Jorge Soler or Javier Baez: Who has the higher ceiling and who would your rather have?

Jorge Soler or Javier Baez: Who has the higher ceiling and who would your rather have?

Last year about this time, this wouldn't have even been a question.  Javier Baez was tearing up AA and Jorge Soler was injured and losing a half season of much needed development.

Baez hasn't done anything to hurt his stock.  In fact, he is developing nicely.  However, Jorge Soler is shooting up the prospect charts once again after crushing the Southern League then getting rewarded with a promotion to AAA Iowa.  It's the first time the friends and former roommates will be together since the FSL early last season. So it got me to thinking, when it comes to pure offensive potential, who has the higher ceiling -- and who is more likely to get there?

I polled some industry contacts and it is surprisingly split, with everyone saying it was close but a majority leaning toward Baez on raw ceiling.  The general response is similar to the one below,

I'd probably say Baez has the higher ceiling offensively. He's just got crazy bat speed, and at this point, more of a track record to point to. But it's close, which is to say Soler seems to be an impressive bat as well.

However, more than one of those polled said that despite Baez's superior ceiling, they'd prefer to have Soler if they had to choose.  They felt he was the safer bet because of his superior approach and plate discipline. One source thinks Jorge Soler could be similar to Adam Jones in terms of his average and power numbers, though Soler appears to be a more disciplined hitter than Jones. On the other hand, Jones adds value with his ability to play CF. He also worried about Baez's tendency to want to pull pitches and thinks he may get a steady diet of sliders low and away in the majors.  Baez has shown an ability to go the other way, though he doesn't do it as easily as another highly regarded Cubs prospect -- Kris Bryant.  Baez will have to be more diligent about taking pitches and/or taking pitches the other way if he is to hit for average.  But even if he doesn't, the source felt he will provide plenty of value with his power no matter where he ends up defensively.

I have seen both players often in the past few years and their personalities are very different.  Baez plays with an intensity that is palpable.  Soler can appear laid back.

Baez sometimes plays with a scowl on his face.  Nothing personal, but if you are on the mound or in the other dugout, he does not like you. He can barely contain his energy.  He stays busy at the plate as if he can't wait for you to just try and challenge him with a fastball.   He'd like nothing more than to beat you and if he can embellish that with a 500 foot HR with contact so loud that it makes your ears bleed, then so much the better.

Soler is the smiling assassin.  He has that humble, boyish grin but he is all business at the plate.  He is patient.  He is disciplined and he waits for you to make a mistake.  He is still and quiet, right up until the pitch approaches, then his hands suddenly explode through the zone.  It's like a profound disturbance in the force, as if a million voices suddenly cried out in terror and then were silent again.

I have to admit that I did have some concerns about Soler early in his career, particularly when I saw him in instructs, where that laid back personality sometimes manifested itself in the workouts.  It's not that he didn't work hard, it's that he had trouble adjusting to the steady routine and pace, sometimes needing a gentle push in the right direction.  But once he got started it was all business again.  It wasn't a lack of work ethic so much as it was adapting to a more organized and individualized structure here.  Soler seemed to indicate as much in this interview.

Baez's high energy personality and head start here in the U.S. made him more readily adaptable, but Soler is catching on...fast.  Theo Epstein has seen the change as Soler has adapted to the different lifestyle.

“We’re impressed by how he’s sort of taken responsibility for his own development,” Epstein said Wednesday, “taken accountability for being on the field and for getting where he wants to be. He basically told us: ‘It’s my time. Watch me.’ And he’s gone out and done it.”

Both players are together now at Iowa and on the brink of their MLB debut. Soler may make his debut this season because he is already on the roster and could use the extra at-bats in September. Baez's situation is more complicated, but I described a couple of scenarios where the Cubs might make an exception to their general rule and call him up this year.

They are two very talented players with high ceilings and (now) a reasonably high probability of success. There is some talk the two could be paired as roommates.  It is an interesting pairing and perhaps each could benefit from each other's strengths on the field.

And unlike the sources I asked earlier in the piece, the Cubs don't have to choose between the two. As different as they are, the two together have one thing in common -- the potential to terrorize NL pitchers for the next decade in the middle of what should be a very good Cubs lineup

Filed under: Profiles, prospects

Tags: Javier Baez, Jorge Soler

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  • I like them both a lot. But even if Soler could stay healthy for a whole season, which he has yet to do... His ceiling isn't as high as Javier's. His floor may be higher as I love his approach, but the question was "higher ceiling" so for me, it's Baez hands down.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    That's the general consensus but I asked several industry sources and it wasn't that cut and dry. Most said Baez, but all said it was close.

  • I don't think Soler is laid back...he's just got his mind on his money and his money on his mind.

    And I still take Baez due to positional scarcity and ceiling, but mostly I'm just ecstatic that the Cubs have both.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    His personality is laid back especially when compared to Baez, but I think he is learning when to turn it on.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I have never seen a player as laid back as Ernie Banks. And I would take Banks over either Baez or Soler.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    That's kind of easy to say after 512 home runs, though. :)

  • Because of the potential defensive value of Baez at 2B/3B and his enormous ceiling as a hitter, I think it has to be Baez.

    Soler seems the safer bet of the two, though, because he doesn't have the swing and miss tendencies and has shown better plate discipline.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I actually removed position value from the equation when I asked, but it still leaned Baez.

    A few thought Baez was the safer bet because of his approach/contact ability.

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    Who would I rather have? Well, I guess in an ideal world, I would like to have both.

    Oh wait, we do! Ha ha ha ha ha National League!

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Well said.
    And let's hold on to both.

  • In reply to tboy:

    I agree with both of you.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    One of the best comments all year, Zonk! WE DO! Hahahahahaha.

    And the unbelievably amazing thing is we ALSO got Bryant and Rizzo. Are you kidding me?!!!!

    Ha ha ha ha ha National League!

  • In reply to TTP:

    More like, sorry Cards. Your time is up. As Messrs, Rizzo Bryant Soler Schwarber etc etc etc destroy your pitching staff.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Remember back in the day (1998?) when everyone was selling those "we got wood" shirts? i just had a trip down memory lane...

