Cubs Select Javier Baez with the Ninth Pick in the 2011 Draft

The Cubs selected Javier Baez out of Arlington County Day School (HS) in Jacksonville with the ninth pick in the 2011 draft. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound shortstop throws and bats right-handed. Baez hit .771 with 22 home runs, 20 doubles and six triples in his senior year in high school. Baez swiped 28 bases and walked 32 times with only three strikeouts.

Javier Baez (18 years old, 12/01/92) is originally from Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

From Baseball America:

Javier Baez’s bat is too good to ignore and offensively he has few peers in this year’s draft. Baez has the fastest bat in the draft, and while he has dead-pull approach at times, he has the bat speed to let balls get deep in the zone.

Baez has plus raw power, which may serve him well if he has to move to third base. Baez has the defensive tools to stay at shortstop until he outgrows the position. He possesses enough arm to play either third or short and the tools to be a catcher.

Baez plays with energy but not always positive energy and he turns off some scouts with emotional outbursts and an off-field demeanor some describe as aloof.

From ESPN.com:

Baez is one of the best prep bats in the class, with power and a chance to hit for average as well. He played shortstop in high school but is believed to be headed for third base as a pro. The swing is a bit long but there’s bat speed to spare and the Cubs are big on upside talent.

From Scout.com:

Hitting
The bat is what’s going to make Baez special. He has an advanced feel with the bat and drives the ball with authority to all parts of the park. He’s willing to shoot the ball to right field or spin on an inside fastball. This is as complete a hitter as there is in the 2011 draft class. Baez is mechanically sound and rarely expands the zone.

Fielding
He has the tools to play shortstop, but his plus arm may make him a better fit at third base as he gets a bit older. There’s also been talk of putting his stocky, athletic frame and plus arm behind the plate for the long term.

Click Here for Report on Baez from Cubs.com
Click Here for Report on Baez from the Sun-Times

2011 Draft Schedule

11:00am CDT – Tuesday, June 7 – Rounds 2-30
11:00am CDT – Wednesday, June 8 – Rounds 31-50

The CCO will post updates as the selections are announced.

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Day Two of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft

Second RoundDaniel Vogelbach, 1B from Bishop Verot (HS) in Florida with the 68th pick in the 2nd round, 6-foot, 250 lbs, Bats: L, Throws: R

Third RoundEzekiel DeVoss, CF from Miami, FL with the 98th pick in the 3rd round, 5-foot-10, 175 lbs, Bats: S, Throws: R

Fourth RoundTony Zych, RHP from Louisville with the 129th pick in the 4th round, 6-foot-3, 190 lbs

Fifth RoundTayler Scott, RHP from Notre Dame (HS), Arizona with the 159th pick in the 5th round, 6-foot-3, 165 lbs

Sixth Round - Neftali Rosario, C from Puerto Rico BB Academy (HS) with the 189th pick in the 6th round, 5-foot-11, 193 lbs, Bats: R, Throws: R

Seventh RoundTrevor Gretzky, 1B from Oaks Christian (HS), CA with the 219th pick in the 7th round, 6-foot-4, 190 lbs Bats: L, Throws: L

Eighth RoundTaylor Dugas, CF from University of Alabama with the 249th pick in the 8th round, 5-foot-8, 170 lbs, Bats: L, Throws: L

Ninth RoundGarrett Schlecht, RF from Waterloo (HS), IL with the 279th pick in the 9th round, 6-foot-2, Bats: L, Throws: L

Tenth RoundDaniel Lockhart, SS from Hebron Christian Academy, GA with the 309th pick in the 10th round, 5-foot-11, 165 lbs, Bats: L, Throws: R

Eleventh Round - Shawon Dunston, Jr., CF from Valley Christian, CA (HS) with the 339th pick in the 11th round, 6-foot-2, 170 lbs, Bats: L, Throws: R

Quote of the Day

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him." - Leo Aikman
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  • Vivid_Reality

    I really hope the Cubs take Matt Purke with their next pick. Injury concerns really hurt his draft stock as he was projected as a top ten pick. I’d be fine rolling the dice on this, classic high risk/high reward.

