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Javier Baez and prospect hype

Javier Baez and prospect hype

In the coming weeks as Javier Baez continues to punish baseballs with authority and regularity you will hear all sorts of things about who he is as a player. We've all heard this with other, previous players; local radio host Dan Bernstein has, in the past, gone down the list of baseball reference most similar lists for individual players to try and draw a rough sketch of who these players are. It's a rough tool, one whose precision is lacking but it gets the job done. You do get an idea of who certain guys are based on previous references and statistical outputs through similar ages at similar positions.

It's the comp game, and the comp game is very popular with fans. It plays itself out a lot on the fantasy side of things. The popular comp being thrown out there currently is that Billy Hamilton is nothing more than Dee Gordon in centerfield. There are more than a few issues with this. Sure, both Gordon and Hamilton are players who are reliant on the speed tool, have no power and maybe they both can't hit but there is no one quite like Billy Hamilton. We've never seen anyone with Hamilton's speed in baseball and perhaps the best comp you can throw out there for him is Vince Coleman and even then it's a rough comp.

I'm guilty of doing this, particularly when it comes to projecting out futures. Players are going to be themselves, for better or worse. They might seem similar to other players in the game's history but for the most part Javier Baez will grow up to be Javier Baez. Besides, the list of shortstops with 40 HR seasons is crazy short (Ernie Banks, Rico Petrocelli, and Alex Rodriguez).

To get back to Baez, there's going to be a debate regarding his call up and his readiness to take the biggest test in baseball. If Baez does keep hitting this spring fans will clamor even more for him to break camp with the team. It's not going to happen for a simple reason: the super 2 date. I personally hate the super 2 rule and how it affects call ups but it is standard operating procedure for every baseball organization to wait until after that date passes to call up a player and start his arbitration clock (as the link stated, the new CBA made that wait even longer). The same will be true when it comes to the Cubs and Javier Baez.

In a similar vein, when Baez does get called up I don't expect a linear progression towards a hall of fame career right out of the gate. I think Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have spoiled us to the point that we can't properly evaluate what a good rookie season is. I do expect Baez to make waves when he first gets called up but there will be a readjustment period where the league will get the scouting report on him and Baez will have to learn how to overcome that initial hurdle.

Baez will struggle but I think he has the talent to figure the league out and become a very exciting player. But just keep in mind that there will be growing pains.

Filed under: Projections, Rebuilding

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  • fb_avatar

    Well said!

  • I think Baez has shown he does struggle a bit with every promotion as the pitching gets better and craftier. He has also shown (every time so far) that he can adjust. I believe he can do that at the top level as well, but first we get to see how he adjusts to AAA.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    He's definitely going to have some struggles and continue to make adjustments. But the only time he struggled with a promotion was at Daytona. But in all fairness, he was focusing on his approach and that is known as a pitchers league. So some "struggles" should have been expected. Once he was promoted to TEN, he was among the league leaders in HR's within a month, even though they had a few months of games played ahead of his arrival.... Can't really say he struggled anytime except for the first 5-6 weeks of the season at Daytona last year. That was probably shocking to many because he was awesome in big league camp last year too.

  • If Baez busts out, the gnashing of teeth may be unlike anything we've ever seen in Chicago. The hype is greater than Corey Patterson and people know a lot more about top prospects than we did a decade ago.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    And the fan base has changed. The failures of '03, '04, '07, '08 and '09, and the official front office focus on building a Championship caliber roster at the expense of immediate .500 baseball would magnify the catastrophe for the fans if Baez misses.

  • so basically we have to wait until july for baez to come up because of the super 2 status?

  • In reply to cjordanh54:

    Even though that may upset many fans and even Javy himself. It would allow us to keep him cost controlled a lot longer, which is probably what's best for the team.

    I think the only time a GM would ignore that date is if there was pressure & expectations of winning now at all costs. As in "if we don't make the playoffs, you're fired" sense of urgency....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    You nailed it.

  • In reply to cjordanh54:

    Basically, July (late June, I believe) is the EARLIEST that we can hope for. There is a good chance that he doesn't see the majors until September.

