th year in Major League Baseball, their 59th year in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 17th at AT&T Park. They advanced to the postseason as the second National League Wild Card, and defeated the New York Mets in the Wild Card Game. They were defeated in four games by the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs in the Division Series.

2016 World Series

The 2016 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2016 season. The 112th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion Chicago Cubs and the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians, the first meeting of those franchises in postseason history. The series was played between October 25 and November 2 (although Game 7 ended slightly after 12:00 am local time on November 3). The Indians had home-field advantage because the AL had won the 2016 All-Star Game. This was the final World Series to have home-field advantage determined by the All-Star Game results; since 2017, home-field advantage has been awarded to the team with the better record.

The Cubs defeated the Indians 4 games to 3 to win their first World Series since 1908. Game 7, an 8–7 victory in 10 innings, marked the fifth time that a Game 7 had gone into extra innings and the first since 1997 (which, coincidentally, the Indians also lost). It was also the first Game 7 to have a rain delay, which occurred as the tenth inning was about to start. The Cubs became the sixth team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-seven World Series, following the 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates, the 1958 New York Yankees, the 1968 Detroit Tigers, the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates, and the 1985 Kansas City Royals.

The Cubs, playing in their eleventh World Series and their first since 1945, won their third championship and first since 1908, ending the longest world championship drought in North American professional sports history. It was the Indians' sixth appearance in the World Series and their first since 1997, with their last Series win having come in 1948. The two teams entered their matchup as the two franchises with the longest World Series title droughts, a combined 176 years without a championship. Cleveland manager Terry Francona, who had previously won World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007, fell short in his bid to become the third manager to win his first three trips to the Fall Classic, after Casey Stengel and Joe Torre.

2017 Chicago Cubs season

The 2017 Chicago Cubs season was the 146th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 142nd in the National League and the Cubs' 102nd season at Wrigley Field. The Cubs were the defending World Series champions, having defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series. The Cubs were managed by Joe Maddon, in his third year as Cubs manager, and played their home games at Wrigley Field as members of the National League Central Division.

The Cubs began the season on April 2, 2017 at the St. Louis Cardinals and finished the regular season October 1 at home against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs finished the season 92–70 in first place in the Central Division. With a win over the Cardinals on September 27, the Cubs won the division title for the second consecutive year.The Cubs defeated the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series three games to two to advance to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the League Championship Series in a rematch of the previous year's series. In the best of seven NLCS, the Cubs lost to the Dodgers four games to one.

2017 National League Championship Series

The 2017 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the Los Angeles Dodgers against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs for the National League pennant and the right to play in the 2017 World Series. The series was a rematch of the 2016 NLCS, which Chicago won four games to two en route to their first World Series victory since 1908. This was just the 10th time two teams have met in at least two straight League Championship Series, which have existed since divisional play began in 1969. The Dodgers beat the Cubs in five games to win the NL pennant for the first time in 29 years, their last one in 1988.

This was the first time in history that the NLCS and ALCS teams were from the four most populous U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.For the first time, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; this NLCS was sponsored by Camping World and was officially known as the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World.The Dodgers would go on to lose to the Houston Astros in the World Series in seven games.

2018 Chicago Cubs season

The 2018 Chicago Cubs season was the 147th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 143rd in the National League and the Cubs' 103rd season at Wrigley Field. The Cubs were managed by Joe Maddon, in his fourth year as Cubs manager, and played their home games at Wrigley Field as members of Major League Baseball's National League Central Division.

The Cubs began the season March 29 at the Miami Marlins and finished the season on September 30 against the St. Louis Cardinals. On September 26, the Cubs clinched a trip to the postseason for the fourth year in a row, marking the longest streak in franchise history. The Cubs finished the 162-game schedule 95–67, earning a tie with the Milwaukee Brewers for the division. They lost to the Brewers in a 163rd game to determine the Central Division champions, failing in their quest to win the division for a third consecutive year. Instead, they hosted the Wild Card Game against the Colorado Rockies, but the Cubs lost 2–1 in 13 innings.

It was the second of the last for team broadcasts on long time FTA broadcaster WGN-TV, the 2018-19 offseason was when it was announced that effective Opening Day 2020, the Cubs will be moving to a brand new regional cable TV channel, making them the 4th team overall to have their own cable station, officially ending a 7-decade long presence there. WLS-TV, the team's secondary over the air broadcaster, will soon take over the free to air broadcasts of Cubs games from that year on.

