About Javier Baez

Around this time last year the talent evaluators across the internet were espousing the high ceiling/low floor combination that was present in Javier Baez.

Jason Parks had this to say about Baez (who was ranked behind Albert Almora on the Cubs list):

“The raw talent could make him one of the best prospects in the minors, as he has the type of loud tools that impact games. But his overall approach is loose and hyperactive, and will need to find a balance between intensity and field intelligence to move forward.”

Man things changed in a hurry. Baez perhaps has a claim to being the number one prospect in all of baseball. When I evaluate prospects in my mind’s eye I prefer guys who are “safer” bets than the guys who have a profile like Baez. Last year I too would have ranked Almora over Baez last year. But even now I cannot deny The Unicorn.

Perhaps his profile is merely the stuff of dreams and our natural inclination to attach hopes and dreams to the things we cannot yet see in concrete terms will end up becoming just another instance in which the Baseball Gods saw fit to pull the wool over our eyes.

But I’m starting to believe, which is a dangerous thing.

There are the obvious caveats, a lot of people bring up Felix Pie and Corey Patterson as lazy comps to Javier Baez. I’ve seen this from fans on twitter, social media and I’ve heard it from mainstream media folk as well. I think that I know how the logical dots were connected and ergo how people arrive to equating Baez to Pie and Patterson, but I still think it’s a different context.

Both Pie and Patterson were highly touted prospects whose career paths took drastic turns for the worse almost as soon as they arrived at the Major League level. They were busts and there’s no disguising that. However, the tools present in both Pie and Patterson are different than what we have in Baez.

For now, Baez is a question mark to stick at shortstop, but there are enough voices out there that think he could stick at short or make a smooth transition to thirdbase that creates an interesting package. Whereas Pie and Patterson were do everything outfielders Baez is a power hitting shortstop (maybe) with 40 HR potential.

That’s loud. That’s different.

A lot of the things we’re now hearing on Baez are removing the “boom or bust” label. As Parks said, there’s still the inherent risk that comes with every prospect but what the Cubs have with their top prospect might be something we remember for a long time.

This time for good reasons.

Filed under: prospects

Tags: Baez, Cubs, mlb


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  • Loose and hyperactive. The Cubs have had a bunch of them over the years. Dunston on through to Lake and Castro. If they mature, let the game come to them...well, you've got something special. If not, pffffffft. Only time will tell. But many of us have been around long enough to see a lot of pffffffft.

  • Love it, Mauricio! But, with apologies to Alan Greenspan, you're fanning the flames of my "irrational exuberance" -- or maybe not so irrational after all. I can't wait for him get to Wrigley!

    What's the over/under date for his call up? Start a pool!

    And on that issue, I appreciate your line about "lazy" comparisons to Patterson and Pie. Of course, those two guys are immediately mentioned anytime one urges a fast track on Baez's -- or any prospect's -- arrival.

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    It's worth pointing out that Patterson and Pie didn't have the support system that Baez has. Patterson and Pie were set up for failure, but Baez is being set up for success.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    THAT is exactly why he made adjustments in his approach in Daytona vs trying to make them @ wrigley....

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    How is the system different though than Pie and Patterson? I'm not saying Baez is like those guys, he is different, but if Pie/Patterson were prospects in today's system, would the outcome be different? Or were they fundamentally flawed to begin with? I don't know, I'm just asking.

    They both had the same problem, which is that they never met a breaking ball 6 inches off the plate they didn't like.

    Very rarely can you teach a hacker to reform. It hardly ever happens. I think Baez will be fine, he is a hacker for the right reasons. But I am pessimistic on Brett Jackson or Junior Lake......because once a hacker, always a hacker, and the only ones who can hack and get away with it are those with huge power

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Dunston, and then Patterson and Pie after him, made me loathe free swingers. They can be fun to watch when they are hot, but it almost always catches up with you and leads to inconsistency and makes it difficult to hit for high average and achieve a solid OBP.

    As Ted Williams used to say, if you're going to have an ohfer, make it an 0-for-2 with two walks and not an 0-for-4.