  • jw

    I am not a batting coach but it looks like he cocks the bat and shoulders backwards before he swings at the ball…that appears to me to be too much movement and requires a lot of timing. When he sees MLB fastballs and change-ups he won’t have the time for all of that movement and the swing must be more truncated…Is “I hope they know what they are doing” a rhetorical and meaningless statement at this point?

    PS; I do believe taking a third baseman shortstop or catcher with the first pick is strategically sound but taking a high school athlete requires a lot of projection and is high risk for your first pick.

    • paulcatanese

      JW, thats not all that bad. You must rotate a little to get any kind of power, but he does overdo it a little. That is not something that cannot be corrected as
      I feel they will address that. It must be a level slower rotation to cover everything, that along with pitch recognition ( something a lot of the Cub hitters have trouble with right now) The insane bonus’s that are out there would make this a high risk. I am more in favor of college players being taken in the draft, there is more to look at as they have matured more.

  • GaryLeeT

    Another undisciplined free swinger? He’ll fit right in.

  • Aaron

    Well, I hope Baseball America’s take (I believe it was them) on Baez was wrong, as that was the report I was going off in the thread last night.

    Basically, their report was almost the exact same description as Montanez when the Cubs landed him in 2000. It read something like this:
    average speed
    average defense
    below average range at shortstop, will have to find new position later
    average plate discipline
    overaggressive at times at the plate
    could add more power as his frame fills out

    That was almost the same description as Montanez.

    Also, if Baez hopes to stay at shortstop even in the lower rungs of the minors, the Cubs player development staff needs to fix the hitch in his release. If you look at the video, it’s not all one motion, like Castro, where you can make plays in the hole, and nab the guy at first because you have a smooth delivery. With the hitch, that split second means a lot of runners will beat out hits in the hole with him at shortstop unless it’s fixed.

    When I was in high school, I had the same problem on days I wasn’t pitching, and playing middle infield. I didn’t even know I had the hitch until I was videotaped. We tried working on it, and it got a little better, but I wasn’t completely focused on middle IF, so I never completely broke myself of this habit. Plus, I’d been doing it my whole life that it became second nature to me. I was still getting the outs, (aside from the day in Legion Ball where I made 3 consecutive errors on 3 consecutive pitches at shortstop…also my last game there….but that’s a different story for a different day, and it was unrelated to the hitch in my release) but that was high school. In pro ball, as I said, you simply cannot have that hitch as the competition gets far better.

    Anyway, I hope nobody takes my criticism to mean that I hope Baez fails or anything, as I really want him to do well, and his stats (which I didn’t have before in my initial criticism) look tremendous, as no matter what league you’re in, if you’re hitting over .700 with 20+doubles, 20+bombs, and 20+stolen bases….those numbers are cartoonish. 

    But I trust the report I had, and everything thereafter seems to be coming from the Cubs directly, and everyone is just repeating it, such as the Sun-Times, Tribune, etc. Even ESPN’s report has changed somewhat. So who knows, maybe Baseball America (?) was off-base with their report. It certainly seems that way, as he swiped 28 bases and they said he had average speed, and he looked fairly fast in that video, though there was no stop watch for us to see. Plus, they say he had average plate discipline and he had 32 walks vs 3 K’s. Sometimes those reports are bogus, as they seem to think high school and college guys get 500 plate appearances as they do in pro ball, and yet it’s more like 200 for college and 150 for high school at best. For Baez, that’d equate to roughly 105 walks with 500 plate appearances, and perhaps more if I’m wrong about high school plate appearances (I know I’m spot on with college though). So how they say that’s average plate discipline is beyond me. 

