While following the Chicago Cubs’ minor league teams and prospects is always enjoyable, and has certainly been aided by Luke’s excellent work, it’s hard to argue that it didn’t feel like something was missing. Namely: all those big-time kids the Cubs selected and signed out of the 2011 Draft. Javier Baez, Dillon Maples, Dan Vogelbach, Shawon Dunston, Jr., etc. Where are they?

Well, as you no doubt know, they’ve been working away in Mesa, Arizona at the Cubs’ extended Spring Training, patiently awaiting short-season Boise (Low A Ball) or for the Arizona Rookie League to get underway in June.

But, according to Phil Rogers, one of that group is going to get his season going earlier – and at a higher level – than maybe expected. Shortstop Javier Baez, the Cubs’ top pick in 2011, will be assigned to A-ball Peoria, and will make his 2012 debut this weekend, says Rogers.

Baez has been killing the ball in Arizona (as of May 20, he had a .329/.354/.696 line in extended Spring Training, according to Arizona Phil at TCR (remember, though, extended Spring Training stats aren’t to taken for much)), and apparently the Cubs felt they didn’t need to wait until mid-June to assign Baez to a team. We’ll see how he fares in Peoria, but it’s possible he’ll be “demoted” back down to Boise when their season starts. It’s possible that’s where he’s always been ticketed, but the Cubs just want to get him some action now. In other words, don’t be discouraged if that move happens next month. If it doesn’t, all the better.

Baez is roundly considered one of the Cubs’ top three prospects, together with Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson, and is also roundly considered a top 100 prospect in the game. He’s got a great swing and is supremely athletic, but his defense at shortstop is uneven (and he’s a big kid, calling into question his defensive future).

The promotion won’t actually mark Baez’s professional debut, as he got in a handful of games late last year after he signed with the Cubs in August.

  • die hard

    Hope springs eternal…National’s Harper doing well…why not move Baez and others up fast to give em a taste…could find lightening in a bottle..at least would be trying something different

    • Cheryl

      Agree. Let’s see what last year’s picks have.

  • Kyle

    Very glad to see some separation between the BA and OBP in that slash line. Heard he’d done some positive work on his plate discipline after a walk-less start to his EXST career.

  • nkniacc

    I’ll be interested in seeing if he stays or ends up in Boise. I also wonder if this move is made a bit with the look at the draft and the fact that its sounding like more and more the Cubs may take Correa and if he signs quickly he could be headed to boise

    • http://Cubbie4life.weebly.com Tonycampanathebasethief

      Marco Hernandez headed to extended spring training until short season starts and he will be assigned to boise

      • http://Cubbie4life.weebly.com Tonycampanathebasethief

        Uses that means Baez won’t go down once Boise starts!

  • Don

    I watched Baez in Spring Training and he has a very quick bat. He jacked a number of home runs in batting practice and looks like a pure hitter. I’m guessing his future position will be somewhere other than short as we have Castro at short and Baez may be better suited for third or second. Baez is one of the reasons I’m so pumped about the young Cubs coming. If they move him to third he could pass up Vitters in a year of two.

  • djriz

    No lose situation. If he falters against the better competition, so be it, send him back to Boise. If he handles it well, we can keep him moving up and push him, ala Miguel Cabrera in 2003. (getting pushed didn’t seem to hurt his long term prospects).

    (snark warning):
    But what will happen to Wes Darvill?

  • Joker

    I’m interested to see what the kid can do given all the hype that has preceded him. I wish him nothing but the best of luck. Maybe he will be a fast riser and give us a reason to believe.

  • T Larson

    It is going to be like this for a couple years. So, either relax through the growing pains or jump ship. Please stop complaining.

    • Joe

      Please correct your comment. It’s going to be like this for at least *4 years*.

  • http://Cubbie4life.weebly.com Tonycampanathebasethief

    Clevenger 3-3 with 1 Hr and RBI
    Rizzo 2-4 with 1 HR and RBI
    Jackson 2-4 with 2 RBI,1 HR, and triple
    Vitters 1-2 with RBI and HR!

    • Joe

      I understand. However how does that translate into Pro ball stats?

  • Eric

    Holy crap, the Chiefs actually have someone really exciting? Now I have reason to watch them play Kane County.

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