  • That being said, if he has a good first half at Iowa, he should be brought up. Even though Castro was brought up "too early" he did well until the Cubs tried to change him into something that he was not.

    Being a long suffering Cubs fan, I understand and agree with the Cubs thinking not to rush players up, but each candidate should be moved along prudently. If Almora, for example, stays healthy and does well, he should end up at Tennessee this year and be ready next summer.

  • BP published their Optimist’s View on the 2016 Cubs…all they have to do is sign Scherzer and trade for Price. At least they are optimistic on the hitting prospects.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22976

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I fully agree that they should sign Scherzer. What does BP envision trading away for Price?

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Their plan involves trading Samardzija and Wood this summer for prospects. Then trading whoever loses out on the 3B job (Olt, Villanueva, Candelario) for other prospects since Tampa has 3B covered. Then using some combination of those newly aqcuired prospects, Vogelbach, and whoever else gets squeezed out to go after Price.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    they mentioned Voglesong; they mentioned involving another team to get value from our young 3B surplus; and they involved a prospect haul from trading Shark and T Wood

  • what is the exact date for Baez to pass Super 2 ?

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    There isn't an exact date set, but it's looking like July will be the date.

  • In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    makes sense 2 full yrs plus after being drafted so has to be after the draft date and after the date signed in 2011

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Bryan, the signing date and minor league time have nothing to do with it. What it refers to is major league service time. The top 17% (I could be slightly off on the %) of players with two years of service but less than three also be come arbitration eligible. Keeping a player down a little longer can keep him from reaching arbitration status a year too soon. But it's guess work, because it depends on when other teams call up their prospects as well and how long said prospect may stay on the big lg roster.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    And what is the penalty for going prior? Are we losing one year of control for three months in Chicago? I'd like to see the guys come up in a 'mini' wave that would limit pressure on one guy. There will be failures and it's how they adjust.

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    If brought up early the arb clock starts a year early and team loses full year control. I am not an advocate of bringing him up pre super 2 , but the day after he passes that date I want to see him in Chi if he is mashing in AAA . Olt I want to see at 3B opening day

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I agree, 3 months or so doesn't equal a year of control when we're still building. Now let's consider his peers like Bryant Alcantara, Almora and Soler. It's probably too much to ask to group some of these guys when they come up and to ignore Super 2 after 2014 (if we're doing well).

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    Does anyone know if Soler's situation is different? He signed a 9yr MLB guaranteed contract. Don't we have him for the contract duration, regardless of what level he plays?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Yes. they do but he does have the option to opt out and follow the arb route.

  • Good article... Sometimes we put ridiculous expectations on prospects and set ourselves up for disappointment when they don't match the expectations.

    Baez' style of play calls for a Soriano type of streaky hitter that sometimes makes you think he's overrated and some other times makes you think he's the best hitter in the world.

    I would be thrilled if Baez hits like Gary Sheffield at the MLB level, but I will set my bar a little lower and be OK if he could hit like Ian Desmond.

  • I understand the hype of baez and I think he could be a exciting player. But what concerns me is he going to be someone who can hit long homeruns but have really bad at bats in between . Yesterday he hit a homerun and everyone cheered and I get it but the first two at bats were bad.

  • DAT DERE JOAN BAEZ WOULD CRUSH 50 HOMERSSS WHY DON'T JED EPSTEENS PUT HIM AT SHORT OVER DAT BUM FIDEL CASTRO RIGHT NOW.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    That you, Bernstein?

  • In reply to Eddie:

    *Like*

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    YEAH GET RID OF THAT SPACE CADET CASTRO BRING UP BYRANT, BEZA AND SOLAR, ALSO GET RID OF THAT FATTY NO POWER CATCHER THAT WE HAVE AND BRING BACK HANK WHITE!!!

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    LOL!