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    Would a hitter like Pedro Alvarez be a potential comp. For Beaz at the big league level?

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    In reply to Anthony Schulte:

    Interesting thought....Pedro also struck out alot in the minors, but walked more than Baez. He also was drafted out of college, and as such was much older than Baez; he was older than Baez is right now when he played his first minor league game!

    I think Baez has more potential than Pedro. Pedro came into the minors with major college experience and more polish. Pedro is a dangerous hitter, but he still has some major flaws, that's for sure.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    In evaluating Baez, I don't see a lot of swing and miss in his game like some have mentioned. I think his strikeouts have to do with chasing more than a hole in his swing. If he can tone down his aggressiveness (which he seems to be doing recently), he should hit for a great average.

  • In reply to NathanE:

    You pretty much hit that right on the sweet spot so to speak. Javier is an excellent bad-ball hitter. I've seen him take a hanging curve a foot off the pate and drive it to R/CF 400+ ft. The key is to stop swinging at pitchers pitches. He's made the adjustments, and I think he will continue as he enters the MLB.

    The other thing I'd like to see is more of a contact/2-strike approach when he gets behind vs always max bat speed swings...

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Great points, that's why I expect Javy to be like Vladimir Guerrero ( one of the best bad ball hitters ever ) with an infielders glove.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Now that - is one comparison I would love to see playing 2B or 3B in Wrigley for the next decade.

    Baez "The Impaler" - has a nice ring to it.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    This is literally one of the worst comparisons I ever heard, Vlad had, arguably, the best contact skills in baseball history. He made contact on pitches OUT OF THE ZONE more than 70% of the time, sometimes 80%+. Baez can't even do that overall.

    Baez whiffs a LOT. Whoever says otherwise is nuts.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    The last part of your post is what gets me so irritated at Junior Lake. Every swing, regardless of count, is a moon launch swing.

  • In reply to NathanE:

    I agree. If Baez can lay off or drive the breaking ball away to right field he will become a perennial MVP candidate. I think he's starting to figure it out and I believe Manny might be the reason why. I'm sure you saw the HR he hit in the futures game. Breaking ball, low and away. I think he was looking for it and hit it hard.

    Besides position, Soler's consistent approach is what sets the two apart. If Baez doesn't figure out how to be more selective then Soler will be signing an extension someday and Baez will be playing somewhere else. I think the future Cub hitters will be expected to have a consistent approach at the plate. If Baez doesn't learn that he'll eventually be expendable because there will be a younger more disciplined hitter in the system to replace him.

  • In reply to Anthony Schulte:

    Something like that. I also heard similar names as far as guys who don't hit for high average but hit for a lot of power, but it was off the record, so I will let you all guess on that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Dan Uggla had about 6 years of low average/high power and played 2B. I kind of view that as Baez's floor. As a Cub fan I hope for more.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Were these guys talking ceiling, floor, or realistic outcome?
    For me (hitting only):

    Ceiling: Chris Davis (circa 2013), a few Cabrera-lite years
    Floor: Dan Uggla, Mark Trumbo
    Realistic: Ron Santo

  • In reply to djriz:

    Ronnie had what, 300+ HRS in his career, several 100+ RBI seasons, and was an above average glove at 3b? Ane he only played 15 seasons. Id take Ronnie out of Baez.

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    In reply to Anthony Schulte:

    Thanks for reply. I was trying to give close comps too my friends who are cardinals fans. I really hope we get more than Uggla from Beaz.

  • In reply to Anthony Schulte:

    Well, Uggla's first 5 years with FL he averaged 31 HRs and had a slash line of .263/.349/.488
    If Baez could maintain those offensive numbers for a longer time period, say 10 years instead of Uggla's 5 and play above average defense at second base, I think you'd be looking at a perennial allstar and a player just a notch below HOF status.

  • In reply to couch:

    Yeah, and I said Uggla would be his floor. It may take a few years to get there, but Baez could be better.

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    In all seriousness, if scouts are split between the two, that would mean Soler is now considered a top-10 prospect, if his health holds up. His selectivity is impressive, looking forward to how Soler does vs. craftier pitching in AAA. If he can continue to control the strike zone, look out.

    Baez has more value at 2B defensively, though IIRC, scouts like Soler as a corner OF; he has a strong arm, right? And at least average speed out there.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Very good point about Soler being close to a top 10 prospect.

  • I think you laid out the pros and cons of each player quite well. The overall track record of Baez is hard to beat and would have me kind of leaning in his direction. I could easily see Baez learning how to take pitches on the outer half of the plate and placing them in the right field bleachers as Sosa did. Might take him a few years in the majors to do it, but if he does you are talking monster numbers.

  • In reply to couch:

    Track record is definitely a factor and Baez certainly has more room to grow.

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    Its hard for me as a cubs fan to not have this little pit in the back of my stomach that says "They play for the Cubs neither of them will work out!" I hope with all my heart they both are in Wrigley tearing it up for the next 12-15 years!

  • Echoing most of the thoughts above. But put it this way, if I had to trade one, I'd trade Baez. Soler has a better probability of success in the majors IMO.

    I wouldn't bet against Baez though, the kid had the stones to put an MLB logo tat on his neck for the entire world to see. He's dedicated and I believe he'll be able to adjust his approach (already starting to to see it).

  • John:

    Thank you for your usual excellent analysis and for selecting an interesting topic.
    Of course, I want to keep both of them.
    BTW, I think that the constant chatter on the site about who to trade for whom is extremely premature. Let's be a bit patient and see what we have, who is developing according to plan, who is going to play what position - and once we are sure that we have a solid competitive core, at that time - probably around the middle of next season - then we decide who can be traded for a TOR arm.
    (And even then, only if we can't buy one or get surprised by someone we already have.)

  • In reply to tboy:

    Thank you and I agree. Too early to talk about who to trade. They have some time to let it sort out.

