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Photo by Dennis Sievers/Peoria Chiefs

Fresh on the heels of being named the 15th best prospect in baseball by Kevin Goldstein, and fresh on the heels of being named the Cubs’ player of the month for July, shortstop/baseball-destroyer Javier Baez has been promoted from A-ball Peoria to High A-Daytona.

Baez, 19, made short work of pitching in the Midwest League, hitting .333/.383/.596 with 12 homers and 20 steals. He also surprised scouts by playing fairly well at shortstop, despite his larger frame. The thinking is that he won’t stick at shortstop long-term, but the move to third base is easy enough that the Cubs would be best served letting him stay at shortstop as long as possible.

This front office has, historically, been slow and methodical in its promotion decisions, so it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see Baez stick at Peoria for the full year. The fact that he’s getting this promotion right now is a bit surprising, and a bit exciting.

The climb up the ladder could have ramifications throughout the system, as it opens up a spot at Peoria for someone to come up, and it also potentially displaces surprise break-out Daytona prospect Arismendy Alcantara, who has been out for some time with a leg injury. Hopefully this doesn’t mean Alcantara’s injury is serious, and instead is simply a reflection of the Cubs’ desire to challenge Baez.

  • Vinestal

    There are plenty of people coming around on Baez ability to play SS long term. It’s nice to see them promote him and it’s also close enough I might see him before the end of the season.

  • atfinch

    Based on how well he’s been playing, I didn’t see this as a surprise – I get the sense that the new regime will reward people who are playing well, which is great to see. There’s just no point in him clobbering the pitching in the Midwest League anymore. Give the kid a challenge, and let’s see how he does. I’m glad to see it.

  • nkniacc13

    This will be interesting to see this offseason with some of the agressive promoting they will be moving a few minor leaguers in trades this winter

  • JulioZuleta

    Welp, glad I didn’t buy tickets to see Peoria in Kance Co. over Labor Day. I have an ever growing feud with Kevin Goldstein, who has gotten decreasingly about baseball and increasingly about being off topic and an ass, while simultaneously being wrong about a lot of things. He told me a few weeks ago that there was no way Baez sees Daytona this year, and might start at Peoria again next year, because of “gaping holes in his game” (Despite the fact that he ranekd him #15 in baseball.

    Sorry, had to get that off my chest…Now I have to go ask Goldstein why he was so far off while I, and the majority of baseball lay-persons, were right. Mwahaha.

    • MikeW

      Thats KG for ya. He’s awful bombastic for someone who’s often incorrect.

      • Jeff1969

        Goldstein is just guessing and then repeating a lot of what comes out of his mouth.

        • ferrets_bueller

          The two usually go hand in hand.

    • Drew7

      Yeah…I understand it would be hard to develop a solid opininion on most of these prospects, only because there are SO many playing all around the country. That said, these guys seem to take shortcuts by watching an AB or two, then forming a set-in-stone scouting report of them, instead of admitting they havent seen enough of them to form a fair opinion.

  • Josh

    I think the Cubs should move him to 3B now. It would be a mistake to keep him at SS until he makes the big leagues. This would allow him to improve his defense and improve at the position, before the pressure of being a top Cubs prospect. It will be interesting to see how the infield plays out over the next few years with all the exciting prospects we have. Vitters has had a great year, Baez has been terrific in his opportunities, and 2B is the same way.

    • JulioZuleta

      You just can’t do that. On the off chance that we trade him some day, his value is exponentially higher if teams think he can stick at SS. With the new front office, I think the fans need to do their best to see prospects as commodities rather than Future Cubs All-Stars because a lot of them will be traded, and a lot of fans will be pissed when that happens. The last few GMs have been hesitant to trade prospects. Pie, Patterson, Orie, Guzman, Pawelek, Brownlie…and a list of a few dozen others. If he is a legit SS, he has #1 prospect overall type of potential.

      • djriz

        Plus, he’ll get significantly more chances at SS.

      • Flashfire

        What about this possibility: if he can stick at shortstop and be roughly equivalent to Castro defensively, that makes CASTRO tradeable when Baez is ready. For a 24 or 25 year old shortstop with Castro’s raw ability, that should bring the #1 starter we’ll need to make a real run.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          He wont’ be roughly equivalent to Castro defensively. He doesn’t have Castro’s range now, and Baez’s range is only going to drop as he builds muscle. Baez could be an average major league shortstop with the glove, but Castro has perennial Gold Glove potential.

