Javier Baez becomes the latest Cubs player to strip down for cover photos of ESPN’s annual body issue. The young Cubs star bared (almost) all in the upcoming issue of the magazine, one of several covers slated to hit newsstands next month.
The World Series champ had quite a year, but he told the publication he almost let the pressure get the best of him.
“In the World Series, all the noise, the motivation, the feelings you get on that field -- and the whole world is watching you.
That got to me,” he said. “When I went out to Game 1 in Cleveland, there was so much noise, I really felt smaller.”
But he credited his strong mentality with overcoming the grief of losing his father and great-grandmother in the same week, losing his 21-year-old sister to spina bifida in 2015, and experiencing tough situations while living in Puerto Rico.
“I'm strong as well because I've seen all the things my sister, Noely, has gone through,” he said. “But for me, my sister was never a crippled person. The only thing she didn't do throughout her life was walk. She is my biggest inspiration.”
He also revealed something almost no one knows about him – he’s a lefty.
“I can switch-hit, but I'm naturally a lefty,” he said. “I eat left-handed. I write with my left hand. I do practically everything with my left hand. That's why catching the ball is super easy for me.”
And it’s that ability to use both hands that he credits with his ability to tag.
Baez noted that his favorite position is center field and also second base.
The ninth annual body issue is set to launch online July 5 and will be available in newsstands July 7.