Comparing Javier Báez to other Detroit Tigers

Shortstop Javier Baez smiles after hitting a home run. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Shortstop Javier Baez smiles after hitting a home run. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers Javier Báez Power Comp: J.D. Martinez

J.D. Martinez bats against the Kansas City Royals. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
J.D. Martinez bats against the Kansas City Royals. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

We’ll get this out of the way up front: J.D. Martinez is a better pure hitter than Javier Báez. He has a better approach and better pure contact skills, and that has led to more production.

But in terms of raw power, Báez doesn’t have many peers in recent Tigers history. There have been 27 different players to hit a home run at least 480 feet since Statcast began tracking them in 2015. Martinez isn’t one of them, but Báez is.

How about exit velocity? There are 36 players who have hit at least two balls 116 MPH or harder since 2015, and Javier Báez is one of them. J.D. Martinez isn’t. He has only done it once.

Truth be told, this is another category where Jonathan Schoop is probably the best comparison. He and Báez both have three career home runs of 460+ feet, and they’ve both hit two balls at least 116 MPH. Avisaíl García, Nomar Mazara, and Justin Upton also have comparable raw power to Báez, but J.D. Martinez is the one who best exemplifies the sort of power we’re talking about here.

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