    This does not, however, mean you cannot have an aggressive approach within the strike zone. And if Baez can improve his plate discipline as much this year as he did last, he'll be in great shape.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Yeah, the support system making everyone better belief has gotten a bit ahead of itself. You definitely want to give every prospect the best chance to succeed, which includes so many factors, but giving them the best chance definitely does not mean every player gets better. There is absolutely no way to know if Baez would be any better under the previous front office vs. this front office, but it's great to know this front office is trying really hard to give players every opportunity to get better.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Would Patterson or Pie be different if they were in the system under McLeod?

    I think there is a good chance for that. The worst thing you can do is tell a young stud that he must make certain changes if he is to be promoted, and then when they fail to make those changes, promote them anyway.

    I agree that some people just can not change their free swinging ways. But some can. Sammy sosa is a great example. His years with the Sox and the first several with the Cubs, he was a total sucker for a slider/curve off the plate. But he made the change very abruptly, and quite successfully. He was still a free swinger, but not nearly so much as before.

    How much better would his career have been if he had been forced to make those changes early on? I think, quite a bit.

    I doubt that Pie had the talent that Patterson had, and I am not at all certain that he could have benefited from a better development system, but I would love to have Patterson trained will from the start.

    He is a number three hitter.

    He is a number two hitter.

    He is a leadoff hitter.

    The philosophy the Cubs used for Patterson literally changed not only from season to season, but more than once in the same season.

    Patterson had no chance.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    "How is the system different though than Pie and Patterson?"

    Zonk, I'm just going to say right now that I'm having difficulty reconciling how a regular reader of this blog could make such a statement.

    Jim Hendry didn't care about OBP. So he never made it a point of emphasis to bring minor league managers, coaches and instructors in who encouraged good habits at the plate to the Cubs prospects.

    Cubs prospects were pretty much left to their own devices under the Hendry regime, and while it's possible to teach prospects right from wrong and still have them go wrong, they can't possibly ever learn right from wrong if it's never taught, and that's the difference between this front office and the last one.Cubs prospects under the Epstein regime are being surrounded by adults who are trying to instill in them a good way of doing thins.

    I will grant you that it's easier to teach a player how to do things the right way when they already have a natural inclination to do so. It's why I doubt this FO would've drafted Baez. My guess is they would've take George Springer instead, but it doesn't matter. Baez is their problem now, and they have to try. This same front office probably drafts JD Drew in 1998 instead of Corey Patterson, but had they inherited Patterson, like they have Baez, they would've tried to instill in him things that would've made a difference in his career.

    All I can tell you is that, were Jim Hendry still in charge, I think it's a lot less likely Baez ever reaches his full potential, but because this FO got a hold of him before he had a chance to become to set in his ways, he has a much better chance to be the guy all the experts think he can be.

    I don't know what kind of Major League hitter Baez is going to be, but if any of the things he is being exposed to in the Cubs system take, he's bound to be better for it. He doesn't have to lead the league in walks every season, but if he regularly shows pitchers he isn't allergic to taking a walk, they'll have to pitch him more honestly than they otherwise would, and for a guy with his bat speed and athleticism, it might be all the difference between making the HOF and never making an All-Star team.

    I don't know how to explain it any other possible way. I feel like a Martian trying to converse with a Fungo right now.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Can't remember which ststion I was listening to, might have even even the king of negativity and cub-hating Dan Bernstein. They pointed out that even since Pie and Patterson scouting and scouting metrics have advanced very far. The point being that if Patterson or Pie were coming up now there might be better ways to determine the holes in their game and maybe not rank them so highly.

  • You can't teach bat speed.

  • As someone who's admittedly biased towards Baez. (I watched him play H.S. ball here in Jax, FL how could I not be?) I can tell you that from my perspective besides the different tools, the one unique thing separating Javier from the others is his determination to be the absolute best. That, more than anything else is what lends credibility to Prof. Parks label of "Religion" on him... That and the fact tha the is very coachable, is why we saw such a drastic improvement in his approach last year.

  • Bronies?

  • In reply to Eddie:

    LOL! We may have to start the Baez Bronies.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'll carry that sign at our Rooftop protest.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    I'm torn. Bryant Bronies is more alliterative but the hype just isn't at the same level. Not yet anyway.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Oh my god yes.