  • In reply to tboy:

    not only that, but the team has a ton of money to spend, so i would much rather sign a TOR free agent at this point then trade one of our prized prospects to get one. i would consider trading one of the elite prospects only when there is a legit logjam at the mlb level, and then only for near-elite/elite talent.

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    I assume you meant "than" and not "then." (See, people make fun of sticklers, but grammar matters a lot. Changes the entire meaning of your comment.)

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    Edit: If it's "than", then I agree with you 100%. If it's "then", then I do not agree at all.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    obviously. i am all about using english good. but, if i would have meant to write "than" then it would mean that i am a total moron with no sense of english.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    it was just a simple type-o. sorry. i do not have an editor.

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    sorry for the repost. my computer is really slow right now. thought i lost my witty retort.

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    This line made me spit my coffee out cartoon-style:

    "It's like a profound disturbance in the force, as if a million voices suddenly cried out in terror and then were silent again."

  • In reply to Phil James:

    Haha!

    That's the feeling I get with Soler, he's just eerily quiet and then BOOM.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Billy Williams!

  • In reply to Phil James:

    Love the nerdy Star Wars reference!

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    :)

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    what do you mean "nerdy"???

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    ;)

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    Jorge "Death Star" Soler.

  • In reply to Phil James:

    Those million voices were actually Cardinal, Brewer, Reds and Pirate fans.

  • Higher Ceiling is Baez, but I would rather have Soler due to his approach and floor. I'm glad we have both!

  • So Soler is like the Death Star, and Javi is like ....... the Last Starfighter's death blossom?

    Hey John, it was nice of you to try to moderate our intensity regarding quick player promotions but Thed just won't give you any help will they. :-)

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Soler is sudden explosion and Baez is constantly simmering and ready to explode (in a good way).

    I did write about the possibility of Soler as a call-up 10 days ago:

    http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2014/07/alcantara-soler-complicating-cubs-plans/

    And I recently wrote this one on Baez getting a September call:

    http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2014/07/how-javy-baez-could-get-a-september-call-and-possibly-stay-for-good/

    I am not against the idea, just that it has to make sense for the org and the player. I don't seen any of the other top prospects (i.e. Bryant) as a possibility, though.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    some posters on here have brought up great points as to why bryant won't get called up (boras being the primary one). but, baez and soler are different stories, and i think they get brought up when the front office thinks they are ready - not because of service clock (for baez).

    and not to nitpick, but the baez article was written only after baez started playing 2b, and the writing was visible on the wall.

    anyhow, good stuff and thank you.

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    Not to nitpick but..

    Actually Baez moving to 2B doesn't mean he is getting a call up this year. That's a leap in logic that ignores other factors in play. There's a difference between taking that kind of leap, which would essentially be a knee-jerk reaction from me, and having real information and analysis from which to base my speculation. I always base my articles on the latter.

    This was the first article that broached the subject anywhere in the media or blogosphere. I originally got as much resistance from this idea than I have on any article in recent memory.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    i can appreciate that. i hope i didn't rub you the wrong way with my nitpick comment...

    i just think that the front office doesn't always let on what their plan is, and i don' think their plan is so connected with the arbitration clock as people regularly suggest. i think baez gets called up when the front office thinks he is ready for the challenge - regardless of service time implications. and i remember the day before you wrote that baez article (it seems) you and i having a little back and forth about players like baez getting called up. i don't think it's an impossibility.

    also, i don't think it's guaranteed he gets called up, but the front office is at least considering it. i think that is made obvious by the position switch.

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    He was going to play 2B before the season ever started but they also said he was going to play SS for as long as possible. I think the timing isn't really much different than what they were So if we are going to play the hindsight game, we might as well say that the plan was to bring up Baez at some point this season all along.

    For me to write that every position change means a pending promotion would be irresponsible. If you want to make that assumption as a fan, that's different. We are working with different perspectives and different goals. I can assure you I wouldn't have written an entire article based on such loose associations. We have to be better than that. We have to have something behind it.

    What if we would have said the Cubs were considering promoting Javier Baez soon when they sent him to the AFL to play some 3B?

    What if we said the same thing when they had him play 2B during spring training?

    Fans have the luxury of throwing that stuff out there with the reasonable expectation that people will forget about their stab in the dark. My stuff is published for everyone to see. So when you have a guy getting tried at a different position when there are very obvious drawbacks to calling him up now, you can assume I need more than a simple position switch for me to write an article about the possibility.

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    Hoyer is on record as saying that the position change was the plan all along. They exposed him to other positions last year in the AFL and this year in ST. The changes didn't happen as soon as they would have liked, because of his early season injury and offensive struggles. By waiting until he made the adjustments offensively, it allows Javier to focus on one thing at a time vs a position change and approach, etc...

    His OPS has gone up every month this season, and his K% has been creeping down. 1 more AB w/o a K, and it dips below 30% for the season. He's done everything they've asked him to. In short, he's earned it. Bryant has further to go defensively and as they try to get his K% and BB% back to desirable levels, his offensive production has tailed off a bit recently. In other words, he hasn't done everything they've asked him to do; yet.

    That's why I think Baez getting a cup of Joe in Sept is a real possibility. Assuming they can clear a 40-man spot w/o the risk of exposing another player they wish to protect.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    good points.

    as i said above, i don't think the position swap is a sign that he's getting called up as much as it is a sign that they are considering it.

    agree on all other points you made. except, isn't the front office also on record as saying that service clocks aren't an issue?

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    IDK if they are on record or not. It would seem that that would be the standard or canned answer. But to think that they dont take that into consideration is somewhat gullible. There are very real business advantages to do so and it is after all, a business.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    that was exactly my point: hoyer letting the air out of the balloon on the baez position switch would appear to be the standard or canned answer. i don't think that a player's service clock is not taken into consideration - i don't know where you got that impression.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think due to his personality and family situation, Baez needs to be called up in September. Not getting the chance would disturb him.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Javy is like Lukes light saber.