    Also, they said he’d add power as he fills out, almost alluding to the fact that he doesn’t already have power. I don’t know if they’re saying 22 home runs isn’t enough or what….but that sure looks like he has a lot of power to me. Maybe they were doing a projection based on him going to wood bats from metal, where the ball wouldn’t jump nearly as much for him? Who knows? So, like I said, reports can be wrong sometimes, because just like my criticism of the team, it’s all from my perception of management (and it’s not good), so I am skeptical of nearly every move Cubs management makes. And guess what? I happen to be right more times than not. Go figure….if they added someone like Gillick to the front office, I’d likely be wrong more times than not. Sometimes scouting services are the same way. They have a bias towards certain publications and certain scouting reports, so they’ll dial it down a notch, or dial it up a notch, depending on where the report came from…or they’ll just leave it as it is. 

    My college teammate, prior to blowing out his shoulder as I did, was a top 10 prospect in the Mets organization. He once sent me his own scouting report that had him listed at 6’4″, 225 (he was only 6’2″, 205…and that was in cleats), and said he averaged about 94-96 mph on the gun, and topped at 97 mph. He actually averaged 90-92 mph, and topped at 95 mph, as a lefty. He thought it was amusing, and so did I. In fact, I sent him an email back with a picture of steroids and HGH, and asking him if that’s what the Mets were feeding him. But the point is, you get these wildly different scouting reports, and unless you’re doing the scouting yourself with a radar gun, stop-watch, and seeing them in ACTUAL competition (meaning NOT at some showcase facing batting practice fastballs and routine groundballs off a fungo)….then it’s really tough to make a judgement call. And guess what? It sure seems that most of the Cubs’ scouting reports on their potential draft picks come from control environments. Are they really that lazy? In fact, Hayden Simpson’s radar readings last year were from a damn bullpen session, and NOT gameday readings (I know this, because a friend of mine is a scout for the Pirates, and he knew about that session). 

    Anyway, good luck to the kid, and to the Cubs. I hope they FINALLY get it right with a first round pick, and he becomes a star, but if you’re a betting person…..don’t count on it. After all, they ARE the Cubs.

    • cubtex

      As you say…his High School stats are ridiculous!!! .771 average 64 for 83 22 bombs 20 doubles and only 3 K’s and 28sb’s. The thing about the 60 timing in baseball…..you can be quick and not habe a great 60 time. I recall several players who might run a 6.7 but they can’t steal….while a quick kid off the blocks who might run a 6.9 is a basestealing threat. It is all about the first couple of steps when stealing.

      • paulcatanese

        I agree here on his stats, first of all what kind of league is it? Are their fences at all the fields? No fences could mean a lot of gappers that turn into HRs.
        Pitching,could mean only one or two decent hurlers in the league, and how many catchers are up to the task of throwing him out.?

        By the way,I responded to youre response,the post before last where you responded to me. If you get the chance check it out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Good post on showing why you were saying what you said last night Aaron. I do hope he shoots through the system and is the dynamic bat that everyone keeps talking about. I just think it was a stretch AGAIN.

       I really do not think after all these guys that are picked way before they should by the Cubs and yet Hendry and Wilkens are never held to task for it. They reached for Colvin. They reached last year for Hayden Simpson. I know that the draft is a crap shoot at best and the best teams have a 50% success level in the first round but come on this is now 10 years and counting since we actually had a player from the first round that was an impact player (the jury is still out on Cashner).

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin

      Is this your way of saying my fellow puertorican might be a good pick? lol!

  • PleaseStopLosing

    We got the 9th rated player in the draft with the 9th pick…. I don’t feel like there is much reason to complain here. I will not be negative about this pick till we see how he performs in the minor leagues for at least 2 years.

    Our system lacks power and bat speed, this kid has both and very impressive stats that don’t show me a lack of plate discipline at all.

    Be positive for once. I like the statement “2nd best bat in the draft” and “offensively he has few peers in this draft”….. Sounds like a good pick.

    • Aaron

      Like I said, I’m overly critical because this management team hasn’t done ANYTHING to inspire confidence, and their decision-making in the past has been dreadful, so they don’t get the benefit of the doubt with me….not with their track record.

