The Great Javier Baez Debate

With Spring Training soon coming to a close and Javier Baez showing he belongs on the Major League roster, the Cubs surprised some fans by sending him down to Triple-A on Saturday. If you look across baseball, this is a common occurrence when it comes to an organization’s top young player. Take a look at what happened to the Astros and George Springer. The team reportedly offered Springer a seven-year, $23 million extension last September which he rejected and this spring he was sent down to the minors. Why was Springer good enough to be offered an extension with no Major League experience, but not good enough to make the team? Teams constantly tap dance around this issue and will cite development concerns and older players deserving to get their final chances through time accrued on the roster. But what’s the real reasoning? Why do teams across the league continually send down their top guys when they’ve proved themselves and a hole clearly needs to be filled?

It’s all about control. When a player comes up from the minors and stays as many top prospects do, the team has that player under control for six seasons. The first three seasons, the player makes close to the Major League minimum at a salary that the team decides. After those three years, the player enters arbitration for the final three seasons. As arbitration eligible, the player and the team he plays for both submit salary offers to each other and try to hammer out a contract before their arbitration date. If the team and the player cannot reach a resolution, the two offers are considered by a neutral third party at an arbitration hearing where the arbiter decides either the player’s or the team’s figure as salary for the coming season. The reason this can get expensive for teams as that the player generally submits a figure based on salaries of similar players in their age range and skill ability. If a top prospect becomes an All-Star caliber player, they tend to become very expensive in their arbitration years.

The main reason for delaying a top prospect however is the dreaded “Super-Two” status. According to the MLBPA, a Super-Two player is one that has at least two years of service time in the majors, but less than three years and at least half a season (86 days) the previous year. If that player ends up being in the top 17 percent of players with similar service time, they become a Super Two. That means instead of being paid a league minimum salary that their team has decided, they gain an extra arbitration season and the potential to earn even more money from their respective club. By delaying Javier Baez, the Cubs stand to save money over the length of his contract and if he lives up to his billing, a potentially substantial amount. But is delaying his service clock helpful or a hindrance to the team as a whole?

Javier Baez has shown in the minors to have power, the ability to drive in runs and steal bases. Last season between High-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee, he had a slash line of .282/.341/.578 with 37 home runs, 111 RBI and 20 stolen bases. Numbers like that would provide some protection for Anthony Rizzo and help the lineup as a whole become more balanced and have more potential to produce runs, a big struggle for the team last season. It’s possible that with more offense and a similar pitching performance to last year that could lead the team to more wins. But on the other hand, Baez has some flaws to his game as well. Like Starlin Castro, he is not a very patient hitter and struck out 147 times in 577 at bats and may have the potential for even more against better competition in the majors. He’s also not a particular good fielder at shortstop. Javier Baez committed 44 errors in 123 games, and that makes Starlin Castro look like Ozzie Smith.

With the front office clearly stating that they plan to build their farm system through trades and the draft and for fans to be patient with the process, how much more of an impact would Baez make to this process? To properly show the impact, let’s use the statistic of WAR. WAR stands for Wins Above Replacement and is a non-standardized sabermetric statistic developed to sum up the extent of a player’s total contribution to his team. It takes other sabermetric statistics like wRAA, UBR, wSB and UZR that help measure abilities with offense, base running and defense. Then a positional adjustment is made for harder positions to play like shortstop or centerfield for example to calculate WAR. In order to get the best gauge for Baez’s potential influence on to the Cubs, I compared him to the top two guys at the shortstop position Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez due to their similar skillsets.

In their first full seasons, Tulowitzki posted a .291/.359/.479 line with 24 home runs, 99 RBI, seven stolen bases and a 6.8 WAR. Ramirez posted a .292/.353/.480 line with 17 home runs, 59 RBI, 51 stolen bases and a 4.9 WAR. Baez should be able to meet a happy medium between those two in his first season of ball based on expectations and previous experience in Spring Training. So if we average their WAR numbers, Baez has the potential to post a 5.8 WAR in his first full season.

So if Baez is worth roughly six extra wins that puts the Cubs at 72-90 and would have placed them seventh in the draft order if all standings stayed the same, not a big leap. Letting him play also would likely bring more fans to the ballpark, give them a chance to see the future of the team up close and help them understand the reasoning behind the rebuild the team is in the middle of. However, one of the main words that the front office has been using is ‘sustainable’ winning. Delaying Baez by a half or full season, gives the team extra time to build a team around him and allow other top players such as Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler, C.J. Edwards and Arodys Vizcaino to develop. With six years of control of these players all at once, could be an exciting six years for Cubs fans.