  • I get to see a couple Iowa games in Omaha in a couple of weeks and I am flat out giddy to see Bryant, Baez and Soler in the same lineup.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    That sounds like fun. I'm heading out to Iowa this weekend but will be too busy to see any games. Visiting my Mom for her 94th birthday!

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    I have seen them all but not together. I am jealous!

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    Baez has a much better track record. I will hold off judgment on them until they get at least 700 PAs in the major leagues. I have a feeling Soler is "closer" to ready for the majors, but once Baez gets it figured out it will be fun to watch.

  • IMO - Soler is the better hitter and will be more consistent day in, day out - IF he can stay healthy he's going to be scary-good.

    Baez has the appearance (from my limited sample size of viewing) of one of those guys who can get on a hot streak, and carry a team for days at a time on his own. Chances are his batting average will be lower than Soler's. Baez also has the advantage that he's probably more flexable defensively over Soler.

    Why chose? We can have both!

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Has anyone considered an Alfonso Soriano type comp for Baez?

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Alfonso in his prime probably had better wheels than Baez will ever have - and I certainly hope that Baez makes for a more consistent defensive IF than Soriano was with the Yanks.

    But probably an apt and reasonable comparison.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Yes, that has occurred to me as well, though for obvious reasons it doesn't entirely fit.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    yes. and that's exactly why i'm not head-over-heels for baez. i loved soriano, but he did have a tendency to disappear for long stretches. oh, at season's end he would likely put up the 30 hr, but he flat out vanished in the postseason. everybody else did too, so i'm not only blaming soriano. i just think that jim hendry had an outdated view of talent and of the game; i think he looked at overall numbers, and not situational numbers.

    i remain cautiously optimistic that baez will out-perform my expectations.

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    In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    One key difference, though: Baez has only slumped when moving up the ladder. And, he has gotten progressively better at each level the more time he has spent there. That doesn't seem to indicate a tendency for long slumps to me, but rather a little bit of trouble adjusting, initially.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    good points. but, it ain't swaying my opinion.

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    Sori never learned to lay off breaking balls in the dirt. So I don't think he;s a good comp.

    In his prime, he's faster than Baez. But Baez has a superior glove and arm. Sori seemed to exist on physical attributes alone until his last year with the Cubs when he made a conscious effort to improve/change. Baez has been like that from day one.

    Baez probably comps better to a young A-Rod than he does a young Sori...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    i don't want to get into a debate about perfect or best comparables or anything like that. i just think that baez has the type of approach to batting that will lead to immense struggles at the mlb level. now, i don't know much about him from first-hand views, so take it for what it's worth. but, i do know baseball, and i do know makeup.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    When I read steady diet of low and away sliders Soriano is exactly who I thought of, and I also thought it might be a great comparison.

    I'll be okay with a Soriano level of production from Baez, but I have to say nothing was more maddening that watching Sori pathetically flail his bat out there to try and make contact with a slider that started 4 inches outside and ended 8-12. Ugh, I'm frustrated just thinking about it.

  • We should not even concider trading any top prospects at least
    until July 2015. I hope we trade at least one outfielder to give
    Lake and AA more of a chance to play.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    It sounds like AA will play no matter what. I could see a DFA for Nate coming soon. I wonder if there is any truth to the Lake trade rumors. Considering he can spend some of next year in AAA, I would think they would require a decent return to move him.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    As always, whether or not the Cubs should consider a trade depends entirely on what is offered, not an arbitrary calendar date...

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    Best part is the Obi-Wan reference. Nice.

  • Bryant, Baez, Rizzo, Soler, Schwarber.

    There isn't enough room in the middle of the lineup!

  • In reply to Chupacabra:

    Great problem to have, lets hope that in the future we have a problem
    1-8 in the lineup

  • In reply to Chupacabra:

    Sure there is Goatsucker! Great screen name!

  • In reply to Chupacabra:

    You have to add Almora, Alcantara, Russel, and Castro to those 5 you mentioned. You know what? The Cubs will need the DH so they can cram those 9 hitters into the lineup. :)

  • In reply to John57:

    I was referring to the proto middle of the order guys but you're right! Ricketts and co need to lobby hard for a NL DH.

  • In reply to John57:

    Vogelbomb. Bruno. Bench players similiar to a Valbuenna or a Ruggiano. Going to be a lot of sore-armed starters in the NL Central come July 2016. Or theyll act like Latos did when Bryant HRd off him in AA and throw behind them there next AB.

  • In reply to Chupacabra:

    2-6 or 3-7

  • I'm reasonably confident Soler will have the more productive career, provided he can stay healthy, because I have more doubts about Baez reaching his ceiling. If both were to reach their ceilings, I think Baez would hit more home runs but that Soler would nevertheless have a a higher wOBA.

  • In reply to BudMan:

    I think Baez will have more bumps in the road while he is honing his approach but I think he'll get there.

  • This may be sacrilege, but in the interview with Mick GIllispie, Soler in his demeanor reminds me of no one more than Ernie Banks. This kid is just so happy and excited to be on a baseball field it radiates. There's nothing calculated about that smile. He just can't contain himself. I won't venture to predict his numbers, but I think he can end up being the most popular Cub player we've had in years if his numbers are anywhere near Baez's and Bryant's. Maybe like a North side Minnie Minoso.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    Minnie Minoso was awesome! My parents met him in Mexico City on their honeymoon in January, 1954. He told them he would hit a home run for them and did! I'll have to talk to her about that again this weekend when I visit her.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    We're showing our age!

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    Yea. :) I feel it too. But these prospects are really lifting my spirits. My mom is 94 and I'd really like her to see the Cubs playing like champions. She and I went to the first playoff game in '84. My dad had picked up a couple tickets and sent me and Mom. Of course the seats were up in the back of the lower deck and right behind a stanchion supporting the upper deck. Couldn't see the ball in the air but it was still awesome. The crowd made it clear when the ball left the yard.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    Minnie is still alive by the way.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    Hes also really happy to be out of Cuba.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    It's funny you should say that. I was thinking back to my Cub infancy, and can really see some similarities between now and then (early 60's).
    I'm not talking stats or positions, but rather their public persona. I can see a bunch of Ernie in Soler. Happy go lucky "let's play two" attitude. Baez reminds me of Ronnie. High energy, everything he did, from striking out to homering, just seemed loud. Sort of an irritant (think heel kicking). FWIW, Bryant takes on the role of Billy Williams. Effortless looking player with huge results.
    Here's hoping they all have the same type of results.