  • fb_avatar

    Baez doesn't have the range to play short stop well at the major league level. I believe the middle of June would make them safe for super two but the Cubs could ignore the super two and call him up after April which gives them another year of control but starts the arb clock earlier. I see Baez moving to third and staying there. He could play second but then you risk injury on the double play pivots. Castro and Baez on the left side of the infield for the next 10 years works for me.

  • In reply to MightyBear:

    Renteria said this morning that Baez has been getting work at 2B and 3B and will see game action there soon. But the plan is still for him to play SS at Iowa this season.

  • In reply to MightyBear:

    I'm not sure why you dismiss his range at the 6 spot, because of all the scouting reports I've read don't even hint a that. Maybe you've seen him play more than most.

    You can get hurt playing anywhere on the baseball field, and Baez prefers being in the middle of the diamond. I'd rather see him at 2nd or short with Olt or Bryant at 3rd.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Agreed. I think he should have at least average range, which is more than acceptable considering his big bat. I am intrigued with putting that bat at 2B, especially considering the depth at 3B.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree, But john is it better to have castro who is slimmer at short ? I like baez at 2B , I'm just worried that if you put baez at short then that average range become below average as he grows because it does look like he has grown wider.

  • In reply to seankl:

    It's hard to say. I'd keep Castro at SS personally because I don't think Baez is enough of an upgrade (if he is one at all) to make the move worthwhile.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It was a thought I had from hearing jason parks say on radio last night that baez was a better shortstop than castro (which I disagree). Watching the two I would say castro is a little smoother in the field with better range. And I feel castro still have projection left as a fielder.

  • In reply to seankl:

    I've seen a ton of Javier and I think he can stay at SS. I don't think range will ever be an issue for him. Have you not seen any of his highlight reel plays? The kid's made for sportscenter. his biggest challenge, much like Castro, is consistency and making errors on the routine throws.

    People talk about his tree trunk legs, but if you saw his workouts you'd understand why. I have a friend who is a coach for a local HS and also works as a Personal Trainer and even he was in awe at Javier's off season workouts. We watched him run wind sprints wit ha parachute on for an hour straight. His total workout exceeded 7 hours. Believe me when I tell you this kids warm-ups would exceed most/all of our rigorous workouts. I don't think anyone could do that much lunging, squatting, jumping, running, etc and not have tree trunks for legs.

    A-Rod is listed at 6'3" and 225lbs. Javier's listed at 6'0" and 195lbs... he's got room to add more muscle and still stick at SS.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I agree the range has not been a problem before, but there's no doubt he's getting thicker, fast. He was bigger last year in Daytona than he was in 2012, and he's much bigger looking on tv in AZ.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    He has definitely filled out since the last time I saw him. I don't see him being a long term SS, though I think he's still quick enough to play it now.

  • Any major market team waiting for the super 2 date to pass to bring up a game-changing prospect is plain silly. The Cubs do -- and will always -- have the money to pay him any time they want. Especially in an era when teams are locking up young players to long-term contracts and buying out arbitration years anyway. I can understand the Rays managing players like this, but not the Cubs.

    That said, in the case of Baez, there are multiple reasons to test him at AAA... but I think it's better not pretend the super 2 date and money is the deciding factor here (as much as I'd like him to arrive at Wrigley, and soon).

  • In reply to IThrewSomeRocks:

    I agree with that stance that the super two shouldn't hinder his call up. If they're going to eventually pay him big it means little to nothing.

    This season is seemingly another lost one so I see no reason to have him up until September unless he's one of the very best producers in AAA. A knock of Castro is that he never got that extra development. Let's play it safe. He'd still get 100+ PA in Septemeber and the inside track for a 2015 starting gig.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    Yes, Jimmie and Rocks - I understand the 'cookie' analogy, and I too would like to see Baez pass his exam at AAA. But Super-Two should NEVER be in the Cubs vernacular. It is an insult.

    I am not saying Arguello is incorrect - he is merely reporting the thought process of the front office. And I am not in favor of rushing up prospects before they are ready. But the size of this market dictates that the minute they ARE ready is the day we should see them, Super-Two status be damned.

  • In reply to Rob Letterly:

    Just to piggyback what you said...

