Javy Báez's current impressive streak is being ignored by Tigers fans as poor play continues

Javier Báez might be an easy out for opposing pitchers, but he's still proving to be a threat when he can get on base.
Detroit Tigers v Pittsburgh Pirates
Detroit Tigers v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

We all know that Javier Báez is a lost cause offensively. With two years down on his contract with the Detroit Tigers and four (including this season) left to go, we've all unfortunately had to shrug our shoulders and expect that the result of most of his plate appearances will be an out, one way or the other. To say it's a bummer is an understatement, and it certainly wasn't what he was signed to do, but at this point, with Báez already 31, a potential comeback seems almost impossible.

However, there are still reasons to enjoy watching him play that we might tend to overlook because of the offensive woes. Last year, he was still a plus defender and baserunner, and on during the Tigers' latest series against the Pirates, he reminded us of both. On Tuesday, he made a fantastic diving play at short to throw out Jared Triolo at first and keep the Pirates from threatening (for the time being) in a 1-1 game. On Monday, he stole his third base of the season.

Following the series, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News shared an interesting stat: according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Báez holds the longest successful stolen base streak of any Tiger since 2016, with 16 (subscription required).

Despite real offensive struggles, Javier Báez is still contributing to the Tigers in his own ways

Báez isn't the same baserunner he was when he was at his peak with the Cubs, but he still isn't a slouch, either. Last year, he was still in Baseball Savant's 71st percentile of all baserunners, and his OAA was still elite in the 95th percentile. His successful stolen base streak reaches back to 2022, with his last stolen bag of that season, extends through 12 bags last year, and ends (for now) at his most recent one against the Pirates.

Given that he's already stolen 1/4 of all of the bases he took last year, it seems like he's ready to be bold on the base paths. The problem is getting on base, something Báez is clearly not the best at doing, but it's still reassuring to know that he's willing to be aggressive when he does make it to first. If he could just finally start laying off of those sliders and sinkers a little more and be willing to take more strolls to first, he could really be in business.