  • In reply to djriz:

    I am hoping for better results. Banks, Santo and Williams never got to the playoffs. I still remember '69 vividly.

  • In reply to John57:

    I think they will. Remember, those 60's teams had very little pitching, without the advantage of free agency to get some. We currently have no pitching, but when the time is right we can buy it. (I remember the Brock trade, which is why I shutter every time someone says trade Baez).
    I feel we're going to have a decade long competitive window.

  • In reply to John57:

    They would have if the playoff system were the same as today. Just dont think they would have beaten those Mets teams with Seaver, Koosman , Ryan etc. or those Bucs teams with Clemente and Co.

  • In reply to djriz:

    Yes, I think you've hit the nail on the head. There will be a new generation of Cubs fans and if things work out like we hope, there will be a new generation of players for whom the flags on the foul poles will be ancient history, and Rizzo, Castro, Bryant, Soler, Baez and hopefully Schwarber, Russell etc. will be names that will be etched as permanently in Cubs lore as the ones we grew up with, the difference being, this new bunch may actually win a WS title or two, or three....

  • I don't have any insight that hasn't already been shared. I would say that it is going to be really difficult to pick a "favorite player" in the future. I normally love the underrated scrapper who makes the team based on shear willpower, but I don't know if we will really have one of those. We just have too many high-end options.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Bruno! Bruno! Bruno!

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    All I know is the bill for all these jeseys is gonna be kinda stiff.
    Good thing I got Rizzo's early!

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    It would be really nice to get some of the prospects on the throw back jersey that are out right now. Do you think they will keep those coming over the next couple of years?

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Isn't 2016 the 100th anniversary of the cubs playing at "Wrigley"? If so, that would be time for another 100 yr stroll through memory lane and most of the kids should be in the ML by then.

  • Who will be the first one called up? Bryant, Soler, or Baez????

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I predict Soler because he is already on the 40 man roster.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Baez. If Boni is traded. If not, both on Sept 1.

  • I would rather have a power hitting middle infielder that can throw the leather around. Those guys r harder to find then a power hitting corner outfielder. I like being strong up the middle.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    That's true but the question was framed independent of positional value.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I just saw the question and answered it. It is hard to answer if you can't take the entire player into consideration.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Sure you can. It's a hypothetical. Let's say they both become corner OF'ers, unlikely but possible. Who would you rather have in that situation?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If both corner outfielder. And right handed hitters too. I am guessing but Baez is a better base stealing threat? Right now I would take Baez. He has less baggage. Soler has had more injuries and Milton Bradley like outburst.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I could see that.

    I am not as worried about Soler's outburst though. I liken it to the Andre Dawson outburst where he was ready to rip off Eric Show's arms and beat him with them. I think both regretted it terribly and in Dawson's case, it was a one time incident, and I think we will find the same will hold true for Soler.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I believe at this point it is a close argument either way. Physical tools are very close. The injury and temper was just the X factor. Let's just hope they both reach there potential and we will be happy.
    Andre got smoked in the face with the ball. At least Andre went at him with his fist and not a bat. Difference there.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Soler is not a hot head because one incident got away from him and we don't know all the circumstances that led up to it. There hasn't been anything even close to that before or since. I think it's overblown and unfair for people to judge him on one mistake. Anyone who knows him or has seen him for more than one video/sound byte know that was completely out of character, but it's tough to change people's minds once an emotional image is in their heads.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hope he isn't a hot head. But I think it is fair for people to have that image stick in mind. Absolutely no place for that behavior in the game and it is a legit concern to have of him. What is unfair is comparing Andre incident to Soler incident since u knew enough about that situation to make a comparison.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    So a couple points. First of all, there is no video of the Soler altercation. We literally have no idea what happened there except through secondhand accounts. Second, the FSL only suspended him for five games. That suggests their investigation showed it wasn't as bad as the Twitter blowup suggested or that the other player was 100% at fault. Third, this was a very young guy who had just gone through the defection process -- which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy -- and had an org guy try to get into his head. It worked but the fact that it has been a truly isolated incident suggests that he isn't a hot head. You can be sure that player wasn't the last to mock Soler's about his family.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good point on the short suspension and I think that was largely because it was determined he made no actual attempt to injure anyone. He was frustrated, angry and took it out in the wrong way, but I think he did nothing but try to frighten them. Which he did with spectacular success. In fact, people who weren't even there are still scared.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    It's a fine line here, because I don't want to come off as endorsing what he did. It is simply wrong. Period. But I can understand why he reacted the way he did. I'm sure Theo read him the riot act and all the reports are that he was genuinely remorseful for what happened. Additionally, it seems like he's learned from it and nothing similar has happened since. And not only has nothing "similar" happened, really nothing has happened. No fights. No hot dogging. He just goes out and plays his game. He gets hit, he walks to first base and takes it out on the pitcher his next time up. There is nothing to criticize after that incident. Even "dogging it" in the AFL was the result of direct orders from the front office.

    This was a very young man who made a terrible decision. He isn't the first and he won't be the last young man to react to a high pressure situation with misplaced bravado.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I want to clarify that I don't condone the action but I think the anger was warranted. Even as an idle threat, it's still wrong.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I think it's fair for the image to stick in their mind, that is going to happen. It sticks in my mind. But I also have a lot more images where he is smiling, laughing, hanging out with teammates, having fun, and generally being laid back. So is it fair to outweigh one image in favor of many others? Of course, it isn't. I think we should just be careful about judging him for that one thing only because it's the only you've seen from him. I'm working with a much bigger sample size here when it comes to Soler and I have heard similarly from others who have seen him even more than I have. More information, more examoles. more evidence that he is anything but a problem. It's not hard for me to lnow based on what I know. But society being what it is today, emotional media bytes often overrides evidence to the contrary or a need to know the whole story.