    Let's say Bryant and Baez both get their feet wet in 2014 and show flashes of potential to where we can pen them into a 2015 job

    Do we wait on the Super Two for Almora in 2015 if he continues his trajectory?

    I say no way. Let's hit the ground running in 2015 instead of waiting until midseason for the call up while the Ryan Sweeney's of the world man CF.

  • In reply to Rob Letterly:

    The question is what do the Cubs have to gain by calling Baez up 3 months early in a rebuilding season?

    You get an extra 3 months and you're lucky if it gets you an extra win or two -- meanwhile, he becomes a free agent a year earlier -- and that will be a year when the Cubs will be in contention and will need him most.

    Is that an acceptable trade-off for you?

    I would hope the Cubs left the era of calling players up just to appease the fan base when Hendry was given his pink slip.

    This is a practice performed by all smart organizations, not just small market ones. In fact, the Marlins are a team that ignores Super 2 -- but the Red Sox are not. It doesn't have anything to do with market size. It has to do with good practice and efficient use of your long term payroll.

  • Just to play devils advocate one area of concern I have with Baez is the incredible bat speed he seems to use on every swing. Does he have a lower gear that he can use with 2 strikes? One thing I noticed about his homer yesterday is he seemed to get about 75% of it, still hitting it out when you don't square it up entirely is the difference between a good HR hitter and a great one. Dude is super strong, really shows how hitters sometimes get their power from their legs, when I saw him at Kane County I commented that he seemed to have Mark Pryor calves. Perfect build at what 6'1" 205

  • In reply to ruby2626:

    No he doesn't have a lower gear. He does try to wait back and let the ball travel as far into the hitting zone as possible most of the time to try to hit the ball to RF, so even if he does end up getting the bat head through too quickly he can still keep it fair. his only other swing is his swing out of his shoes and try to hit it 600 feet to LF that he uses on occasion when he is ahead in the count (Aramis Ramirez use to do the same thing to little effect). That is the swing we need to get rid of.

  • Are there any other deadlines teams use before promoting players, in order to save money, or is super-two the only one?

  • In reply to baseballet:

    Super 2 is the only one we need to worry about. It accelerates their financial projection.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    And I should add, shortens their time until free agency. We can always say they can extend him early, but the Samardzija situation shows it's not always that easy. The Cubs still haven't extended Travis Wood either. I think they'd try to do that, but it's no guarantee that they will.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks! So does that mean that it should be very rare for a team to promote a player with full-time potential to the majors before July? If I'm understanding correctly, it buys teams a full year of cheap control over players by not promoting them before July (or whenever the super 2 cutoff date is).
    So any player promoted prior to July would most likely be viewed by the team as a bench player, right?

  • In reply to baseballet:

    That's exactly right, though I would say that a guy like Mike Olt could be called up as well, simply because he's already 25 and won't be a free agent until his age 33 season anyway. There are always exceptions to the rule, but Baez is not one of them.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    So would the super-duper optimistic arrival dates be:

    Baez: July this season
    Hendricks: July this season
    Bryant: July 2015
    Edwards: July 2015
    Soler: July 2016
    Almora: July 2016
    Alcantara: July 2016

  • In reply to baseballet:

    It applies to every season with every prospect, actually, but that's the general idea.

    I don't expect the Cubs to wait for Super 2 with every prospect. I think Hendricks is more likely to get an early call than Baez, for example. And the prospects for next season may come up earlier if the Cubs turn out to be on the brink of contention in 2014. If the Cubs think those prospects are ready and that the extra wins those players could provide will add valuable wins to a contending team, then they may make exceptions. I think I can only really speak intelligently about 2014 because we don't know where the Cubs will be at this point next season.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I also think they will go on a case-by-case basis. Olt is older so they don't really need to wait. Baez does need a bit more time to polish some things, so it makes sense to wait for the Super 2 date this year. Bryant should be able to win a job out of ST next season and I don't think they will wait for the Super 2 date with him. Almora, more likely mid-2015 to go after the Super 2, particularly since he is so young and you want to maintain his cost control longer. Soler, because of his contract , age, and with him on the 40 man, may also get a chance out of ST next season to take a job I think. Some others not in the "core four' like Alcantara, etc. will probably be moved up on the basis of need, whether they are on the 40 man, Super 2 date, etc., a variety of factors. I don't expect them to be so firm on that Super 2 cut off on everyone.