Both sides of the argument are strong ones and for now the front office has answered the question. All we can do in the great Javier Baez debate is something we’ve been doing for a long time as Cubs fans. Wait.

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  • BillyFinT

    There’s no debate, Chris. The club has the say. The club has a plan. The club sets a policy to go with the plan. Right now, whatever the club is doing on Baez and the fans, those are a consequence of such policy.

    If I ever have a say, I’ll like Baez to first polish his defense at short. We can debate over this. And then Baez may take over Castro as the everyday short for Chicago Cubs. We can debate on this as well. The club would then need to accommodate both premium players by either reducing Castro to a lesser role, or trade him to a greener prairie. Again, let’s debate more.

    • BillyFinT

      Post Scriptum. I don’t think Opening Day should be a National Holiday. MLB is a private business. It’s about profit. No private business should be granted a Holiday for its operation to profit.

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  • Woozy

    The Cubs payroll has gone down and down the last few years. If the kids is ready, bring him up and play him. They CAN afford it. Start the learning curve and let the players know that if they are ready, money isn’t a factor.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Thanks for the article, Chris. You and my good friend Tony are pretty good at PR for Team Theo. In fact you both ought to be getting paid very well for it. (You are doing it for free, aren’t you?). LOL

    Hey, I got blasted for saying that if he’s ready, bring him up because it is cheaper to pay Baez than losing 300,000 ticket sales for having another Team Theo run-the-team-into-the-ground season. And now your article admits that my viewpoint was/is correct. I seriously thank you for that admission. (Note to readers: Chris wasn’t the one blasting me for my previous opinions).

    How about this scenario instead of the one Team Theo is pursuing: call him up, and put a team on the field that can grow together into a winning formula. If you would like an example, how about the Pirates for the last three years. Their young players learned how to win at the ML level, but it took three runs at it. Does anyone think that the Cubs will be better off delaying learning how to win another year or more? It will cost more than just experience. It will cost the team MONEY in ticket and concession and memorabilia sales. And it may cost them more in that Team Theo is CULTIVATING A LOSING CULTURE.

    For crying out loud, haven’t we had enough of cultivating a losing culture around here?

    • Chris K.

      I appreciate the love Rip. While I do agree with the Team Theo plan, some of the spring training decisions have miffed me. Blake Parker had a 2.72 ERA and a 1.165 WHIP last season and was of their best bullpen arms in the second half, but he was sent down in favor of Alberto Cabrera who’s out of options and hasn’t proven yet he belongs in the majors. That makes no sense to me. You put the best guys out you have.

      As for Baez, I would love to watch him at 2B this year over Darwin Barney, but I get where he has flaws in his game and most of all I get the control thing. I think we can all agree that when they bring Baez up, he won’t ever go back down.

      • Tony_H

        I think they will be giving Baez a contract very quickly when they call him up and that the service time thing won’t be an issue. I believe he does have items to work on and will be up soon, probably mid May (as I don’t think they will wait for Super 2 to pass just to do it).

        Parker has looked as good this spring, but I think you have to say it was not Cabrera who took his spot as Rondon and Grimm are still with the team and at least one of them will make it. They both have options left. Cabrera has looked good this spring.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Grimm has stunk up the joint, and probably isn’t a ML arm.

          7 IP
          14 H–
          7ER
          8.59 ERA
          3 BB and 3 K.

          HE’s a keeper! LOL
          He’s AAAA or less.

          • Tony_H

            ST, no big deal. Example, 2 of the runs were from last night and the pitcher they brought in was Hunter Cervenka, who just made it out of Daytona at the end of the year in the bullpen. I like Grimm as a bullpen arm, and still wonder if he could make it as a starter.

      • cubtex

        So Chris….. You are upset that a player was given an opportunity in ST to win a job who hasn’t yet proven yet he belongs in the majors? Are there any others? Hmmm

    • Tony_H

      I guess that proves to you that they are not worried about selling tickets and are doing what they feel is right for the players development.

      When the roster turns over almost completely and is infused with these guys from the minors who have been winning and winning championships, there won’t be any issue with a losing culture, it will just be with some of the fans still.

