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August 5, 2014

The Call-Up

Javier Baez

by Mauricio Rubio and Jordan Gorosh


The Situation: On Monday, the Cubs announced they will be calling up IF Javier Baez from Triple-A Iowa, in time to make his debut Tuesday night in Coors Field. Baez will be playing second base, with Arismendy Alcantara shifting to CF. Baez ranked as the no. 1 prospect in the Cubs system in the Baseball Prospectus offseason Cubs Top 10, no. 4 in the offseason Top 101, and no. 5 on the midseason top 50.

Background: Baez was selected in the first round of the 2011 draft, as the ninth overall selection out of Jacksonville, Florida. The ’11 class was absolutely loaded with talent, and Baez is the second high school player selected in the first round to make his big-league debut, behind Dylan Bundy. With power to burn, Baez has smashed his way through the minor-league levels in short order. He slugged 161 extra base hits in 1,350 minor-league PA—a small number for a high school player to be deemed major-league ready.

After playing a handful of games in 2011, the infielder was sent to the Midwest league in 2012, where he put up a .333/.383/.596 line in 57 games, and scuffled to a .188/.244/.400 line in 23 other contests after being promoted to High-A. Baez’s prospect stock ballooned in 2013, as he combined for a .282/.341/.578 slash, with 37 bombs between High-A and Double-A. However, Triple-A proved to be a worthy test for Baez, especially in April, as he battled approach issues to a .619 OPS. He warmed up with the weather, culminating in a blistering July (.999 OPS). This is becoming a trend for Baez, often performing better as the season progresses, making adjustments as he goes.

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Related Content:  Chicago Cubs,  Prospects,  Scouting

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (08/05)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Mike Folt... (08/02)
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Premium Article The Call-Up: Michael T... (08/11)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Deep Impact: Week 18 (08/05)

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