21-Year-Old Shortstop – Chicago Cubs
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Although there are a lot of good contenders for the honor, Baez is the brightest jewel in the Cubs' minor league system. After mastering High-A Daytona with 17 home runs in 299 at-bats, he was even be...
Baez, who hit his first home run of the spring Monday, could get a few extra looks while Starlin Castro (hamstring) is on the shelf, but the Cubs aren't going to change their long-term plans when it comes to promoting him, ESPN Chicago reports.
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Chicago Cubs Roster
MajorsAlcantara, Arismendy (SS)
AAABaez, Javier (SS)
AAAndreoli, John (OF)
A+Almora, Albert (OF)
AAmaya, Gioskar (2B)
Javier Baez: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The ninth overall pick in the 2011 first-year player draft, Baez broke out in 213 Low-A at-bats with a .333/.383/.596 line. He also stole 20 bases and was caught only three times. The 19-year-old (he turned 20 on December 1) didn't fare as well at High-A, with a .644 OPS in 80 at-bats, and he drew only 14 walks in 293 combined at-bats at both levels. He also missed much of the Arizona Fall League with a broken thumb. Nonetheless, he's expected to be ready for spring training and should move through the team's system quickly. Because Starlin Castro is entrenched at shortstop, Baez might have to slide over to third base (something with which the team experimented in the AFL before he got hurt). But the team still prefers Baez as a shortstop, so it's a problem they'll have to work out when he gets to the majors, probably in 2014.
The ninth overall pick in last year's draft, Baez projects as a power-hitting infielder who can steal a base and hit for average. With Starlin Castro presumably having the shortstop position locked down in Chicago for years to come, Baez is likely to shift over to third base. Expect the 19-year-old to get a taste of Low-A this year and move through the team's system rapidly if he's up to the task.