    I think the Dawson comp is fair because I know a little bit about what was going on in the background and what motivated Soler. I think his anger, if not his actions. were justified. And I also know he comes from a baseball culture where those things are not as controlled and handled differently by the players.

    They both reacted in a flash but both times it was out of character and neither really attempted any harm when all was said and done. They both vented frustration but in different ways. I see a lot of Dawson in Soler, both physically and in terms of what is for the most part, a very calm, unassuming temperament.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I hope mike and john go back an look at some of post. "He wanted to scare other team" or they "called names and made fun of me". Gotta handle emotions. No place for that !!!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hi John

    I was at that game with my Dad. I really thought the Hawk was going to kill Eric Show and if he didnt I thought Sutcliffe might. Rizzo's actions in Cincy reminded me of that Cub Padre game

  • In reply to cubbybear7753:

    I have never seen anyone that angry and I love Hawk. One of my all-time favorite players.

  • Id like to see Soler get a Sept cup of coffee. Imagine 40,000 fans at Wrigley for an otherwise meaningless Sept game?

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I mentioned on the podcast if there were every a September only package for season tickets, this would be the year to get one.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    TY John. Ill have to check the schedule and see if the Cubs are home Labor day weekend. Only time I can make it, Im afraid. Live in Arizona.

  • I am thinking that a trip up to Iowa this weekend is in order for me. Does anyone know when the first game on Saturday will be played? The IA site says it will be a make up game, but doesn't give a time.

  • fb_avatar

    I want to state that I am not jumping on the Soler bandwagon. I have been driving the damn thing since day one, through all the injuries. I have had him #1 on my list, unwavered.
    . Soler will hit for a higher average, more doubles and a higher OBP. The ball explodes off his bat like it does for few others and he does it without all the movement, the long load and swing of Baez. Far less swing and miss in Soler's game and a more advanced approach.
    . Baez very well may hit 40 HR's, but he will probably do it with a 260 avg and 150+ K's. Soler has .310/35HR/452B's/90K legitimate potential year in and year out.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Feel free to drive that bandwagon by my house and I will gladly jump on.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Mike, that is what I was trying to say with my post regarding Baez. He simply SEEMS to have too much movement during his approach. He may be able to "load up" vs. minor leaguers but in the majors, that is going to hurt him. I see him as being a typical power hitter with 25-35HR but .250 or lower BA with a poor OBP as well. At the same time, with the lineup we may potentially putting out there, he may not have to hit for a high average and still be very effective.

  • I have watched Baez play a couple times now that I have a MILB subscription (end of season) and my BIG concern with Baez is that he seems to swing too wildly and lacks the discipline that is required to hit for a high average in the majors. Major league pitchers aren't just going to lay fastballs down the middle for this guy to beat them. If he hits above .250 I would be surprised. Soler simply hasn't had enough at bats against high level competition for me to be sure, but based on what I've seen so far I'd take Soler. As always, just my 2 cents.

  • In reply to INSaluki:

    Not disagreeing entirely, but here's where I think character and makeup come into play. I believe that with Baez's competitiveness and drive to excel, and his coachability, he will overcome challenges and learn to adjust. He will not rest content with those kinds numbers if he sees Bryant and Soler outperforming him as a result of their approaches.

  • Baez burns too hot. Longevity concerns. I see him most likely to be moved for an ace. Soler.

  • Every move we make between now and the end of August we
    should keep in mind what it will do to the 40-man roster. The list
    has to be turned in by mid-Nov

  • Give me the Smiling Assassin if I can only have one. I am glad though that I can be greedy and get both. :)

  • Well, I suppose I could take a shot at the question. Who would I rather have? Since I have to answer now i have to go safe and take Soler. I think Soler could step right in and play now if he had to. Baez willl need more time and have to adjust to the higher level of pitching. If Baez does that, he may be there better longer term option here.

  • Javy just seem to have this overwhelming drive to be the best.... Javy's determination is just unreal. i think that will end up making him the best.. and cause others to work harder to keep up

  • Okay, I'll play. Ignoring their defensive positions and comparing them to hitters:

    To me, watching Baez hit, I see Sammy Sosa as the ceiling. Sosa without the benefit of steroids, but WITH the benefit of being more naturally strong at a young age. I see a couple years of .220-.230 with 20-25 homers followed by a peak during which he hits .270-.280 and clubs 40 homers. A nice career, a handful of all-star appearances, and without roids, 400 homers is my guess. His floor is Russ Branyon - he may really strike out a lot.

    Soler is harder to judge because of the injury history. Some guys with a history like that... like a glass-man... just might have trouble staying healthy enough to give you 150 games a year. So, he could end up being a right-handed JD Drew. Or if he plays a bit more, a Scott Rolen or Adrian Beltre. Fully healthy, heck - Dwight Evans? Maybe even Dawson or Winfield, but I don't think he'll run that much. That's a pretty high ceiling, huh....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HackWilson09:

    That's all this generation needs is another Hawk.

    What a tireless worker, humble, and true professional.

    We would be truly blessed if we somehow get another Andre Dawson !

  • I just realized that in describing Baez's ceiling as "Sosa without roids" that I was describing Alfonso Soriano. That's about right.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    I compared the two once as well in an article I did for another blog. It makes some sense, though Baez more likely to stick at 2B -- but also not same level of speed.

  • fb_avatar

    The ceiling just has to be Baez because the tools are (slightly) louder and if he can learn Soler's approach he's a Hall of Fame player. But that really is expecting a lot and with Soler already having that approach, I think I'd rather have him.

    Soler's hit tool appears better than advertised and that will allow the power tool to play up in games.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    If tigers could run like cheetahs...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HackWilson09:

    If we were to consider a tiger's ceiling without knowing what a tiger will grow into, we would, in fact, have to say, "if he could run like a cheetah..."

