After going 0-5 with three strikeouts, Baez stepped to the plate in the 12th inning and launched an opposite field home run, which proved to be the game-winner for Chicago. The hit looked very similar to the blast he hit during the Futures Game a few weeks ago, and showcased the prodigious power that Baez possesses.
The thing that makes Baez special is that he has one of the hardest and fastest swings of any player around. His bat flies through the zone in a hurry, and any contact made has the potential of landing 400 feet away. A great analogy made by the broadcasters is that he uses the driver on every swing, and leaves the iron in the bag. His cuts are electric.
For Cubs fans, tonight’s game had a special feeling to it. Not only was it the debut of one of the team’s prized prospects, but to see Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro hit back-to-back-to-back gives them that long overdue feeling that something is brewing in Chicago. It is only one game, but Baez has the ability to be the Cubs’ version of Yasiel Puig in Los Angeles, or even Jose Abreu also in Chicago.
Beyond the rookie’s debut, the Cubs are actually playing well as a whole. They have won six of their last eight games, won a series against the loaded Los Angeles Dodgers, and are building some morale in the process. Playing well these last two months will be important for as the team will look to build momentum for next season. A good stretch run would be the polar opposite of how the team ended the 2013 campaign.
But for right now, the buzz is all about Baez. Fittingly, he also was involved in the final putout of the game as well. He will be the spark that the Cubs need in these final two months, and should provide tons of excitement along the way. Everyone else should just jump along for the ride.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.
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