Ready or not, here he comes. The day that Cubs fans have been clamoring for was made official on Monday. The Chicago Cubs announced that Javier Baez will be joining the team on Tuesday when the Cubs open up a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver.
Rarely has a Cubs prospect created more buzz than Baez. Baez was the first round draft pick (ninth overall) of the Cubs in 2011 and has rocketed through the organization, reaching Chicago in his third full season.
Baez was rated the top prospect in the Cubs organization according to Baseball America coming in to the 2014 season. Baez had a horrible start to the 2014 season, struggling to make adjustments to triple-A pitching. Baez hit just .172 for the Iowa Cubs in April and battled an ankle injury that landed him on the disabled list.
Baez hit .250 in May and .275 in June before having a break-out month in July. Baez finished July batting .300 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI in 29 games. Baez played in 20 games after the All-Star break, hitting .342 with nine home runs and 25 RBI in 20 games. Overall, Baez hit .260 with 23 home runs and 80 RBI for Iowa in 104 games. He departs the PCL tied for third in home runs and ranks second in RBI.
After spending his entire professional career at shortstop, Baez recently moved to second base, playing 16 games there. Baez committed two errors in 85 chances after moving to second base.
In what is clearly a down year on the north side of Chicago, optimism for the future is growing. Arismendy Alcantara was the first of the highly touted prospects to depart Iowa for Chicago and has handled himself quite well, hitting .253 is his first 21 games. Baez is expected to anchor an infield that already includes all-stars Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, with Kris Bryant waiting in the wings in Iowa to fill out a potentially thunderous infield.