Detroit Tigers Javier Báez Defense Comp: José Iglesias
José Iglesias has been responsible for some of the most flashy and spectacular defensive plays in baseball over the last decade, so this might feel like an unfair comparison. And by traditional defensive measurements it might be, with Iglesias owning a career .982 fielding percentage at shortstop compared to Javier Báez’s .965 mark.
But Báez is the one with a Gold Glove on his shelf, and by some advanced defensive metrics he grades out significantly better than Iglesias:
Defensive stats are strange. Báez and Iglesias both pass the eye test thanks to lightning-quick hands and strong gloves. Báez shows more range, which fans probably won’t notice, but also leads all of baseball over the last three seasons with 31 throwing errors at shortstop. Fans will definitely notice that.
Just as with his trips to the plate, Javier Báez promises to be a bit of an adventure in the field. But so far in his career the good has far outweighed the bad, and the Detroit Tigers are banking on that remaining the case for the foreseeable future.