In his much-anticipated Major League series debut against the Colorado Rockies, Javier Baez smacked three home runs and five RBI, including a walk-off HR on Tuesday. The excitement on the North Side is just beginning, and Cubs executive vice president/general manager Jed Hoyer is one of them.
"It's been fun to watch. As I've always said, he's one of those guys you're not gonna get up and go to the bathroom or look away when he's hitting," Hoyer said on Kap & Haugh. "There'll be some strikeouts, there'll be some bad at-bats, but he's a special talent. The ball comes off his bat different than all but a handful of guys in the game, and obviously it was a great three games for him in Colorado."
Although he recorded the game-winning HR in his debut, the 21-year-old second baseman went 0-for-5 in his first five at-bats, including three strikeouts. But Hoyer knows Baez, who makes his Wrigley Field debut Friday, is the type of player who won't get down on himself for it.
"I think the biggest thing with Javy is that he's very confident. They way he plays is the way he plays," Hoyer said. "I think he'll learn to tone things down a little bit as he matures ... but I give him credit. Obviously, the first night he hit the homer, but the first five plate appearances were a little bit of a struggle and I think he doesn't lose his confidence and hopefully he'll keep that."
In the first three games, Baez has been slotted in at the No. 2 spot of the lineup. And Hoyer anticipates the 21-year-old second baseman to hover near the top throughout the year.
"We are pretty right-handed as a lineup and we'll have to figure out who hits where ... but I think he'll hit at the top of the lineup and do damage," Hoyer said. "I was taught hit your best hitters the most often and get them at the top of the order and I think that's what we've been doing."
You can check out Hoyer's full comments in the video above.