  • Baez has the attitude for success. Pie and Patterson, nice guys, but they always seemed a little too laid back. Baez "I can do whatever the f' I want!" on the other hand is a killer between the lines. He has the fire in the belly.

    One curiosity I have is what kind of impact the new FO regime has had on his development and if he would still have the same floor/ceiling if Hendry was still running the show.

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    As Cub fans, we have a right be jaded, pessimistic, and otherwise, as previous top 25 talents like Juan Cruz, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, and Brian Dopirak all failed to attain a high level of production. In fact, everyone jumps on Corey, but he actually contributed WAR at the ML level, unlike alot of our prospects, giving us 5-ish WAR, depending on which system you use.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    .....but please don't takeaway that I think Baez will fail. I don't think he will. He has crazy bat speed and the wants. Biggest question in my mind is what position he'll end up at.

  • Agree with the constant caveats about previous Cubs prospects. We should always be wary but the fate of those players have nothing to do with this group.

    I think Patterson is a closer comparison than Pie but even Patterson didn't have Baez's bat speed from a physical standpoint. From an intangible standpoint, I think Baez's drive to succeed means he will do whatever it takes to make it. Patterson was said to be resistant to any attempts to develop his talents. Perhaps with the Cubs track record in that area, he had a point -- but Baez has had no such issues and he has a more reputable development team to work with.

    Maybe I'm just optimistic but I see Baez as having a better chance to utilize his abilities than Patterson did -- and we can't forget that Patterson did show flashes of his incredible raw talent even in the big leagues. I think Baez has the greater ability and willingness to adapt to make sure he continues to improve his level of performance

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    In reply to John Arguello:


    I agree with you that the fate of previous prospects and this crop are unrelated, but only because of the system I believe Theo has put in place for player development. All the way from individual player programs for each year and video monitoring to making sure the same message is coming through at every level.

    Do you think Baez's improvement in pitch selection and the subsequent increase in his walk percentage would have happened five years ago? I'm not so sure.

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    Only Corey Patterson was regarded as highly as Javier Baez currently is. Felix Pie was never regarded as highly.

    From 2005 to 2007, Baseball America ranked Felix Pie 31st, 27th, and 49th, respectively.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Corey had a good stretch in 2003 before blowing out his knee too.

    Man 2003 was a funky kinda year.

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    In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    Indeed....Corey was also pretty solid in 2004, .771 OPS, 32 SBs, solid defense..frustrating at times, but overall pretty good anyway

    Wheels came off in '05

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    In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    Very true. Patterson's career was certainly derailed by that injury. It absolutely killed his momentum.

    Of course, he was never able to make adjustments when he did return to full health.

    I think Baez and Patterson can be comped from a prospect perspective fairly similarly. The success of prospects can be a 50/50 chance. As Patterson was clearly on the wrong side of that percentage, let's hope Baez is on the right side.

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Oh, and as a btw,,,

    In 2000 and 2001, Corey Patterson was ranked in the league's best prospects by Baseball America at #3 and #2, respectively.

    Of course, it should also be noted that in 1998 Kerry Wood was ranked #4 overall and in 2002 Mark Prior was ranked #2 overall, and I'd say their major league performances (barring injuries) justified their high rankings.

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    In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Prior was worth over 16 WAR in his first 4 seasons.....that is excellent. Obviously his arm fell off after that. Wood was even better his first few seasons.

    Much better outcomes than #6 BA prospect Juan Cruz...he just had control problems

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    In reply to Zonk:

    Agree entirely!

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Little Pedro. Ugh. I have to admit, I was wrong on Cruz. I thought he was going to be a stud when I saw him in the minors. Like Patterson he was a disappointment and not really a bust as he had a long and somewhat succesful career as a reliever, but I really thought he was going to be a star.

    Wood, Prior, Cruz and Clement were each top 10 prospects in all of baseball within a 5 year period. And Z was always a high ceiling guy as well. I really thought that rotation was going to be invincible. The worst thing about it, other than Cruz to some degree, none of them were busts. 3 got injured, one moved to the pen and 1 turned insane. My entire brain is crying.

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    In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    He was starting to slump, however, at the time he got hurt. I think the Cubs were fortunate he went down in many ways and I do not think the injury had any impact on his career. He had a few good moments, but was a very frustrating player to watch on a lot of levels.

