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