Javier Baez promoted to Daytona

The speculation about when and if Javier Baez would be promoted is over.  He's going to Daytona.

There's no question that Baez had little trouble with Midwest League pitching.  He has the quick hands and the bat speed to adjust to anything those pitchers could throw out there.  And lord help them if they made a mistake in the zone, as they did twice in two days when I attended games in Kane County (see picture).

As we've mentioned many times, you don't have to be a scout to know who the best player on the field is when you would watch a Peoria Chiefs game.  I didn't see him play against other top prospects Miguel Sano and Francisco Lindor, but one scout told me that he was a better hitter than Sano and that he had surpassed Lindor, in his opinion.  Those three players were the best in the Midwest League this season.

Baez ends the year with these incredible statistics in 235 PAs: (see stats glossary for definition on advanced stats)

Average: .333

OBP: 386

Slugging: .596

OPS: .979

HRs 12

SBs: 20 in 23 attempts

ISO: .263

wOBA: .447

RC+ 179

Baez now takes on the challenge of the Florida State League  It's a well-documented pitcher's league with big ballparks, though Baez can hit it out of any part of any baseball park.  One has to also wonder what this means for breakout prospect Arismendy Alcantara.  He's been on the DL with an unspecified leg injury and this either means he is out for the rest of the season or the Cubs have more promotions coming.  It's also possible the Cubs will simply rotate all the players, but with potentially 4 top 20 prospects in that Daytona infield alone (Baez, Alcantara, Christian Villanueva, and Roni Torreyes), it seems that it would be difficult to find enough playing time for all of them.  They all need to play regularly and they should all get a lot of reps in the field (not DH).

But the Cubs will have to worry about that later.  Right now they need to make sure that their top prospect has every chance to progress and develop against advanced competition.

My only regret?  I won't be able to see Javier Baez play live this season.  But at this pace, it won't be long before we'll all get the chance to see the 19 year old budding star live and in person.

Right here in Chicago.

Filed under: prospects

Tags: Javier Baez


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  • fb_avatar

    Is Baez young to be playing at high A?? And I hope he does well here..

  • In reply to Colman Conneely:

    Talent trumps age. He's too good for the MWL. He needs pitchers that are going to make it tougher on him on a day to day basis.

  • Thanks to AJ Walsh, I have a much better understanding of ISO. And .263 ISO is absolutely insane. Is it not?

    I think it's OK to get really excited about a player that has been promoted twice by an organization that is very, very meticulous about who it promotes.

    Good times.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I have a simple definition in my glossary, but may be I need to make it more clear. Anyway, for reference that pct. would rank 10th in baseball this year, just above rookie Mike Trout. Highest last year for the Cubs was Carlos Pena at .237, this year it's Soriano at .224

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    John, who do you think moves to Tenn.? There's no real ss prospect in AA that I can see. Alcantara isn't ready is he? Interesting to see what they do and I kind of expect to see Vitters when they return home next week (thanks in part to Valbuena's slump).

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    In reply to AdolphoPhillips66:

    Tim Saunders moved to Peoria. So, they don't need to put anyone in Tennessee. If Alcantara hadn't gotten hurt, I could see them playing musical chairs with Vitters to the majors, Lake to Iowa, and Alcantara to Tennessee.

  • In reply to AdolphoPhillips66:

    Alcantara is on the DL and not sure how serious the injury is. There may still be some movement, but I think for now, this was all about Baez and what's best for this development.

  • I like this move. The kid has crushed the Midwest League and what he needs more than anything else is a challenge. Something he can work on in the offseason. I'd like for him to work on pitch selection and shortening his swing with two strikes.

  • In reply to Taft:

    Me too. Wasn't sure if they'd do it, but I'm glad they did.

  • We have such a cluster of third base prospects, which is where I assume Baez will land at the bigs, I don't know what we're going to do with all of them. Castro keeps developing power, we could move him to third and Baez could keep playing short I guess. But then there's still Vitters, Villanueva, Candelario. What's going to happen there, convert them to OF positions? Trade them off for equal talent in positions we need filled?

