The Chicago Cubs are calling up top second base and shortstop prospect Javier Baez to the major leagues tomorrow in Colorado, reports said on Monday. Baez becomes the second Cubs top prospect, after fellow infielder Arismendy Alcantara, to be promoted to the major leagues this year.
On the season, Baez hopped from Single-A Advanced Daytona to Double-A Tennessee to the final stop before the big leagues in Triple-A Iowa. In 577 plate appearances with all three teams, Baez posted a great .282/.341/.578 triple-slash line with 37 home runs and 111 runs batted in. Baez, who had played shortstop all throughout his professional career, appeared at second base with Iowa 16 times. He expects to appear at both the shortstop and second base positions during the Cubs' final 51 games this year.
As ranked by MLB.com midway through this season, Baez was ranked as the fifth-best prospect in all of the minor leagues, and the second-best Cubs prospect, behind 2013 First Round pick Kris Bryant. He was expected to arrive in Chicago this season, so the question became when, rather than will.
The 21-year-old Baez has excellent bat speed, which generates his huge power. MLB.com ranks Baez's power 70 on an 80 scale. His plate discipline needs work, as he generated a 29 percent strikeout rate to only an eight percent walk rate in his 434 plate appearances with Triple-A. However, Baez is a good bad-ball hitter, so his bad plate discipline may not hurt him that much. But if he wants to hit for a high average, which many expect he is capable of, he needs to work on striking out less and walking more.
Cubs fans have to be excited for the arrival of their 2011 First Round selection, as they know that they are getting closer to the team's first postseason birth since the 2008 season. Javier Baez coming to the big leagues in Colorado is just the beginning of the Chicago Cubs' predicted resurgence. This is going to be an exciting final 51 games for Cubs fans across the country.