      • paCubsFan23

        Yeah, plus I think Javy needs a bit more seasoning on pitch recognition against AAA pitching. He hit some amazing homeruns, but also had a few awkward swings against major league sliders.

  • Tony_H

    Super 2 seems to get a lot of bad press. Fans seem to think it is a negative to the player, but it is not, it was a positive rule for the players, that has backfired on the union (I know many of you are shocked)

    Before Super 2, teams would send down their prospects who were ready for a very short time to start the year. The reason was to gain one year of control as the player would not be able to get to 6 years of service time after 6 years now and the team would have the rights to the player for 7 years.

    So the union, thought that the guys that were called up at the beginning of the season, should get something since their free agency was delayed by one year, so they were able to get the Top 17% of the players with between 2 and 3 years, arbitration using what is called Super 2 status. Yes the union won again, but as is usually the case, the union never thought that the teams would change how they do things. Now teams delay the best prospects until late May/early June and bring up role players early in the season.

    Once again the union figured out they could fix this issue again, and have been able to raise the percentage of players with between 2 and 3 years of service time to 22%. The union thought that this would fix everything, but once again teams are just looking at it as a way to split the season with their best prospects now and have the player spend the first half of the minor league season at AAA (or AA) and then be called up in mid to late June.

    Super 2 status was to be a good thing for the player, but honestly the best thing would have been having no Super 2 status. Then teams would send down their young prospects and call them up in late April early May after a little more “seasoning” and they would have their extra year of control and the player would be getting to the majors faster.

    • BillyFinT

      Had you ever thought about the Player Association (union) gained so much power now, that it is enchanted by its own sense of control? For the good of baseball (business), fans, and players (development), the P.A. should relieve the club owners from the Curse of Arbitration, and go straight?

      No more draft. Plain free agency. The world will be a better place. Korea and Japan will follow. Maybe Kim Jong-un will invite Brian Wilson to party with him and Dennis Rodman, and the Crimea Territory will start five baseball academies.

      • Tony_H

        I don’t think so.

        I think arbitration should be expanded to start sooner and free agency should start for a player after 6 years or a certain age. Right now if you are a college draftee and spend just 2 years in the minors to get to the majors you are still going to around 30 before you are a free agent. What would happen if we just said that the season after you turn 28 you will be a free agent, even if you don’t have 6 years of service time. To me the teams need control of the players they develop (and spend lots of money to draft) but free agency has turned into a 30+ something deal now and not what it was at the beginning when many player in the 27-29 range made it to free agency. And this is because as the union gets things like free agency, eventually the teams figure out how to make it work for them and that is to extend guys before they have arbitration and buy out free agency years.

        No way to drop the draft, that would be a mess and just favor the deep pocket teams.

        • Richard Hood

          I actually think that arbitration should start as soon as you are no longer ROY eligible. But FA should start later like 8 years of control on the initial major league contract regardless of service time. The result should be about the same but this super 2 crap and the business side of baseball getting in the way of a Mike Trout having a season to remember because he was in the minors for an extra couple weeks to gain a year of control stuff would be done.

        • BillyFinT

          You don’t think the P.A has too much power now?

          The draft has no common sense. Right now, the rich teams can sign the majority of top draftees anyway.

          • Tony_H

            Um, the draft has been over hauled and no longer can a rich team buy up players with mid to late round picks. No longer can a team spend what they choose, but what their slot allows. Right now, rich teams have no advantage to sign the top draftees.

            The loop hole is in international players now and they are working on a international draft.

            I have no issue with your so called slavery that pays these players $500,000 per year for their years 0-3.

          • BillyFinT

            No, the rich teams still can lure away top draftees as they feel like to, as long as they pay the penalty while allotting more towards their pool. There were always loopholes. The international free agency is hardly free.

            Slavery means without the freedom of choice. People, like me, complained about the recent inflation of free agency price. What we never discussed is the false belief taught to excellent athletes that they can put through the draft, enter a system owned by a ballclub that they might dislike, and ask more as they climb up the pro ladder. It rarely actually happened. Illusions.

            Things must start from the basics. If everyone’s free agent from start, and I can offer a simpler system if you want me, then a balance towards athletes who choose big money and local loyalty (by lesser but not small monetary benefits) will help both small clubs and big clubs.

