The Cubs and White Sox have both endured disappointing starts to this season. The North Siders are 6-7 and near the basement in the National League Central. Similarly, the White Sox are 4-8 and destined to suffer another lowly campaign on the diamond. Despite such poor starts, second baseman Javier Báez has shined for the Cubs and designated hitter Matt Davidson continues to produce on the South Side.
This week’s selections are based on performances between April 4 and April 13.
Kris Bryant is batting a team-leading .333 with 17 hits and an on-base percentage of .469. Still, the 25-year-old Báez outperformed Bryant this week and, in spite of his hideous .190 batting average, tops the Cubs with four home runs and 10 RBI. Báez especially starred in Chicago’s 13-5 victory over the Pirates on April 11. In that game, Báez launched two dingers and recorded four RBI.
“I’ve been working on focusing on just me and the pitcher out there,” Báez said, who was drafted ninth overall in 2011 and earned 2016 NLCS MVP honors.
“Forget about the whole field, everything really. Launch angle. The miles off the bat, all this stuff, I was hitting with all this stuff. I clear my mind and it’s all about compete. So that’s how I’ve been taking it.”
Although he sits in the dugout between innings, Matt Davidson has been a force at the plate. The 27-year-old Davidson has compiled a team-leading five homers and 10 RBI in 11 games. Davidson’s two-run round-tripper to center in the eighth inning on Wednesday gave the White Sox a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“It was huge,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “We’ve been trying to get that tying or potential winning run across the plate here for quite a few days.”
Without Davidson, the White Sox would likely be 3-7 and tied with the Kansas City Royals for futility in the American League Central.