  • In reply to Mauricio Rubio Jr.:

    I think people throw the bust label on Patterson too liberally. Did he disappoint? Absolutely.

    But the guy played 10+ years in the majors. Busts don't do that.

    It also speaks to his freakish athletic talent that he possessed that a guy that seemingly never made any adjusments throughout his career. He still chased the same pitches. Never worked counts. And he still played 10 years. The guy just never got it. If the light ever would have went on, he had the ability to be McCutchen or Ellsbury type player.

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Yes this is important point that seems to get glossed over by many. I remember the excitement surrounding Felix Pie, but he was never viewed in the same category as Patterson or Baez.

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    In reply to dabynsky:

    Exactly. Just because Felix Pie was the Cubs' top prospect for a couple of seasons doesn't mean he was one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

    Similarly, Josh Vitters, arguably, was our top prospect in 2009, but Baseball America ranked him as just #51 overall.

    Chicago sports fans and writers have a tendency to think exclusively within the Chicago bubble. Felix Pie should not even be in the same conversation as Javier Baez.

  • What sticks in my head are the number of memorable performances Baez had just last season- the two-homer game against Japan where his walk-off won the game, the four home runs for Daytona, or his diving catch in the ninth to save a no-hitter for Jokisch. But when checking his ceiling against Tulo and Almora's against Ellsbury and/or CarGo, AA projects to have a higher WAR value due to his advanced defense. It's going to be fun watching Javy and the other prospects advance to the majors because seeing guys like Barney scuffle on a daily basis is not very entertaining.

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    In reply to Paulson:

    Iowa will be interesting this year, with several legit prospects on the team (Villanueva, Baez, Alcantara, Hendricks, Ramirez, Szczur, Vizcaino, and more) Much more than last year, which was basically Junior Lake and a collection of 4-A guys. Our system is maturing

  • In reply to Paulson:

    Didn't Baez also hit something like 4 homers in five ABs in spring training?

  • Not that I want to in any way 'leap' to the defense of previous managment and development teams in our Cub's system - but I don't really think you can call Corey Patterson a 'bust'.

    He was a perfectly useful player for a few seasons - especially a season or two he had in Baltimore - he just never lived up to the hype that preceeded him. He had a nice mix of decent defense, a bit of power, and some more than useful speed. He just never developed any selectivity at what he would swing at.

    Would some more time in the minors have helped he address that problem? Maybe - with the right people around.

  • Mel Hall.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Helped get us Rick Sutcliffe. Thanks for the memories.

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    I agree with what someone said above. Pie and Patterson were set up to fail from the get-go. The way they were handled made me cringe. Management couldn't decide if they wanted Patterson to be a lead-off type or a middle-of-the-order hitter.

    Baez has been carefully watched and instructed from day 1. I feel like if guys like Starlin Castro, Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson got the same kind of detailed instruction and development were seeing with Baez, Almora, Soler, etc they wouldn't be where they are now(Castro would probably be a star)

    The previous FO's philosophyphilosophy was "put up good numbers, get promotions". They never took time out to work on Castro's approach or Bjax' swing. That's what I like about the new FO

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Moving players up and down the order to figure out where they fit best is very normal. Just take a look at Castro the past few years.

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    In reply to Monkey Shines:

    Moving them throughout the order is one thing. But they went deeper than that. One day they wanted him to shorten up his swing, bunt more, or hit the ball on the ground like a leadoff hitter. The next day its "we want you to be a power hitter so get the ball in the air more".

    They constantly went back and forth on the approach they wanted him to have until he was broken beyond repair.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I think Corey Patterson's inability to hit the ball and take walks (both were likely tied to pitch recognition issues) were his biggest demise. That and being pushed hard through the minor leagues. Consistent messaging on how to approach hitting is definitely important, but with Patterson, there were a bunch of other factors in play that made him a flawed hitter.

    As for the bunt vs. homer, etc. moving guys up and down the lineup alone in essence will have an impact on how they approach at bats, whether they're explicitly told to bunt or not. And I do remember the messaging stuff with Patterson. I just think the other flaws in his game played a much larger role in his ineffectiveness.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    ...and that's why sandpaper Dale is no longer here.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Yes, you nailed it. In the Theo/Jed report card I give them an A+ to this point in player development.