      That being said, reports I’ve read on Baez are conflicting, so who knows the real story on the kid. He looks pretty good on video though.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R65T7II7FYX7HGQW2XLHDDWJRQ Agustin

        The media here had him going on the top 5…but you know how biased they all are.

  • cubtex

    Neil, any chance the Cubs draft Daniel Norris in 2nd round if he is there? He slid because of his asking price.

    • Aaron

      I know you asked Neil, but I think we might already know the answer to this one….and it’s NO!!!!!!!!!!!! I believe there’s a huge reason why they selected Baez….they must have already known he’d be an easier signing. The Cubs are on the naughty list for their debt, and I’d be shocked if MLB allowed them to pay over-slot for Norris, which they’d most certainly have to do in order to sign him. Remember, MLB put a stop to the Rangers going over-slot last year, or the year before…can’t remember, because of their debt situation (which, I’ll grant was worse than the Cubs).

      Norris would likely demand around $4 million http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14139&mode=print&nocache=1307172328 , according to the letter he sent out to bypass college, and there’s no way the Cubs would offer that.

    • Gary J

      He lasted until 73 – so the Cubs weren’t the only team thinking it would be a tough sign.

  • Aaron

    Neil, 

    I also have to give you props for the Cuban lefty report. Apparently your initial report was correct. I saw an update on that site last night that said a memo went out to MLB teams a few months ago letting them know he was draft eligible. 

    Therefore, if I were the Cubs, my next selection would be either Speck or Purke (and I’d take that injury risk because he’s a lefty).

    The reason I’d take Speck before Purke or anyone else, is that unless Speck is a couch potato right now, not doing any baseball related activities, he might be the closest to the big leagues of any other player in the draft. And the Cubs need starting pitching help IMMEDIATELY as Whitenack is out for the year with TJ surgery, Jackson has shoulder issues, Carpenter and Dolis are now relievers, and McNutt is on the DL with potentially cracked ribs (they say bruised, but that usually means cracked, which means a longer recovery time). All the Cubs have to choose from is basically retreads like Davis, Lopez, and Ortiz, and non-prospects like Coleman, Bibens-Dirkx, and the like. 

    So, yeah, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if they drafted for an immediate need, especially since other big names like Dwight Smith Jr. and Dante Bichette Jr. are already off the board. However, if guys like Ricky Orepesa (3B-USC), Christian Lopes (SS/RHP-hs), Wallace Gonzalez (OF-hs), Brandon Sedell (C-hs), Preston Tucker (1B-Florida), BA Vollmouth (SS-Southern Miss), Jason Esposito (SS-Vandy) are still available when the Cubs select 9th in the 2nd round, then it’d be difficult to pass them up…especially Lopes, Gonzalez, and Esposito.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs selected Daniel Vogelbach, 1B from Bishop Verot (HS) in Florida with the 68th pick in the 2nd round

    Please note, I will post updates in the main report as the picks are announced

    • Aaron

      It’s almost like the Cubs brass flipped the fanbase the bird with that selection, basically saying, “we don’t only take athletes…we’ll show you…we’ll take an overweight, 1 dimensional player.”

      Did you see the scouting video on that guy? His bat even looked slow. With Daniel Norris still on the board, I’m shocked they took Vogelbach, especially since it will now increase Baez’s asking price. The Cubs likely could’ve signed Baez for $1.5 million but with Vogelbach asking $1.65 million, there’s absolutely no way Baez will settle for less than $2 million.

      I do realize my suggestion of drafting Norris contradicts that point, as Norris wants $4 million to sign, but pitchers often times command more in bonuses anyhow. With Vogelbach, now you’re comparing hitters, and if you watch the video, his bat seems pretty slow. Sure, he has power, but it’s NOT likely to translate at the pro level.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        When listening to the guys on MLB they had a thought that he was a supplemental player and stayed around deeper than thought. The immediate comparison because of power was Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder and is signable. Sounds to me like the brain trust is going on the slot system now.

