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Five free-swinging MLB hitters who’ve been successful this season

Aug 4, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Javier Baez (9) hits a single during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Javier Baez, 2B/SS, Chicago Cubs

This tweet about Baez is from earlier in the week, but it accurately describes just how good he’s been.

Nobody is swinging the bat more often than Baez, as his 60.8% swing rate leads all qualified hitters. However, it’s important to note that only two others (Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies) have offered at more pitches in the strike zone.

Baez is doing that at an 80.4% clip, which continues what will be a three-year upward trend by the end of September (67.9% in ’16, 72.6% in ’17), along with his hard-hit rate (29.1% in ’16, 32.4% in ’17, 39.4% in ’18). It doesn’t hurt that his 83.0% contact rate in this situation is flirting with career-high marks, too.

This is setting him up to finish the year with a wRC+ above 98 for the first time as a major leaguer. And with that number currently sitting at 139, he’s on pace to crush it.

About Matt Musico

I love baseball and talking about baseball. My work has appeared on sites such as Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, FanSided and FanDuel Insider.

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