  • I had just asked my cousin, Eldon, if he had been approached by WSCR regarding rooftop business. They often chat with him on legal issues. Just heard he is slated for 3 PM today

  • In reply to Hubbs16:


  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    Thank you for posting this. i have been waiting to hear what Eldon will say about the current rooftop news. His calls on WSCR are always excellent.

  • Corey Patterson's problem was he wanted to be a power hitter and he was only 5'10 180. I dont even know why he was considerd a big prospect. Also he never could hit lefties even in the minors.

  • Anybody hear ANYTHING from or about my namesake, "StillMissKennyHubbs"? I'm kinda worried about him. Hope he is just taking it easy on some tropical island while I freeze.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    He hasn't commented in a while. Not sure. Hopefully we hear from him soon.

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    Instead of "The Unicorn," might I suggest "El Unicorno" ?

    Maybe that's just all the Dora the Explorer I read to my kids talking.

  • I had read a great article about how the Cardinals identify players and that players with raw talents such as Pie, Patterson and the current crop of prospects have to turn that talent into verifiable skills to succeed at the MLB levels. Talent that has not been converted to repeatable skill is just raw and prone to failure. The article also mentioned how the Cards identify coachability and Baseball IQ. I can remember days when the 3B was back on Patterson or Pie and they could have bunted for hits all day. One time when I was in a skybox, I yelled bunt so loudly at Patterson , Jim Hendry looked over at me and then looked at the 3B. He nodded his head yes and picked up his cell phone. I could only hope he was calling Dusty. (strike 3 looking of course on a backdoor curve).

    I believe this FO does a much better job educating and that was a key point in the dismissal of Svuem and hiring of Renteria. There is a reason Randy Bush is around from his Minnesota Twins upbringing. Talents turned to skill and IQ equal wins. There are easily 2-3 wins a year because you just play smarter baseball than the other team.

  • In reply to Gator:

    I couldn't agree more about Pie & Patterson bunting more with their speed and the infielders playing back!!!
    I also wished Svuem would have tried bunting a little more with our lack of power, ability to put the ball in play, & they never seemed to get that timely hit either.
    With his two spring training "Bunting Contests" you would think the coaching staff could have implemented bunting into the Cubs game plan. Especially Barney, Castro, Valbuena, & Lake; those guys might have been able to get out of their slumps. Not saying Castro can bunt at all, but Lake did when he first came up & made the game exciting with his speed.

  • In reply to Rusty Becker:

    Agreed. Bunting for hits is still SABR friendly and it takes skill. A more athletic team might be able to exploit situational bunting to extend innings and not necessarily give away outs. I always think of Brett Butler as the best bunter of my lifetime. He just had a knack for it. I wouldn't mind seeing Alcantara, Castro, Watkins, Barney and some of the young OF prospects like Szczur and Hanneman really learn to do this well and join Junior Lake in the bunt parade. Defensive indecision created by the mere threat of bunting again speaks to baseball IQ.

  • In reply to Gator:

    I think that sacrifice bunts are usually a horrible play, but bunting for a hit is many circumstances is extremely undervalued.

    A good example is, as mentioned above, Lake. He often shows poor pitch selectivity, and it certainly hurts him. But he also shows not only a talent, but more importantly, a willingness to bunt for a base hit, which certainly helps him. I think at one point he was 5 for 9 in bunt attempts.

    I would live to see Rizzo bunt when the infield is shifted and the third baseman is playing shortstop. I have heard some say that for Rizzo to bunt in that situation is just doing the other team a favor. I don't buy it. If the other team is happy to hold him to one base, why don't they just walk him every time he comes to the plate?

  • With Baez I think it's all about growing up. In "11" he only played a few games and basically was being introduced to the thought of being a ballplayer. In "12" he played 75 games and as we all know he did well but we have to remember he was still a 20 year old kid. Last year he finally played a full season and apparently figured out that even though it is still a game it's also a job.

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    OT, but Keith Law just came out with his organizational rankings. Cubs are #4 in his book, behind Astros, Twins, Pirates. He cited lack of impact pitching as a problem, which we know.

    Cards are #12; still pretty good. Brewers are dead last.