            Right now, the system benefits the Marlins, with a management group (owner included) acting as parasites by spending and stay as doormats, in order to collect shared revenue via well-marketed clubs such as Red Sox and Yankees.

            Do you think most viewers abroad tune in to watch the Marlins and buy Marlins gears? No. They buy Red Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees, among other winning teams some years.

            MLB had become ridiculous by encouraging failures to profit, and the hard working and innovating leaders to give away a major portion of their earning.

            That’s the Zen of the Day. Good night.

          • Tony_H

            Yeah, I think we are crossing the Rule 4 draft with the Int’l system in our discussion. I said the Int’l is still were the loophole is at but the Rule 4 draft the penalties are far too great for any team to abuse. And this has shown true as the Cubs and a few others have gone by their Int’l allotment and were willing to pay the price, yet in the Rule 4 draft not one team has even been talked about trying to go over.

            I also don’t think the success rate would be any higher in a completely free agency system versus the current draft system. There are only so many spots and the success rate of players would stay the same. All that would happen is signing bonus’s and contracts would skyrocket for young player out of high school and college and decrease for the veterans who are not elite. This is how it works in the NFL where the contracts the college kids get are ridiculous and not capped.

            The system may benefit the Marlins (if you say so) in the area of trying to turn a profit, but not from a competitive stand point. The Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, etc (hopefully soon enough our Cubs) have a financial advantage that is huge. I believe that MLB needs more revenue sharing especially of the local TV revenue. MLB made a huge mistake by not owning the TV rights to all games like the NFL. The NFL has that part figured out and uses revenue sharing to make all teams close to being on an even playing field.

            The MIlwaukee Brewers are at a disadvantage in MLB, and considered a small market team. Yet the Green Bay Packers can not only be competitive but have been one of the best teams over a long period of time. That would never happen in MLB, as the Packers would have lost Brett Favre and now Aaron Rogers by now because they never could have afforded to keep them in a system like MLB.

            Your point of who watches what teams further illustrates my point, as it is the big market teams, yet in the NFL the Green Bay Packers are probably one of the biggest Int’l teams to watch.

          • BillyFinT

            I agree that free agency on this current structure would create a havoc for small market teams, as it has been for big market teams. We knew this from the late 1800s and early 1900s with the three leagues (Players Union, AA, and Federal League). When draft started to take shape, draft prices went up due to the bonus babies. That’s why the league capped again and again, and ulimately failed to fight forces beyond their own understanding of economics.

            That is a misconception that we must keep this structure. Read this history, carefully, “Marvin Miller, that wily labor leader, understood his economics better than baseball management. There would be chaos off the playing field if every player was able to declare free agency at the close of any season after the option clause had been exercised once. Miller knew that the more willing sellers (players) in the marketplace, the lower the price (the salary). He wanted to restrict the number of players who could participate in the free agency auction to keep up the price. The deal the parties reached required a player to accumulate six years of major-league service before becoming eligible for free agency.”

            http://sabr.org/research/arbitrator-seitz-sets-players-free

            Again, history again had proven that the brainchild behind current MLB system (structure) was purposely driving for one goal. The P.A wanted and still wants higher price. The club owner wants profit regardless of price right now.

            Simply put… Price will not necessarily sky rocket if free agency means that a club can sign ANY player to its minor league roster, with limited size and a limited, equal amount of teams down the farm for EACH BALLCLUB. But a limited free agency, as it is structured now, had successfully jump-started our inflation.

  • GaryLeeT

    Chris, nice job discussing all side of the argument. Even though there is zero chance of it happening there several reasons (some that you already mentioned) why I think Baez should be up now. First they need to get Baez signed long term a la Rizzo & Castro, to take away the arbitration, and control issue. He can shorten his learning curve by facing MLB hitting, and do it in a VERY low pressure situation on a team with zero expectations. Then Baez would be somewhat established, and it would allow the talent to trickle in instead of having a flood. Even if Baez struggles, I think it’s obvious he’s got an unshakable confidence that will only make him strive to get better.

    • Tony_H

      Gary – I would love to watch Baez as well at 2B instead of Barney.

      But let’s look at your points.

      Take away arbitration. – This can happen whenever he is called up and by sending him down it helps this situation as he will now not be a free agent until after 2020 instead of 2019 and by waiting until Super 2 passes, he won’t be arbitratoin eligible until after 2017. Both of these items make it more likely he will accept the contract they put in front of him, Evan Longoria style.

