The Chicago Cubs announced on Monday that they are calling up number two prospect, Javier Baez from Triple-A Iowa. He will be joining the team in Colorado for a series against the Rockies starting last night. He was penciled in at 2nd base with fellow rookie, Arismendy Alcantara moving to center field when Baez is in the lineup. Baez, the overall number 5 prospect in all of Major League Baseball, was hitting .260 with 23 homers and 80 rbis in 104 games at Iowa. He got off to a slow start, batting .172 in April, but is batting .300 with 12 homers since July 1st. He played in the Futures game last month in Minnesota.
“Since the first month of the year, his approach has been much better,” Iowa Cubs manager, Marty Pevey told MLB.com. “I don’t know what his exact numbers are, I just know that he’s been starting to drive the ball better. He’s been a lot more patient, swinging at better pitches, giving himself a chance rather than chasing out of the zone. And he’s being a better teammate.”
Baez has been a shortstop his entire minor league career, but on July 17th last month he moved to second, because Starlin Castro is at short on the Northside as We all know. He wasn’t that great defensively at shortstop anyway.
“He’s done a great job, former Iowa and current Cubs teammate, Chris Valaika said of his switch of positions. I think that transition is really smooth. I think the more he does it, he’ll keep getting better and better. That transition has been pretty seamless.”
The Cubs selected the native from Puerto Rico right out of Arlington Country Day High School in Jacksonville, Florida in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft, and he’s quickly moved up the ladder in their system. However, he has struggled at first at each one, but he has made adjustments in order to succeed. He was invited to spring training this year and had a strong spring batting .310 with five homers, but led the team with 13 strikeouts in 42 at-bats.
Baez had gone 0 for 5 with three strikeouts last night until he came to bat in the 12th inning and hit the first pitch to him by Rockies reliever, Boone Logan for a homer, which ended up helping the Cubs win. Hopefully he’ll be launching balls whether it be to Waveland and Shefield, or some other ballpark as a Cub for a long time.