  • In reply to Michael Standaert:

    Just want to be clear that I think it will have to do with more than the characteristics of the player. It will also have to do with how the team is doing, how much of a short term upgrade the player is over the incumbent. Lots of variables for them to even consider promoting before Super 2.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It should also be noted that Samardzija has enough financial security where he can wait.

    As for Wood, I'm glad they haven't signed him to a long term deal yet. I'd like to see him duplicate what he did last season. Most people see a regression from him.

    Rizzo/Castro are examples of being locked up early where the Super Two meant nothing for them. That's not to advocate a Baez call-up but what about in 2015 for Almora or maybe Johnson/Edwards is lights out in the minors and we're missing a bottom of the rotation arm.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    You're going to call Johnson or Edwards up early and make him a free agent a year earlier because you need a bottom of the rotation arm? I fail to see the logic in that.

    There is only one reason to call up a player early and that is when the extra wins they could provide are more valuable than the money and cost control they stand to lose. As we have noted many times, those valuable wins are in the 85-95 range -- in other words, when teams are in contention. Even if you're optimistic and think Baez can already add 2 wins in a half season, what difference does that make in a rebuilding season where they are expected to be well below .500 anyway? You pick up a couple of meaningless wins and then when he's 27 and in his prime -- and the Cubs are winning --now you have to potentially pay him a lot of money to keep him. I'd rather have that extra year at the back end of his cost control years when the team is winning. You cannot make the assumption that Baez will sign a team friendly extension for the sake of maybe picking up a win or two in 2014.

    This is about the big picture. This is what smart organizations do. We don't need to regress to the days of Tribune and Hendry making moves to improve short term attendance and save their jobs. Those are terrible reasons to make important baseball decisions. I've had enough with outdated, small picture, short term thinking with this organization. Time to move forward and see the big picture. Time to do things efficiently and with an eye for the long term. That is the major reason why we brought in a smarter FO, isn't it?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I certainly would consider calling up Edwards/Johnson if they're pitching lights out and the Cubs have nobody beyond their Top 3 heading into 2015.

    It's not about making fans happy, it's about fielding a competitive team from Day 1...again in 2015.

    We can't keep crossing our fingers hoping the trash we pick up turns into a diamond.

    This has nothing to do about Baez, I already said twice that this is a lost season, but I'd much rather have Almora starting in 2015 then the current OF's we have which is collectively some of the worst in baseball. That's when the Cubs can fall into that 85-95 win range, I'm not advocating for this season.

    Is there a list of teams who have and have not waited with the super two? I'm sure you'll be able to find one "smart" organization that brought a player up early. Does Jackie Bradley count with the Red Sox last year? I'd say that's a smart organization.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    You ignore context here. When the team becomes competitive, the parameters change. The Cubs are not there yet. If they are an 80 win team this year, then we can start talking about adding those extra wins early in the 2015 season. The Red Sox are a contending team and they still almost always wait for Super 2. They certainly did with their elite prospect Xander Bogaerts. The Red Sox are smart, but not infallible. Calling up Bradley early in retrospect, was a mistake, so I'm not sure why you would use that as an argument. He was a replacement level player who added nothing to the team and now his clock is artificially accelerated. If they could do it over again, I guarantee you they would.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's not fair to say I ignore context when I very clearly stated I don't want to call up Baez and your post was under the impression I want Baez to be called up.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    You said that Super 2 is not a reason to hold anyone back and that is the part that I addressed when I used Baez as an example. I agree with you that things can change if the Cubs suddenly become a team on the brink of contention, but let's cross that bridge when we get to it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    By the way I used Bradley because you said using the Super Two is not something smart organizations do, and I showed you a smart organization that did.