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I hope he isn't a hot head or has anger issues. But the incident happened. So it just one of those things you hope never happen again. The fact he went to dugout to grab a bat and then go after someone is a little scary. Ppl are gonna talk smack at you or slide hard into you. It doesn't make that behavior right to assault someone. No matter why u r going thru it doesn't justify doing that. Again I hope it was 1 time thing and cubs will work close with Soler to make sure it doesn't happen.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Let's be fair, though. He made no attempt to strike anyone with the bat. He hit the dugout fence in an attempt to vent his anger, but he swung at no person at any time. Had he even attempted to make contact with a player, that would be very different.

    And again even that is a one-time overblown incident. There has been zero pattern of this behavior. It's one thing to judge on a pattern of behavior, quite another to draw a conclusion on one image that most know very little about.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hope so. Don't agree on over blown but agree that he hasn't had anything since. And hope
    He doesn't again. Hate to see wasted talents.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Fair enough...we can find common ground there :)

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    You hope so, but your suspicious nature has shown up again. My wife and you would get along great. LOL!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm in strong agreement that you have to take into account that he never actually attempted to hit anyone.

    There is a big big difference between flipping out and actually attempting to do harm.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It's been 2 years and nothing similar to it has happened since. I can just as easily say, "I HOPE Javier Baez ignoring a coach was a one time thing." All the evidence is, it was. It seems that the bat incident is simply unforgivable for you. If Theo was generally concerned about his makeup, I think the trade rumors would abound right now.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    1st of all it was a little over a year (last April). 2nd you are gonna compare not wanting to listen to a coach to grabbing a bat and wanting a piece of the other team??? Interesting. Not unforgivable so don't put words in mouth. Just saying that incident isn't forget. And I would say theo is happy with Soler as a player but he has that thought oh please I hope he doesn't do that again. It just can't be forgotten or made to sound like it wasn't a big deal. No place for that. Who knows what trade rumors are flying??? You not I have no idea.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    It's still close to two full seasons since the incident. For the baseball world, that's what matters.

    The logic here doesn't hold. Theo puts a huge premium on makeup and has not been shy about shipping out players whose makeup he doesn't like. A lot of teams really like Soler. If Theo is praying "I hope he doesn't do it again," logic dictates he already would have traded him for a top arm or a lefty outfielder.

    Honestly, if Theo thinks there is a chance this happens again and he hasn't traded him yet, Theo is an idiot.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Who has theo shipped out cause he doesn't like there make up/character/way they act??? He gave manny a chance but there is that little voice inside that hopes manny doesn't make him look silly.
    A lot of teams should like Soler. He appears to be a good talent. I don't get how u think that logic doesn't hold up??? He is gonna give him a chance to prove he has changed. I hope it doesn't happen again but since u said that I can't wait to hear you call theo an idiot if it does. Lol.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    The well known ones: Ian Stewart, Dave Sappelt, and Kevin Gregg. There are other, bigger, ones but the stories aren't public.

    Manny was a goofball, but he was always one of the most disciplined hitters in the game and has never been accused of being a bad teammate or clubhouse disruption.

    The problem with your logic is Theo has insight into Soler and his character that we don't. We can only speculate based on what we see in the news. Theo has been around the kid, talked to him and his coaches on a VERY detailed level for two years. If Theo doesn't have pretty good insight into whether or not this is likely to happen again, something is very wrong.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Didn't realize Sappelt was a bad egg. The other 2 were pretty easy. When you call out the ownership and management it is pretty easy to ship them out. Gregg was one of theo signings. So he didn't see that coming just like IT could again.
    For u to say it was okay cause they made him angry or just to scare the other team is silly. Bottom line is it is human nature to have that stick in back of mind cause nothing is 100%. Everyone will just hope it doesn't happen again.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    One thing we can agree on is Jackson needs to go!!! Yikes

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Well stated. Agreed

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Well stated. Agree

  • Soler looked like a major leaguer two years ago in ST. Baez has some growing to do, but is so gifted that he may get to do in Wrigley. I think in the end Baez' s talent edges Soler's consistency.

  • Sorry just on position value alone Baez has the higher ceiling.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Question is on offense alone, though. I asked them not to consider position value.

    Another way to put it is this, let's say both were corner OF'ers, who would you like in that situation?

  • In reply to KGallo:

    But if the Cubs announced today, hypothetically, they were moving Baez to RF, who would you pick?

  • In reply to couch:

    Soler because of his approach. But Baez still has the highest ceiling.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Agreed. I think this is probably the best way to put it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Lots of "floor/ceiling" in these comments. By definition when is the "ceiling" hit? Seems the ceiling can be a long way away. If that's an accurate thought then I'll go with Soler as most think he has the higher floor.

  • In reply to stix:

    I'm more of a floor guy myself but I guess that is a matter of philosophy. I wouldn't say I am not a ceiling guy, but I like a nice high floor to go with it.

  • Not sure if this comp has already been thrown out there, but Soler's ceiling appears to resemble Giancarlo Stanton. He has great extra base and home run power, with a solid batting average and walks, along with some injury concerns. I'm not saying he'll reach that ceiling, but just thought I'd throw it out there. I agree with others that Baez currently looks like a Mark Trumbo bat with much better defense.

  • This is click-bait, and it is wrong of you to have it.

    I'd take Javy.

  • I suspect we'll be having the same discussions throughout the first few years of their MLB careers and those discussions will be skewed based on first year or two performances that will still not tell us what they'll be doing in their age 27-29 years -- much like Rizzo's 2013 performance led to all sorts of doubts about whether and to what extent he would bounce back this year.

    But these discussion fuel the dreams that make the wait tenable. The real fun will simply be in enjoying watching all these guys blossoming before our eyes at Wrigley -- and that's coming on soon.

  • fb_avatar

    Any rumors out there about Darwin Barney getting traded?

    As far as Baez vs Soler goes, I'd have to say it's too close to call. We all remember how Baez tore up AA pitching and some were ready to induct him to the HOF. One year later we see Soler doing the same thing. But because of Baez's early struggles at AAA this year, I think some are a bit more conservative with Soler's projections.