    Last year, Law had the Cubs at #5. Since then, we have added Bryant, CJ Edwards, Olt, Ramirez, Eloy Jimenez, among others. #5 seemed a little high last year, #4 seems a little low this year, but it's still better than we used to be

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I remember last year he was higher on their pitching than most. Or at least more hopeful. I'm guessing he didn't think those pitchers made enough progress last year.

    Hopefully this year will be different but I would like to see the Cubs get a TOR candidate if it becomes available through the draft or trade.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    With all the pitching we took in the last 2 drafts, I think our pitching prospects are better than people like K Law give us credit for. No big deal though, Law will eventually come around when he sees the eventual results.

  • I hope that the FO gives Javier his reps at AAA even if it looks like he can contribute in Wrigley. Patterson was not the prospect that Baez is, but the Cubs got in a hurry.

  • I think we're gonna be glad we didn't trade Javier Baez, Pierce Johnson and another top prospect for Mike Stanton... Like many were suggesting.

    Can't wait for April, I think I'll watch more minor league games than big league games this year.

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    In reply to Caps:

    Me too. I think we'll have a good feel at the end of this year as to whether the Cubs will be contending by 2016 or whether it's going to take more time.

    Keith Law said in his current evaluation of the Cubs system (No. 4 overall, which I think is about right) that they could have one of the best offenses in baseball by 2016. Big years by The Big Four could solidify that thought.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Trading Javier Baez was never considered by anyone who mattered I am sure. Only fans.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Well, I'm sure not just fans, I'm pretty sure some writers tinkered with the idea of trading Baez or Soler in a package for Stanton... But other than that, yeah, it was mostly fans.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Yeah the writers that did it really made me cringe. I can excuse fans. Especially the ones that hadn't actually seen him play. Major beat writers should know better. Or at least be told by people in the industry how foolish it was.

    But man, am I glad that I don't have to reply to the 'Trade Javy' comments anymore. At one point it became almost daily. I can only imagine if this blog was as popular back then as it is becoming now. I never would have gotten any work done. I would have spent all my time at work defending Baez.

    One last time, with feeling, for all of those still harboring 'Trade Javy' beliefs:
    Javy is the last of the big 4 that the Cubs should ever consider trading. He has the highest ceiling. He has the highest floor. Yes, even higher than Almora, guys with his bat speed don't bust. Ever. At worst he is Rickie Weeks. He has the most versatility. He can stick at SS. Etc, etc, etc.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    LOL exactly... I like Stanton, but it never made sense for me to trade a Baez AND prospects for Stanton when Baez alone could end up having more value than Stanton if he pans out, if only just because of the fact that Baez can play a premium position... Add to that more prospects and it would've been a bad trade for the Cubs.

  • In reply to Caps:

    My response to the Stanton ones usually boiled down to yes Stanton is the type of player I would love to trade for. And if you want to send Soler in a package for him, you do it in a hearbeat. But you don't trade Javy. Javy is Mike Stanton...at SS.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    Not picking on you mjvz, but beat writers don't write about such things, the columnists do. And they do know better, but it's their job to create controversy and stir the pot, not be right or wrong.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Spots reporters have only one goal. And that goal isn't to be right. It is to draw readership. And the best and fastest way to do that is to be controversial.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Thanks. I think one thing that I'm luck for is that I've been given the freedom is to write what I want to write about and I thank Chicago Now for that. I write about the things that interest me about baseball. I'm glad you guys enjoy the same stuff I do!

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Gotta believe teams inquired and we know Epstoyer will listen, but...

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    I echo the sentiment on Patterson and the injury. He was having a breakout season in 2003. I remember how bummed I was when it was confirmed a torn ACL. Of course Kenny Lofton coming about a month later lessened the impact for the season. But I felt he was never the same the rest of his career. Of course those flaws might have always been there and would of appeared with no injury. But I always felt that really derailed his career. Pie of course never even showed flashes at the MLB level.