2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 89th Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The game was hosted by the Washington Nationals and was played at Nationals Park on July 17, 2018. It was televised nationally by Fox. The American League beat the National League 8–6, in 10 innings.

The host city was announced on April 6, 2015, by Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred; it was the fifth All-Star Game in Washington, D.C., and the first since 1969, when the second Washington Senators hosted. It was also the first time that the Nationals had hosted the All-Star Game, and the first time that the Nationals franchise had hosted it since 1982, when the franchise played as the Montreal Expos.

The two leagues came into the game with identical 43–43–2 records and both had scored exactly 361 runs each in All-Star Game history. The game also broke a home run record, as ten home runs were hit in the game; the previous record being six. All but one run was scored by way of a home run. This is the second consecutive game the AL has won in the 10th inning.

The national rating for the game was 5.2, down from 6.5 in 2017.

2018 National League Wild Card Game

The 2018 National League Wild Card Game was a play-in game during Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2018 postseason between the National League's two wild card teams, the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs earned home field advantage by virtue of having a better regular season record. The game occurred on October 2, 2018, with the Rockies victorious by a score of 2–1 in 13 innings—the longest winner-take-all game in MLB postseason history. The Rockies advanced to face the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Division Series.

For sponsorship reasons with Hankook Tire the game was formally known as the National League Wild Card Game presented by Hankook Tire.

2019 Chicago Cubs season

The 2019 Chicago Cubs season is the 148th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 144th in the National League and the Cubs' 104th season at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are managed by Joe Maddon, in his fifth year as Cubs manager, and play their home games at Wrigley Field as members of Major League Baseball's National League Central Division.

The Cubs began their season at the Texas Rangers on March 28 and will end their season at the St. Louis Cardinals on September 29.

Baez

Báez or Baez is a surname of Hispanic origin meaning "son of Pelayo" (Peláez > Páez > Báez). As of 2008, it was the 20th most popular surname in Paraguay.

Chicago Cubs award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Chicago Cubs professional baseball team.

Cristian Báez

Cristian Javier Báez (born 9 April 1990) is a Paraguayan professional footballer who plays as a defender for Argentine Primera División side Godoy Cruz.

El Mago

El Mago (Spanish for "the magician") or Mago is a nickname given to:

Pablo Aimar (born 1979), Argentine retired footballer

Guido Alvarenga (born 1970), Paraguayan former footballer

Thiago Alcântara (born 1991), Spanish-Brazilian football player

Javier Báez (born 1992), Puerto Rican Major League Baseball player

Héctor Blondet (1947–2006), Puerto Rican basketball player

Alberto Pedro Cabrera (1945-2000), Argentine basketball player

Rubén Capria (born 1970), Argentine retired footballer

Guillermo Coria (born 1982), Argentine tennis player

Alcides Escobar (born 1986), Venezuelan Major League Baseball player

Walter Gaitán (born 1977), Argentine retired footballer

Enrique García (1912-1969), Argentine footballer

Mágico González (born 1958), Salvadoran retired footballer

Juan Martín Hernández (born 1982), Argentine rugby union player

Miguel Ángel Loayza (born 1940), Peruvian former footballer

Sergio Markarián (born 1944), Uruguayan football coach

Juan Mata (born 1988), Spanish footballer

Alejandro Sabella (born 1954), Argentine football manager and former player

Franklin Salas (born 1981), Ecuadorian footballer

Pedro Septién (1916-2013), Mexican sports broadcaster

Sam Shepherd (basketball) (born 1953), American-born Venezuelan former basketball player

David Silva (born 1986), Spanish and Manchester City footballer

Vassilios Tsiartas (born 1972), Greek retired footballer

Jorge Valdivia (born 1983), Chilean footballer

Fielding Bible Award

A Fielding Bible Award recognizes the best defensive player for each fielding position in Major League Baseball (MLB) based on statistical analysis. John Dewan and Baseball Info Solutions conduct the annual selection process, which commenced in 2006. The awards are voted on by 10 sabermetrically inclined journalists and bloggers including Dewan, sabermetric pioneer Bill James, and writers such as Peter Gammons, NBC Sports' Joe Posnanski, SB Nation editor Rob Neyer, and ESPN analyst Doug Glanville. The awards have historically been announced before the Gold Glove Awards, the traditional measurement of fielding excellence. Dewan wrote that this award cannot equal the prestige of the Gold Glove, which started 50 years earlier, but it provides an alternative.