    Whether it worked out doesn't matter, I gave you an example of something you said doesn't happen.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    Of course it happens. I'm not speaking in absolutes, I'm speaking in generalities. Teams make exceptions and they make mistakes. It's not a black and white world out there. Comparing a winning team like the Red Sox who have more incentive to gamble to gain a few extra wins to the Cubs is missing the entire point.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    My first post on the matter "This season is seemingly another lost one so I see no reason to have [Baez] up."

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed.

    It was a run on from my first post where I said there's no reason to call up Baez because of the season the Cubs are predicted to have.

    I don't think looking ahead and discussing it is taboo either when we regularly see posts about where Trea Turner would fit into the offense, mock 2016 line-ups and what to do about Vogelbach/Rizzo.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    Looking ahead is fine, just saying we won't know the Cubs situation until we get there. A lot of things have to fall into place for the Cubs to even consider calling up Almora to start the 2015 season. Just too many variables right now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    My mistake. I was under the impression you said smart teams don't use the Super Two period.

    Of course it doesn't make sense for the Cubs to use it right now. That's been my stance from the beginning.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    Your initial stance was that Super 2 status should not be a factor in any situation with a big market team, which is what I take issue with. As was noted by a Twitter follower, there should absolutely no correlation between promotion time and market size.

    Refresher from a couple of your previous posts,

    "I agree with that stance that the super two shouldn’t hinder his call up. If they’re going to eventually pay him big it means little to nothing."

    "I don’t think it matters for a team that’s in the third biggest market in the country that theoretically should be able to have a Top 5 payroll in all of baseball when a spending spree does happen."

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The second quote was in response to someone who saw Super Two as something that should not be used in any situation.

    If you have continued reading my first quote you would have connected the dots where I mean money shouldn't hinder it in the right circumstance. I obviously don't feel this is the right circumstance because I'm not calling for Baez to be called up.

    Everything makes more sense if you don't chop up my posts. The market was mentioned because the guy believes Super Two shouldn't be used period, something even you don't believe. The mention of market just shows we can support it.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    If that's what you believe, "Jimmie", that's fine by me. Just glad you now understand that market size should have no bearing on promotion timing

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Righty-o "John"

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hate it that this logic makes sense!

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    LOL! Me too. As a fan, I'd love to see an infield of Olt,. Castro, Baez, and Rizzo from day one, but I understand the big picture here. I'm willing. I've already waited almost 40 years for a World Series, what's an extra 3 months for one ballplayer?

  • I am so glad he is off to a good start in spring training. This might be the million dollar question. If/when he gets called up. Where do you put him in the field?

  • The Miami Marlins are known for regularly ignoring the Super 2 date. They did it last year. So it isn't SOP for all teams but pretty close.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Odd for them too since they would benefit most by gaining an extra year. But hey, I'm glad it's not the Cubs doing it!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I don't mind ignoring it when it comes to pitchers. If a guy like Jose Fernandez is ready out of ST, I want him on my team. There is no telling how long those guys will stay dominant and it does a team no good to waste those bullets mowing down minor league hitters. The chances a young fireballer will make it long term without getting hurt is pretty rare, and in those cases, it doesn't matter to me what they cost in the long run becuase I will pay it.

    I also don't think the super 2 date should come into play if your team is in contention. What the Angels did a couple of years ago with Trout would stupid beyond all belief. Cost them a playoff opportunity in all likelyhood.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    That's fair enough. I can agree there.

  • No top prospects should be brought up before the Super 2 date.
    Every year under contract is worth too much to our team

  • Baez can absolutely step into the MLB lineup out of ST this year and hold his own or even perform well above average for a MI. The AVG and OBP would probably be less than what we want but he would hit enough fastballs and hanging breaking balls over the fence to provide value on offense.

