He is likely Puerto Rico’s next rising star. Javier Báez, the second baseman for the Chicago Cubs who hit nine homers and drove in 20 runs in 52 games, spoke to Metro about his preparation for the season.
How has playing in Puerto Rico gotten you ready for spring training?
Honestly, I believe it’s going to help me in a lot of ways. I’ve been able to find the solution to plenty of doubt I’ve had.
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How would you describe your brief time in the Major Leagues with the Cubs?
After being there for a month and a half, I took it as a good experience and I learned how things work up there.
What’s been the adjustment to second base like, after coming up as a shortstop?
To me, second base is the same as shortstop. The difference is that it’s a different angle and a shorter throw to first.
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Your team, the Chicago Cubs, have been busy this offseason. They made a lot of moves to improve. What do you think of all the acquisitions they’ve made?
They signed a lot of veterans and now we look forward to spring training to learn more about them as the season goes on.
They also signed the big lefty Jon Lester to be your ace. Tell me your opinion on him leading the rotation.
Well, you know that he’s a veteran who knows how to pitch and dominate a lot of hitters. We’ll see how he is this year. Hopefully, he’ll be good for us.
What aspect of your game have you worked on to improve this offseason?
All the work I’ve done has been centered around my swing. I had to improve my pitch selection. I was swinging at pitches out of the strike zone and I focused more on that.
How much does it help your focus for the season by playing in a playoff situation in Puerto Rico?
It’s about the pressure and how much we have in Puerto Rico. We have to try to win and giving the best. It’s important we know that as a team. Wherever I play, I’ll play hard.