      • Cloycub13

        I actually like the idea of a lefty 1B with light tower power. Question is, can he do it with a wood bat??? It appears if he sticks his butt into it he can hit the ball to Indiana.

        Also apparently he has a solid work ethic, and loves the game.

        2 picks. 2 Pure baseball players.

        I think they wiffed on the 3rd pick though, supposedly there were some solid arms still out there, and we reached on a campana esque CF/2B with a touch more power.

        Who knows, I sure as hell don’t. This is my first year really caring about the draft.

      • cc002600

        yea, sort of reminds me of a young Adam Dunn, the guy you love so much. 

        By the way, how’s he doing this year so far ?

        hmmm.

        • Aaron

          will respond later today to all this…have to go for the moment,.

          but Vogelbach’s scouting report looks solid….dropped from 288 lbs to 240 this year, and is looking to drop more supposedly.

          DeVoss was drafted by the Red Sox, but couldn’t sign him. He’s quick, but just like Campana….not much else other than glove and being fast.

          Zych is intriguing, because he’s a closer, and throws mid to upper 90’s, topping out at 98 mph.

          Given the fact he’s a college closer, this would lead me to believe the Cubs might be contemplating a Marmol trade, as they transitioned Carpenter to the pen and now Dolis, then they draft Zych…

          Who knows?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs selected Ezekiel DeVoss, CF from Miami, FL with the 98th pick in the 3rd round

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs selected Tony Zych, RHP from Louisville with the 129th pick in the 4th round

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      I wonder why they chose a RH and not a Lefty where we actually have more of the need?

      • Cloycub13

        99 MPH

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

          Good point. If he can go back to where he was last year we are in good shape with him just wondered why not a lefty there.

    • gary3411

      I’ve played against Zych since we were 10. Pretty cool he got picked by the Cubs, but I am in doubt he’s throwing 99 but you never know i guess, he was a consistent 90 sometimes 93 when he left high school and is a naturally skinny kid. This obviously means he’s packed some muscle in college, but you can only put on so much as a pitcher without losing velocity. Also, he’s been 6-2 since about 8th grade so it’s not as though he matured a bit more in college like some kids do. He is a younger junior though which is a plus, still 20 i believe. Some things for thought. Would be something if he made it.

  • paulcatanese

    Prone to “emotional outbursts”, and “off field demeanor”, sounds like a match made in Heaven, should breeze right thru the system with the Cubs.1st round.

    Second round pick, do you think the Cubs have Prince Feilder in mind here?

    • cc002600

       Yea, it sure is amazing isn’t it ?

      We seem to gravitate to guys with with volatile personalities and free swingers.   I guess “walks” are a dirty word in the land of Cub. 

      Meh, who needs those silly “base cloggers” ???  We prefer guys who swing at everything.

      There’s a reason we haven’t won in 103 years.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      I don’t know I think that he had first round power and was still on the board. One thing you can be certain of by the amount of weight he has dropped. The kid is serious about being a pro athlete and knows what it is going to take to get there.

      • Cloycub13

        Great Point Richard, that is a point that cannot be dismissed.

      • paulcatanese

        Richard, I should have made my post a little clearer, I was refering to Baez in the first round with the first comment. Second one was on the first baseman
        and a comparison of size with Fielder, sorry.

      • paulcatanese

        Richard, I remember coaching a youngster that was in that weight bracket hitting the ball a country mile, the only problem was he was once thrown out at first with a ball he hit off of the left field wall. But he was a great kid, loved the game and hustled as much as he could and deserved to play. He played first base with his limeted range. Eventualy had to give up sports because of the weight and damage to his ankles,sad for him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs selected Tayler Scott, RHP from Notre Dame (HS), Arizona with the 159th pick in the 5th round

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs selected Neftali Rosario, C from Puerto Rico BB Academy (HS) with the 189th pick in the 6th round

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Nothing confirmed but I’m seeing reports that Angel Guzman has left extended spring training and has joined the Peoria Chiefs

    • paulcatanese

      Like that Neil,wish him success.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs selected Trevor Gretzky, 1B from Oaks Christian (HS), CA with the 219th pick in the 7th round

    Yes, this is Wayne’s son

    • Cloycub13

      —A reach if his name were anything other than Gretzky. Power, with holes in his swing.