    He still needs work on his defense though, whether it comes at SS or somewhere else, so keeping him down until after the super 2 date passes will hopefully allow him to find himself a little defensively and also expose him to veteran pitchers in AAA that can consistently spin a breaking ball. These experiences will help him transition into the superstar he is going to become quicker then if we just threw him out there and let him take some lumps. So I honestly don't think the Super 2 date is that big of deal for Baez. That is about the right time to bring him up anyway.

    Now if they wait until next June to call up Bryant, I will be a little upset. I see no reason he shouldn't be ready on opening day next year.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Next year is ok not early this year

  • Baez by his own admission needs to work on his recognition of breaking balls. AAA is the perfect place for that when you consider the types of pitchers that are typically there. Arizona is a terrible place for breaking pitch recognition due to the altitude so his ability to get a jump start on that during spring training is minimized. I say let him dictate how long he needs to be down so the growing pains Mauricio describes would lessen.

  • In reply to Gator:

    I'm not disagreeing with you, but Baez was simply regurgitating what was listed in his individual development plan.... trust me, he thinks he's ready now...

  • In waiting for the Super 2 date, we are only talking about a few months in the scheme of what we hope are are multi-year careers and it will save the club a great deal of money. I have not read a valid justification to call Baez up (or anyone else for that matter) before the Super 2 date.

  • In reply to All W Days:

    How much money is it going to save the Cubs?

    I don't think it matters for a team that's in the third biggest market in the country that theoretically should be able to have a Top 5 payroll in all of baseball when a spending spree does happen.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    It's not just about the money. It's also about trading 3 months of a developing player now (in a lost season) vs and extra year of a cost controlled player in his prime at 27yo when we are competitive. There's no guarantee he signs a team friendly deal before FA....

  • In reply to All W Days:

    Agreed! The Big Market/Fan Appeasement argument doesn't work for a serious organization.

  • I might get crucified for saying this, but what about moving castro to the outfield? he seems like he is athletic enough and might have more of a build for it. Maybe that way we can keep baez at ss and aa at second.

  • In reply to cjordanh54:

    I think that's an option down the road. Castro does track pop-ups exceptionally well and I think he'd be a good outfielder with a strong arm. I don't think he'll move in the near future, though.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    yeah I don't see it happening anytime soon. but I think if cross our fingers all these guys pan out to some extent it wouldn't be a bad option.

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    In reply to cjordanh54:

    Castro has twice led the league in assists, put outs and total chances, while his error totals are trending down. Why in the world are people so eager to move him off of SS?

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I would much rather move him to another position than move him to another team like most have been talking about. I think last year was a fluke because of all of the pressure from our hillbilly manager. I think we are going to see more of the 200 hit castro from now on. I am just saying that in case most of these guys turn out to be what we hope they might be.

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    In reply to cjordanh54:

    Then move the guy who hasn't twice led the league in assists and put puts.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    *put outs

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I just think because of how athletic he is and how he tracks flyballs he might be someone we could move to the outfield in the future if needed. It seems like he might be more athletic than baez. look I am not the coach or gm. it probably wont happen. I just thinks it makes more sense to move somebody that is more athletic and keep somebody in a position that they are comfortable with like baez at short.

  • In reply to cjordanh54:

    True, but Castro is also comfortable at short. He's had more time there than Baez. And Baez is just as athletic to move elsewhere.

  • Super 2 or not Baez and the Cubs will benefit on both sides of the ball with him getting his reps at Iowa.

  • at Goodyear ballpark waiting for the game to start!

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    I"m sooooo jealous! Keep us posted since we only have audio coverage today.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'll do my best.

  • John, your thinking on call ups is exactly the same as all smart FO's. And I believe that the Cubs front office is fully aligned with your thinking - if not, it should be.
    The only goals are sustained excellence and multiple WS appearances. A few extra wins (and BTW, worse draft slots)
    are not only useless, they are counter-productive.

  • In reply to tboy:

    Good point. Under the current CBA, a few extra wins can indeed be counter-productive.

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    If Almora reaches his ceiling is a Bernie Williams / Andy Van Slyke comp realistic?

  • In reply to Steve Kermath:

    I think so. I've heard comps to Bernie Wililams, in fact.

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