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    That will be a great problem to have if guys continue to develop and a) actually push each other and b) give the FO the flexibility to move guys to other positions or use them as trade bait.

    There aren't a lot of great young 3B in the game today so they could be a premium in a few years when these guys may be ready for the big show.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Ned Colletti is willing to help us with this problem. He'll give us Chris Capuano for Castro or Baez. And we'd better take the deal or else he's gonna tell Jayson Stark that our front office is being too demanding.

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    In reply to Taft:

    Ha! Giants are my second fav team and now I have extra motivation in seeing the Dodgers go down. The arrogance they showed at the deadline puts them alongside Boston as my two teams to root against.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Castro is the better defender though and Baez will probably hit more HRs than Castro. They're both filling out. It'll probably be Baez at 3B and Castro at SS for now.

    Depth is always a good thing. We don't know how many of these guys will actually turn out. Hopefully we'll have that problem.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    My gut is screaming that Theo intends to unload Castro for pitching. But, I would be more than willing to admit I could be very wrong there.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I can say that's not on the agenda now... Too much value as long as he stays at SS and has years of cost control, hard to get a fair return because it would cost the opposing team too much. Maybe things change down the road.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think Alcantara will be the SS of the future for the Cubs.

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    Very exciting news! Disappointed to find out the DCubs aren't coming down to Ft Myers for the rest of the year though. I guess I'll have to make the trip up to Lakeland or Clearwater. Well worth it to see this infield play!

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    Definitely worth the trip. Glad we drove 2 1/2 hours to Peoria to catch him one last time earlier this year.

  • Hey John. It seems to me that the Cubs have an overload of very talented infield prospects. Do you see in the near future some of these prospects being traded for upper echelon pitching talent?

  • In reply to D Rose Kinz:

    Yes. And keep in mind that they won't all turn out. The Cubs will have to decide which players they think will make it and have the biggest impact. Right now, it's a nice luxury to have this kind of depth.

  • well hendry got a lot of hate for drafting beaz but this is one person that i think he did well on

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    I liked the Baez pick, even at the time. It was more of a high risk/high reward pick but so far it has paid off.

    It was also the first real draft that Tim Wilken was allowed to pick everyone he wanted regardless of signability.

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    In reply to kingpro98:

    Who was upset with the Baez pick? I don't think I've seen one negative review of Baez since the pick was made.

    (The pick was far more Tim Wilken than Jim Hendry, though.)

  • people are starting to say castro will move to third base but i want to keep him at third for the people in the farm system that could be thrid bsemen what do you think abuot it john

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    Castro will stay at SS. Baez can probably play it at the MLB level, but Castro is an excellent defensive SS this year. No way they move him.

  • Three years ago I traveled half way accross the country to see Castro only to have him promoted to Wrigley before the date of my ticket. My son and have tickets for the chiefs tomorrow.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Man, that's some pretty bad timing! Wish I could tell you there was another future star at Peoria but right now I don't see one. A lot of good role players, Geiger has been hitting well, but nobody is at Baez's level on that team.

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    John, any chance we see Villanueva getting some starts at second base any time soon?

  • john so what are the daytona cubs infield looking like now? and has lake gone to third havent heard a lot about him is he going to be a utility guy at mlb if he makes it?

  • is roni going to give barney a run for his money in a couple of years?

  • fb_avatar

    Listening in on the game. Baez is really struggling -- which I think is a good thing. He's 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts, the strikeouts are on 6 pitches. He's apparently swinging for the fences on every pitch and the pitchers are just throwing him non-stop off-speed stuff and making him look awful. Time for him to learn how to adjust his approach and wait for his pitch.

    The big 3 infield prospects, by the way, are a combined 0-for-8 with 4 strikeouts. Hopefully that doesn't last long.

  • He is pressing and most likely going to be fine. He needs to relax and stop swinging so hard.

  • I am so disappointed that they couldn't wait another couple of weeks on this move, as I was finally going to be free to see the Chiefs play in Beloit over the next couple of weeks. I am planning on going to most of the games in Beloit, mainly to watch Baez, now to just see the whole team.

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