First of all, calm down, “in the MVP conversation” is a lot different than “MVP contender”.
There’s a lot of conflicting opinions about Javier Baez throughout the MLB, and even in this city. Haters think he’s too flashy, overrated, pimps home runs when he shouldn’t, yada yada. But it’s finally come to a point where you can’t deny the product that Javy is putting on the field day in and day out. .285 batting average, almost 30 points higher than his career average. 10 home runs in 32 games, putting him on pace for 50 home runs in 2018 (Baez had 47 career home runs entering the 2018 season). Seems a little far fetched, but hey, why not? 32 RBI in 32 games, MLB leader, putting him on pace for a clean 162.
We’ve seen Javy heat up before, but not like this. Now don’t get ahead of yourself, I don’t think Javy is gonna bat .285 with 50 HRs and 162 RBI, that’s lunacy. But with a guy entering the 2018 season with a lot of questions marks around him, with the emergence of 2017 Ian Happ and old man Zobrist stealing at bats lingering, it’s clear that Javy has declared the second base position his to lose. He’s become a top of the order guy you can count on, working great ABs, striking out less. The offseason hiring of Chili Davis is most evident in #9, spraying balls all over the field, getting comfortable with the right center gap. He could use some work in the field, but so can all these Cubs right now. You name something you want to see in a young player, he’s got it.
Bottom line, I don’t think it’s crazy to think Javier Baez will finish above Anthony Rizzo in MVP voting in 2018, and might even grab a #5 spot, a sentence I’ve always wanted to say but never really thought I would.