League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award

The League Championship Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is given in each of the two annual League Championship Series, for the American and National Leagues, to the player deemed to have the most impact on his team's performance. The award has been presented in the National League since 1977, and in the American League since 1980. Dusty Baker won the inaugural award in 1977 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Frank White won the first American League award in 1980 with the Kansas City Royals. The eight Hall of Famers to win LCS MVPs include Roberto Alomar, George Brett, Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson, Kirby Puckett, Ozzie Smith, Willie Stargell, and John Smoltz.

Three players have won the award twice: Steve Garvey (1978, 1984), Dave Stewart (1990, 1993), and Orel Hershiser (1988, 1995). Incidentally, all three of these players won their two awards with two different teams. Seven players have gone on to win the World Series MVP Award in the same season in which they won the LCS MVP—all of them in the National League. Three players have won while playing for the losing team in the series: Fred Lynn played for the 1982 California Angels; Mike Scott pitched for the 1986 Houston Astros; and Jeffrey Leonard played for the 1987 San Francisco Giants. Two players have shared the award in the same year three times, all in the National League; Rob Dibble and Randy Myers for the 1990 Cincinnati Reds, the Chicago Cubs' Jon Lester and Javier Báez in 2016, and Chris Taylor and Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017.

Garvey, Leonard, and Albert Pujols hit four home runs in their winning series—Garvey in his first win. Adam Kennedy won the 2002 ALCS MVP for hitting 3 home runs in 5 games; he had hit 7 during the regular season and hit 80 in his 14-year career. David Ortiz had 11 runs batted in (RBI) during the 2004 ALCS and Iván Rodríguez had 10 during the 2003 NLCS—the only two players to reach double-digit RBI in the series in the history of the award. From the pitcher's mound, Steve Avery threw 16​1⁄3 innings without giving up a run in the 1991 NLCS, and John Smoltz amassed 19 strikeouts the following year. Liván Hernández won the 1997 NLCS MVP after winning his only start and earning a win out of the bullpen in relief; he struck out 16 in 10​2⁄3 innings. Daniel Murphy won the 2015 NLCS MVP after hitting home runs in six consecutive games, setting a major league record.Liván Hernández (1997, NL) and his half-brother Orlando Hernández (1999, AL) are the only family pair to have won the award. The only rookies to have won the award are Mike Boddicker (1983, AL), Liván Hernández, and Michael Wacha (2013, NL).

List of Chicago Cubs first-round draft picks

The Chicago Cubs are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Chicago, Illinois. They play in the National League Central division. Since the institution of MLB's Rule 4 Draft, the Cubs have selected 60 players in the first round. Officially known as the "First-Year Player Draft", the Rule 4 Draft is MLB's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. In addition, teams which lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded compensatory or supplementary picks.Of the 60 players picked in the first round by the Cubs, 30 have been pitchers, the most of any position; 24 of these were right-handed, while 6 were left-handed. Sixteen players picked in the initial round were outfielders, while eight shortstops, two catchers, and one player each at first base, second base, and third base were also taken. The Cubs drafted 25 players out of high school, and 32 out of college. Chicago has drafted eleven players from high schools or colleges in the state of California, with six more coming from Texas and five from Indiana. The Cubs have also taken three players from their home state of Illinois.The Cubs' most recent World Series championship, in 2016, was the team's first in 108 years. Four of the Cubs' first-round draft picks—Javier Báez (2011), Albert Almora (2012), Kris Bryant (2013), and Kyle Schwarber (2014)—were on the 2016 World Series roster. No pick has been elected to the Hall of Fame. Bryant is the Cubs' only first-round pick to be named Most Valuable Player in either the National or American League, winning NL honors in 2016. He is also one of two picks to have been named NL Rookie of the Year with the Cubs, receiving this award in 2015; the other is Kerry Wood, selected in 1995 and named Rookie of the Year in 1998. One pick—1985 selection Rafael Palmeiro—is a member of both the 3,000 hit club and the 500 home run club. The Cubs have held the first overall pick in the draft only once, in 1982, when they selected Shawon Dunston.The Cubs have received 13 compensatory picks, including nine selections made in the supplemental round of the draft since the institution of the First-Year Player Draft in 1965. These additional picks are provided when a team loses a particularly valuable free agent in the previous off-season, or, more recently, if a team fails to sign a draft pick from the previous year. As the Cubs have signed all of their first-round picks, they have never been awarded a supplementary pick under this provision.

Chicago Cubs current roster
Active roster
Inactive roster
Injured list
Restricted list
Coaching staff

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