      —Also drafted a former 2010 All-American Midget in Taylor Dugas. Good eye, Good plate discipline, decent in the field.

      He is 5’7″ 165…a midget.

      —The Catcher is intriguing. Chirinos replacement no doubt, Younger of course…a solid fielder with surprising pop.  

      • paulcatanese

        I would have called him “Mighty Mouse” sounds a lot better than “Midget”.

        • Cloycub13

          That’s Fair.
          Mighty Mite
          Vertically Challenged
          Height Handicapped
          Aaron MIles
          Mike Fontenot

          Take your pick

          • paulcatanese

            I was 5′ 9″ and was called Mighty Mouse so I kind of know how he feels, the worst one up their would have to be Aaron Miles, can’t think of anything lower than that. I was taller than Phil Rizzuto though, and Nellie Fox.

    • paulcatanese

      I dont know if his son played hockey, but the genes are there. Hockey players are very good athletes, natural golfers, and can swing the bat.

    • John G

      Found this article about famous players’ (and others) sons eligible for this year’s draft.

      Do you suppose anyone would have the cajones to draft Scott Boras’ son? Maybe JH would think he could negotiate a great contract there.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs selected Taylor Dugas, CF from University of Alabama with the 249th pick in the 8th round

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat:   

    Angel Guzman added to Class A Peoria’s roster from extended Spring Training. He’s been rehabbing from shoulder surgery

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs selected Garrett Schlecht, RF from Waterloo (HS), IL with the 279th pick in the 9th round

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs selected Daniel Lockhart, SS from Hebron Christian Academy, GA with the 309th pick in the 10th round

  • Chuck

    Greetings from Fort Myers.  It was nice to see the Cubs pick Vogelbach from Bishop Verot High School.  His teammate Boyd was picked in first round by the Twins.  Bishop Verot H.S. was the Florida Class 3A state champs.  This High School has produced a number of 1st round draft picks the last few years:  Chris Johnson who plays 3rd base for the Astros and Bobby Borching of the D’Backs (in minors).  The high school games here are some of the beast around. 

    • studio179

      Yes, I have watched many good games in that area.

  • cc002600

    Before we get too giddy about all these picks, keep one thing in mind. The HS guys that we picked won’t see Wrigley for 5 or 6 years, most likely. Remember, these guys are 18 years old. 

    College players are different, but these HS guys are a long, long, long away from ever helping the big club.

    • paulcatanese

      You are right, at my age I’ll never see them at Wrigley.

  • Cloycub13

    Bring on the Shawon-O-Meter Junior!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Don’t get too excited, Dunston, Jr. is probably going to Vanderbilt

      • Cloycub13

        saw that…fun name to ponder though.

        Seems as if he has a lot of growing to do. Very Raw from what I am reading.

    • studio179

      Yeah, not likely. Good idea though. That would have been fun to see.

  • Cloycub13

    There is your Lefty Richard… Jacob Lindgren

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs selected Shawon Dunston, Jr., CF from Valley Christian, CA (HS) with the 339th pick in the 11th round.

    Dunston, Jr. has already committed to play ball at Vanderbilt

    • studio179

      Dunston, Jr. being selected made me think about his pops being selected #1 overall in ’82. My goodness did his dad have an arm. I remember Cub fans and Met fans arguing in the stands who had the better arm in that draft, Dunston or Gooden.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    a Canadian catcher ?

  • Clyder

    From what I have researched, it looks like a typical Cubs crappy draft.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      I do not know about that but it is a young cubs draft. We may not know how good some of these guys are for 5 years or more.