Brothers from Likely a Different Mother: Baez and Walters

While the author has referenced the birth records neither of Cubs infielder Javier Baez nor Cleveland infielder-outfielder Zach Walters for the purposes of composing this brief post, circumstantial evidence — like how they were born in different countries and also exhibit little physical resemblance — circumstantial evidence suggests that they are not brothers.

What they’ve demonstrated in terms of baseball performance, however, invites comparison. Both have shown considerable power. Both have also exhibited a proclivity for striking out. Overall, their collected offensive skills have produced slightly above-average batting lines in a limited sample.

Indeed, among all batters to have recorded 50-plus plate appearances this season, here’s a list of all the ones to have produced an isolated power greater than .250, a strikeout rate above 30%, and simultaneously a wRC+ of 100-plus:

Name Team PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG ISO wRC+ Off Def WAR
Chris Carter Astros 433 7.9% 31.4% .230 .298 .514 .284 126 11.4 -12.5 1.4
Javier Baez Cubs 68 4.4% 36.8% .231 .265 .492 .262 107 1.1 0.7 0.4
Zach Walters 75 8.0% 36.0% .203 .267 .478 .275 108 0.7 -0.4 0.3

Three players, is how many that is: Baez, Walters, and Houston’s Chris Carter. If the former two are brothers from a different mother, then Carter is the issue of a third mother still — a mother who, for all her probably many virtues, doesn’t offer much in the way of defensive value.

Baez and Walters, meanwhile, have both recorded major-leagues innings at shortstop this season. Yes, the former has played more second base; the latter, a number of other positions. That an organization has considered deploying them towards that end of the defensive spectrum, is the point.

None of this is to suggest that Baez and Walters will certainly become the same player. The former’s superior pedigree and younger youth suggest the possibility of a higher peak. That the pair have been mostly indiscernible in the very earliest parts of their major-league careers appears to be a factual thing, though.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

10 Responses to “Brothers from Likely a Different Mother: Baez and Walters”

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  1. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    “a mother who, for all her probably many virtues, doesn’t offer much in the way of defensive value”

    I will offer a prize of one (1) internet to the reader who can come up with the best your-mother joke based on the above-excerpted sentence.

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  2. KrisG says:

    What a silly comparison. That’s like saying Cistulli and Enver Pasha are brothers from a different mother because they both had moustaches.

    It’s not like they exhibited similar qualities.

    It’s not like they both “relocated” an entire demographic.

    It’s not like you see This Photo and notice a striking resemblance.

    …Right? Silly comparison.

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  3. Paul Swydan says:

    Pretty disappointed that this post wasn’t about Hunter and Rex Brothers.

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  4. lutz says:

    MOST of Walters’ PA have come as a PH, and therefore suffer the PH handicap. Correcting for the handicap to any degree would actually make his offensive line better than Baez’.

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