      Shorten his learning curve – well not sure that is true, as Castro was rushed and is still working on parts of his game that should have been done in the minors.

      VERY low pressure – Are you kidding? Baez will be in the fishbowl and on Sportscenter. I don’t think either happen in Iowa.

      I do agree Baez has the confidence to work through anything, but I see him up in May after he dominates the PCL and the major league team has had time to make some moves.

      • GaryLeeT

        I don’t know how you can say a player with 200 hits in a MLB season was rushed. Last year, Castro was tinkered with as well as having to battle personal issues. Beside, No player comes up from the minors as a finished product. I think Baez’s AAA, and MLB learning time, will be longer than if it were MLB alone.

        • Tony_H

          Never said his bat wasn’t ready.

          There is no finished product, that is for sure, but Baez has some obvious things to work on that will make the difference between being a good player with amazing skills and being a perennial All-Star and I think MVP type player.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Team Theo started messing with Catro in June, 2012. And he has not yet recovered from it.

  • The Dude Abides

    Because of his lack of plate discipline and shaky defense I believe Baez is a likely trade candidate. Really not a Theo kind of guy and the haul you could get back in return would be incredible. You want to speed up this rebuild don’t worry about when he gets called up in June send him packing. End of day this guy will have a low OBP and more than likely end up in the outfield.

    Personally I would love to keep him but look at Theo’s
    history he will trade some of these guys before it Is said and done.

    • cubtex

      it’s possible. How else are they going to get any TOR starting pitching?

    • DWalker

      Possible and like cunbtex said, Top of Rotation Pitching. But, if you are looking to trade castro also, then now we are loosing a lot of our strength up the middle going forward. Even if he does need to move to the OF eventually, for now he is a middle infielder with porus defense. At some point in a rebuild, you have to stop rebuilding and start building by keeping some players. Castro + Baez = one is tradable, but not both i think.I wonder what trades would be mostcomparable to trading Baez off now or by the deadline?

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        It’s one or the other. Castro or Baez. I think Baez translates to a big RBI middle of the order bat and you can live with his strikeouts. Theo likes guys that can get on base, but if you surround Baez with guys like that you can afford to have his bopper in the middle fanning more often than you’d like.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yes, I can see Team Theo trading Barry Bonds off for a handful of no-name minor league, sore armed pitchers.

      Yup.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Man, when was the last time you posted anything that wasn’t negative?

    • Eugene Debs

      The Cubs will not trade Baez, or at least that’s my take on it.

      40 HR power, along with Bryant = yes.

      Go pay for pitching if you have to but lock up the good young hitters. Yes, keep drafting away for arms, but lots of championship winning teams have utilized “rent a pitchers” to get them over the top.

      Soler, Vogelbach, or Castro are all more likely to be traded.

  • cubtex

    Scott Baker was released by the
    Mariners after deciding he would rather test the market than accept an
    assignment to Triple-A.

    • Eugene Debs

      Let’s go get him!

  • Tony_H

    Here is another backfield scouting report on the Cubs from BP. If you are not a subscriber, you should still be able to read the beginning of the article which has Almora and Baez on it.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23116

    Also the NL Central preview.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23121

    I will give you a hint, they are not predicting the Cubs to win the division or make the playoffs…..sorry for spoiling it for you.

    • Tony_H

      BTW the pecota standings are not that flattering to the division, which seems a little strange to me.

      1. Cardinals 88-74
      2. Reds 81-81
      3. Brewers 80-82
      4. Pittsburgh 79-83
      5. Cubs 73-89

      • paulcatanese

        Or, you could look at it as more tightly packed, and one team on a streak could very well sneak in to the playoffs.
        I would hope that the analysis is close to correct, making for a very interesting season.

        • Tony_H

          Paul – The Cardinals are show to win by 7 games and not even the Reds would make the Wild Card.

        • Tony_H

          Actually by PECOTA the Wild Card teams would be the Giants at 87 wins and the Braves at 82.

          • TheWrongGuy

            The Braves starting pitching has taken major hits via the injury bug(like my fantasy team, in our league). They will sneak in to the play-offs at best this year, IMO.
            The Giants are an injury waiting to happen on their starting pitching staff, and their bull-pen is not as strong as it once was.
            If an injury happens to the Giants pitching staff they have more of a chance IMO as they aren’t to afraid to “go for it” via a trade to to send them into the play-offs(the Giants are my sleeper team to trade for “Shark”, and we get Crick)).

