This article is part of our The Z Files series.
Earlier in the week, when looking to kill a little time and engage some Twitter followers, I sent out the top 50 fantasy hitters to date in each league. It wasn't intended to be educational, mostly just to have a little fun. However, in the course of generating the numbers and seeing replies, a few things caught my attention.
Javier Baez is good
Yeah, I knew Baez was having a solid season, I just wasn't aware how well relative to the field he's been playing. It caught me off guard that Baez is the Senior Circuit's top fantasy batter so far. The crazy part is he's doing it while still being subject to Joe Maddon's whimsical managerial style, playing less than other top-tier hitters. While Baez has appeared in 92 of the Cubs 94 games to date (including Thursday night), with that extra game he's only 79th overall in terms of plate appearances.
Baez is pacing to set career highs across the boards, which may not appear to be saying much since this is just his third full season and, as suggested above, he hasn't been an everyday player. However, the 25-year-old has a chance of matching or besting his marks in homers, steals and RBI by the end of the month.
Of all the numbers, the one that caught my eye the most was his 72 RBI. He's been hitting cleanup lately, which helps, but leading the National League while lagging in plate appearances is usually an indication of