    I'm torn because each have concerns, imo. Baez's approach can be a bit wild at times and Soler's injury history ha to make us wonder if he can stay on the field long enough to truly help the Cubs.

  • Baez. Just loved how he's been able to battle through tough spells. His athleticism, even though we aren't talking "positions", tells me he must be a bit faster than Soler. So that also transpires into base running ability, not necessarily just base stealing & not just hitting the ball out of the yard, but also for doubles, triples & scoring from 2nd base.

    Nice problem to have.... Deciding which top Cub prospect we want over another... LoL!! Love it.

  • I see the "potential" for this...

    Jorge Soler (RF-6' 4",215 lb) = Vladimir Guerrero (RF-6' 3",235 lb)

    Javier Baez (SS,2B- 6' 0",190 lb) = Ernie Banks (SS,1B-6' 1",180 lb)

    V.Guerrero Career = .318/.379/.553 - 449 HR (477 2B/46 3B)
    E. Banks Career = .274/.330/.500 - 512 HR (407 2B/90 3B)

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    I think Baez is well past the 190 lbs he's been listed at for the last three years.

  • Love this article John. Such a fun topic. I was thinking about Soler and Bryant and the future projections people put on their offense. It seems like people give them an offensive ceiling of what Rizzo is doing this year, guys that will hit 30 - 40 HRs and be 280ish hitters that will draw some walks. Is that about the consensus you all see/hear? Baez, I usually see 260 to 275 with 30 Homers, so just a little lower average and OBP.

  • fb_avatar

    Good piece. I liked the end the best - the a Cubs don't need to choose!

  • I'm taking Soler and the approach. Close vote I guess but Javy makes me nervous. I think it'll likely be several seasons until he can sustain an OBP north of .320. Personally I could care less about the intensity a player plays with. That's not what they get paid for and a lot of times it takes you out of your game. Perhaps Javy's approach would improve if he relaxed. Perhaps not. Glad we have them both.

    By the way, John, I could be wrong about this but isn't Soler the one who charged the other team's dugout wielding his bat (or something like that)?

  • In reply to Ben20:

    The bat incident is a Cuban thing apparently. After watching him in the interview with Mick Gillispie I feel comfortable that we'll never see anything like that again. He wasn't even asked about it and he fronted it and looked really sheepish about it. Just everything about his demeanor suggests that the incident was out of character. People underestimate the difference of living in a Communist country. I did for one year, and the culture that system breeds is something few of us can even imagine.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    I'm sure that's a huge part of it. I don't care what he does or who he attacks as long as he's helping the Cubs win ballgames! I actually love it and I'm sure that dugout had it coming anyway. Those kind of incidents don't just fall out of the sky.

    Not to be argumentative at all, TTBL but no minor leaguer is going to sit down for an interview and act like a renegade. Of course he was humble and contrite...

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I actually do care how our players conduct themselves and how they are perceived by the fans and the baseball world, but I guess like you winning is the primary thing. But I also think those things go hand-in-hand. I was for the Milton Bradley signing. That taught me a lesson.

    As for being humble and contrite, it looked genuine to me. Not Sosa-like.

  • I just realized I said a lot of bla bla bla earlier and didn't answer the question.

    I think Soler has the higher ceiling, and I'd rather have him. Fingers crossed about the health. I just don't think crazy bat speed and light tower power are really going to matter that much when you're impatient and being fooled a lot. I think Baez will get better, but Soler is so natural.

    But how nice that we can keep both!!! Baez can work on his approach. Soler can work on managing his body mechanics. Maybe we'll get 900 homers out of them.

  • Just going by names, I'd take Soler just cause solar is very trendy right now. coincidence? I think not! Maybe I'm just biased against Beaz because "biased against Beaz" sounds cool. Seeing as I'm wrong 51.8 percent of time about prospects, it's as good as any reason.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    That is some sound analysis! :)

  • "It's like a profound disturbance in the force, as if a million voices suddenly cried out in terror and then were silent again."

    I love when Star Wars and Cubs mix ...

  • In reply to JB88:

    It's a thing of beauty. True Harmony.

  • I think Baez's ego will be hurt when he is no longer the best player on the team (which he arguably already is not), or even second best. Bryant and Soler will be better big league hitters. Javy will not be a 3 hole hitter, not with Rizzo, Bryant, Soler in the lineup - possibly the 3-4-5 right there.

    I hope I'm wrong, because how crazy is it to think that any one of those 4 guys is going to hit in the 6 hole?

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Javy doesn't get down.. HE ONLY GETS BETTER! since he has been drafted he has been driven to get to the majors.. no matter what.. he has made the necassary adjustments every step of the way.. he won't allow himself to be second best.. kid has too much "want to"..

  • fb_avatar

    I think once all these kids are up there going to help each other. I think batting Bryant/ Soler/Rizzo behind Baez and Castro is going to make Baez and Castro better players. Who you going to pitch to?? You either have to pitch to Baez or you get Bryant?? Yikes!! Its happening right now in AAA. Look at how well Baez has been hitting with Kris behind him. All in all I cant wait till this line-up takes shape. Alcantera at the top of this line-up too?? The guy just hit a ball on the street!! 2015 can't get here fast enough.

  • Even prospects in the top 20 have only a 60% chance of making as regulars in the bigs, it is hard not to think that Bryant Baez and soler will be great.

  • I've seen the term "generational talent" used to describe Baez' potential from a number of sources, so Baez' ceiling appears to be higher, and he would be my choice of the two.

  • Jackson's ERA after the Cubs score in their half must be in the teens.

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    I'll take Soler. The approach will help his power, whereas I can see Baez never being able to produce the power numbers he has the potential to because of lack of approach.

    I hope I'm wrong. If Baez can make consistent contact and manage a BB% of 8% or higher in the MLB, he will wow, but even then I think Soler has potential to rival Stanton or Puig.

  • interesting premise IF Baez and Soler were competing for the same position or spot in the lineup. Cubs are looking to build a MLB WS roster where there are eight or nine position players (there will be DH in the NL by 2017), so this is like comparing fruit before it ripens.

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