Scouts have been telling us for awhile that Javier Baez has insane bat speed. Violent bat speed. Bat speed that keeps pitchers from being able to sleep at night. Bat speed that changes the world. The name always being brought up as an example of such bat speed is Gary Sheffield.
Just to see what would happen, a Redditor put together this GIF comparing Gary Sheffield’s swing with Javier Baez’s swing and…it turns out, Javy Baez looks a lot like Gary Sheffield when he swings.
Baez doesn’t have as much of a bat-rock when he sets up but everything else looks practically the same. Baez buggy whips the bat through the hitting zone like Sheffield, and the ball jumps off his bat just like it used to jump off Sheffield’s bat.
None of this guarantees that Baez will be as great a hitter as Sheffield of course. Pitchers will adjust to Baez and then Baez will have to adjust back. What separates a guy like Sheffield from a guy who just looks like Sheffield is the mental part of the game.
If Baez has the discipline and adjustment ability of a Sheffield, he will be able to put up Sheffield-like numbers over the long-haul. Right now, he just looks like a freakish sci-fi clone of Sheffield. I wish he’d start rocking the bat like Sheffield. So intimidating.