OH MAN: Javier Baez Called Up!

OH MAN: Javier Baez Called Up!
This Spring Training scene is moving to Wrigley!

Javier Baez, the Baron of Bat Speed, Punisher of Fastballs, the Exaultation of the Exit Velocity Gods, has been promoted to the major leagues!

It's a well deserved promotion for Baez, who has hit .288/.353/.581 with 16 HRs and striking out in just 26.5% of his plate appearances. That's stupid production, even for the hitters' paradise of the PCL.

"But Tommy, what about things like service time considerations?"

STFU. The Cubs have the money to lock-up non-Boras clients well into the future, and if Baez proves that he's worthy of such an extension, the money will absolutely be there to keep him a Cub forever. (Note: this reasoning does not apply to Kris Bryant). There are more important things than playing service time games, and one of those is developing players as well as possible.

That June-now slash line up there backs up what plenty of people have seen in Javy the last month or so - that he was no longer being consistently challenged by the pitching he was facing. I've never been a fan of letting a player sit around and dominate their competition - they learn nothing from it at best, and fall into complacency and bad habits at worst.

My belief is especially strong with a guy like Baez, who has shown that he takes some time to adjust to new levels. There's nothing wrong with that, but moving him along as fast as possible gets him to that new challenge with enough time to adjust before games get really important.

To paraphrase something BP's Jason Parks said on a Fringe Average podcast some time ago - power and velocity are the T&A of baseball, the exciting parts of the game, the primal tools that evoke something deep within us. But if there's nothing beyond that the show can still be awful.

The Cubs and Javier Baez, then, are about to jump straight into Baywatch territory.

Baez may struggle a bit upon this promotion. He may struggle a LOT upon this promotion. He's capable of being exploited and has repeatedly needed time to close up holes in his game. That said, he'll also show you the power he possesses at least a few times this season, and when he does you'll totally Get It. And hopefully, sometime down the road, he'll make his adjustments. And then the fun will really get started on the North Side of Chicago.

I can't freakin' wait for tomorrow night's debut.


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Filed under: Minor League News


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  • fb_avatar

    as a Denver resident, I'm stoked at the timing of this promotion!

  • I liked the fact he starts out on the road learning how to be a pro and a player

  • someone pinch me, i still cant believe its true

  • fb_avatar

    "But Tommy, what about things like service time considerations?



  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    That's some quality stuff right there.

  • Nice coverage throughout the day on this site! I was previously fine with Baez staying in the minors for the rest of the year. His strikeout rate remains a concern, and he won't be able to work too much on honing a better approach up in the majors. So I am not as sanguine as Tommy in saying he was "striking out in JUST (emphasis mine) 26.5% of his plate appearances." That's more than 150 Ks for a full 600 plate appearances at the ML level.

    But that said, if this FO thinks Baez is ready, I'm all for it. If he can show an ability to hit in the majors, giving him two full months at the ML allows the FO more time to evaluate and see what should be done in the off-season. It also allows potential trade partners to see what the Cubs got. I still believe that either Castro or Baez will be traded because both are defensively subpar up the middle, and you can't move everyone to third base. When that happens? Some will depend on the players involved because one thing we know about this FO is they don't sell low with their assets. Let's hope both Castro, Baez and Russell have awesome final months of the season.

    P.S. -- Addison Russell hasn't made an error in 22 games at short with the Tennessee affiliate. Small sample size, but neither his glove or his bat slowed much following the trade.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Even if Russell is SS, Baez could easily play 2B, Castro possibly 3B.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    That arrangement is certainly possible logistically, but the Cubs' timetable to contend in 2016 seems to require getting at least one veteran in the infield. In addition, to get the starting pitching they need, the organization needs to both land a major pitching FA and trade from a surplus area. That means moving at least one infield bat. Otherwise, it's a lot of waiting for young guys to mature, which means 2017 and 2018. You also won't attract and sign a big pitching free agents this off-season on that timetable.

  • Lets get Soler also up here !

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to CubsTalk:

    Tommy, I asked this question to Evan also.
    Do you think they called up Valaika instead of Kris Bryant, as to not mess up Valbuena's head; considering his explosion on offense lately. This kid looks like a real 3rd baseman lately.
    What do you think?

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