      • Ripsnorter1

        Look at the division this way:

        Cards won last year, and often that cools a team off the following year.

        Reds: lost Chapman for at least half a year. That hurts.

        Brewers: not much new to report, and they were sub .500 last year.

        Pittsburgh: lost A.J. Burnett, and they didn’t replace Marlon Byrd, as well as a few others. They look to sag back in 2014.

        Cubs: 73 wins would be a pretty good improvement over 2013. This is the only outfit predicting that many wins for the Cubs that I have seen.

        So I can buy into these predictions, except maybe the Cubs winning 73. That will depend upon whether or not Baez comes up early in the year, I think.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Personally, I don’t think he is ready. I don’t want to watch him come up and strike out a ton not take any walks and play poor defense. I think he does have alot to work on .

  • Tony_H
  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I also want to see what Olt does at third and alcantara does at triple AAA. Baez might head to the ooutfield as well as Bryant.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      Alcantara is a much better on defense.

  • Roll

    Lets not pretend that Baez is a savior, he has a more than a hole or two in his swing and this defense is average, boy but when he does connect the ball just jumps (insert Kingman at the plate reference here). I’m afraid that he is one inside fastball to the wrist (break) away from having average power and average defense. Don’t get me wrong I am pulling for him and I hate the current major league roster but the real stars will be Bryant and Almora. Ricketts has handcuffed Theo with payroll restrictions and Theo has said as much with a few comments he has made over the years that he had expected more flexibility with payroll and the CBA and for that reason Theo will not start Baez’s arbitration clock until he absolutely has too (July).
    Open for discussion, Theo’s contract expires in less than two years and with 90+ loss season this year and unless drastic payroll changes or the kids have immediate success (most don’t) the following year will Theo stay? If Owners of the “win now” organizations start to call him like the Dodgers, Angeles, Rangers or even the Yankees, I think Theo jumps to a new organization to have more payroll and winning options. This losing has to be killing him (like it does most Cubs fans) and with new TV and Stadium improvement signage revenue still years away, I don’t think team Theo will sign another contract with Ricketts.

    • Tony_H

      Actually, Theo’s contract is up in just less than 3 years. He is completely safe and winning with the Cubs would guarantee his HOF induction, something that is not lost on him, trying to be the guy who breaks the curse in Boston and Chicago.

      • DWalker

        theo will stay. He takes the long view and wil take another 5 years if offered. he said though that 10 years is long wnough with a club and time to move on, so won’t surprised if he doesn’t stay for a third contract. and yeah, he’s already got a foot in the door with boston to the hall of fame. If he breaks the cubs curse as will he will be a legend.One rign with the cubs is worth more than 3 with the cardinals or yankees right now. He’ll stay.

      • Roll

        You are correct it was Oct of 2011, Theo just looks like he has aged more than 3 years. I just hope that he keeps Jason happy and in the organization.

  • Ghostdawg

    I think Baez will be a perennial All-Star eventually, but a trip to AAA to start the season is without a doubt the right course of action for his long term development. In 42 Plate Appearances this Spring, Baez had zero walks and 13 strikeouts. Pitchers showed that they could get him out by feeding him a steady diet of changeups down in the zone. It’s spring training so of course pitchers were still challenging him with their fastballs but during the season experienced major league pitchers would exploit his weakness. Would he still crush mistakes? Of course but that’s not his future. He needs to go to AAA so that he can face experienced pitchers that no how to expoit weaknesses but don’t always have great stuff too. That way Baez can learn, get better at pitch recognition, and learn to hit to all fields, so that pitchers DO have to challenge him with their FB because they are behind in the count.

    Javy is coming…He will be here by the September callups/expanded roster at the latest.

  • Eugene Debs

    I don’t think its a debate at all. Javier needs a bit more time in the minors. He’s close due to his enormous talent and reputed work ethic, but you want more than 1/2 season at AA. He struck out a lot and had some struggles in the field, so a little extra time cannot hurt.

    AAA will be a good spot for him to start the season. Belong in the majors? Show us.

    That being said, he’ll reach the MLB team this season. He’ll then go on to a great career.

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