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    In reply to Sean Holland:

    Pie had a couple of nice years in Baltimore as a 4th outfirlder. In 2009 he batted .266 with 9 HR and a solid .763 OPS in 252 at bats. He followed that up in 2010 with a .274 avg and 31 RBI in 288 at bats.
    Like Patterson, Pie ran well and played solid D. BTW, Pie made it back to the majors last year, appearing in 27 games for the O's.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I don't remeber exactly but wasn't Pie's defense much better than Patterson's? On Patterson, I don't have the stats in front of me, but I believe that his highest batting ave ever was in Low A Lansing. If I remember correctly his ave went down at almost every level he went up.
    That's not a true high level prospect in my book

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    I believe Pie had better tools defensively, incredible athleticism and a stronger arm than Patterson, but I think Patterson was better defensively thanks to better instincts... I remember Pie making incredible plays, including a game in which Ken Griffey Jr (now playing RF) robbed somebody of a hr and later in the game, Griffey hit a blast to CF and Pie robbed him back, full extension bringing it from over the fence... Also remember him making a sliding catch and CF and getting up to throw the base runner tagging... But he was too inconsistent.

  • I agree with most here, I'm always annoyed that people regard Patterson as a bust. A huge disappointment, yes, but any pick that makes it to the majors, is a starter for several years, and accumulates over 100 career HRs and 200 career SBs in the majors? That's not a bust, I'm sorry.

  • In reply to notcarlosdanger:


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    I just got excited as a school girl realizing that I live in Des Moines and can watch him play for at least 30 games. For serious.

    Hey Jon, it appears that you need a full time Javy blogger. can you get me a press pass??! :)

  • In reply to Phil James:

    Haha! I can't do that for you but looking forward to hearing your thoughts as you see him play.

    If he gets off to a good start we may have to start the Baez watch

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I think the Baez watch is going to start in spring training. I'm not saying he is going to break camp with the big league team, but I'm pretty sure everything he does is going to be monitored by us fans that can't wait to see him in Wrigley.

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    In reply to Phil James:

    I am jealous, Iowa is going to be awesome this year, with several legit prospects (Baez, Alcantara, Villanueva, Hendricks, Ramirez, Szczur, maybe Bryant if he rakes in AA). Last year's team was basically Junior Lake and a bunch of 4-A types.

  • In reply to Phil James:

    I live about 3 hours away. I only went a few times last year since the Iowa team didn't have much tobe excited about in the way of prospects. This year though? I'll be making plenty of trips, at least until Baez gets called up.

  • I know I said this yesterday, but I love the Fangraphs 5 year projections for Baez. If he hits like this, I honestly don’t care what position he plays…


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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    Those power numbers are certainly optimistic! I think he has the potential to raise that BA/OBP too!

  • Patterson, especially pre-knee injury was a very good CF. Maybe not gold glove, but close.

    The thing that made Patterson so intriguing as a prospect was that he had 25+ HR and 40+ SB potential to go along with very good defense at a premium position. He was never a guy projected to compete for a batting title. He just never figured out the strike zone to consistently tap into the power or get on base enough to utilize the speed. He was basically a left handed Andrew McCutchen.

  • If been a Cubs fan for over 50 years. It makes no sense to make any connection between what a former regime did compared the current one. Maybe we could look at the current Boston BA top 10 prospects and see that Theo signed 9 of the 10.

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    How much of Brandon Wood do you see in Baez(God forbid), John?

  • In reply to Jim Pedigo:

    Statistically there are some similarities. Both good athletes but Baez is simply a better hitter. Swings and misses have to do with sometimes overly aggressive approach. To me, Wood's swing and miss was more do the the holes in his swing. Brandon Wood may be more similar to Brett Jackson in that respect.

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    Like to hear what you think as well, Mauricio, regarding my Brandon Wood comparison.

  • I like the article; however, it is hard to correlate affirmatively or negatively between Baez and Patterson/Pie. Perhaps this is what is meant by "the context" being different. If by "context" one means the regime changes and Jed/Theo/Jason approach of making sure prospects face and overcome adversity before being promoted, that could be the case. Otherwise, Javier has much chance as being a boom, bust or somewhere in between as Patterson, Castro, etc. All were highly rated -- Patterson the highest at #2 -- and didn't play college ball.

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    Patterson was hardly a bust. He had over 1,000 hits, 100 homers, 200 stolen bases and made around 15 million dollars. Not quite bust material despite being 3rd in the draft and having super high expectations.

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