        • Gabriel

          just STOP talking/thinking/dreaming/typing about Castro being traded. Its not happening so its not worth considering.

          Also, I agree with everything Luke says above – Starlin has superb range and a cannon arm. Even if Baez could stick at short he won’t be as good as Starlin is/will become. Ergo, we are better defensively with Castro SS & Baez 3B

          • Richard Nose

            Can you tell me what happens in the rest of my life?

            • Gabriel

              I guess I would never say never, especially with Theo/Jed. So waaaay down the road who knows?

              I believe very strongly that Castro will not be traded any time soon, although I can’t say for sure

              I didn’t mean to offend anyone with the definitiveness of my statement. It is just what I believe to be the case.

              • Richard Nose

                hahahah all good bro. I hope you’re right. I dream of Castro at short and Baez at 3B.

                • Gabriel

                  lol gawd me too – throw rizzo your choice of our solid 2b prospects (or barney even)….BOOM

      • scorecardpaul

        I agree, his trade value is much higher as a shortstop

      • Chet Masterson

        Whaaaa?

        1st, it either speaks to the weakness of the Cub system or how hard you had to dig to make your point if you rolled out Kevin Orie in your point. Might as well just add in Earl Cunningham and Derrick May.

        2nd, the Cubs definitely are not averse to trading prospects. Hak Ju Lee, Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer, Ricky Nolasco… and since we’re going back in our time machines for this debate… Bobby Hill & Jon Garland.

        • Boogens

          “2nd, the Cubs definitely are not averse to trading prospects.”

          Historically, maybe, but you can’t say that and use those examples about Theo & Jed to support it. It’s clear from their time here so far that they are in the mode of acquiring & building up a pool of young talent in the minors. Whatever happened with Jim Hendry, Andy McPhail, Ed Lynch, et al as GMs is totally irrelevant.

          Maybe at some point in the future Theo & Jed will be using that talent pool to acquire major league talent but that’s pretty far off.

          • ferrets_bueller

            Actually, thats not entirely true. Theo has a very long history of using prospects as currency, acquiring major league players in return. Hanley Ramirez for Beckett and Mike Lowell, Rizzo for A-Gonz, etc…

            While the first waves of prospects most likely are going to be used to building the core of the team and to become competitive, some of the guys lower int he minors right now are definitely going to be traded for major league players, some sunny day.

            • Turn Two

              I think you misread his comments.

            • Boogens

              Thanks, Turn Two.

              Ferrets, the examples you’re using don’t fit this situation for a couple of reasons. Frist, it wasn’t Theo that traded Hanley Ramirez. That happened while he took his month long or so sabbatical several years ago. Second, the Red Sox were in a completley different stage of team development. They were already competitive with a minor league system that was producing players directly for the major league team and also could be used in trades to gap areas on the major league team. This Cubs team isn’t anywhere near as close to being competitive and doesn’t have that type of farm system yet. So it’s not only fair to say, but more like likely to say, that Theo and Jed will not be trading minor league assets any time in the near future until the major league team is ready to be competitive on a consistent basis.

    • Chris

      I have to disagree Josh. Being a SS will only help him be a better 3B. Not to mention keep his value up. They aren’t going to trade him, but you only move guys to the corners when they are too slow to play up the middle. He could easily transition to 3rd in the majors, or Iowa. There’s no need to move him if he’s handling SS, and he is.

    • Richard Nose

      honest question…has a SS ever failed at 3B? I know 3B isn’t easy, Vitters is suspect, but he was never a legit SS. Not to discount it, but I gotta think a SS can move to 3B early, late, whenever.

      • Gabriel

        They can – I’ve done it before. 3B is sooo much easier to play than short its like a different world. And believe me if I could do it with my talent, Baez can do it in his sleep.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    “This front office has, historically, been slow and methodical in its promotion decisions…”

    I think that this has been exaggerated, even if by Jed & Theo themselves. There were multiple prominent players on the ’07 Sox (Elsbury, Pedroia, Lester) who signed with the Sox in ’04 and ’05. Of course, those guys signed out of college: but when players come to a league and flat-out dominate it, JedStein have not wasted too much time asking if it’s a sample size fluke. (Or, perhaps they’ve waited exactly as long as necessary to demonstrate that this is not a sample size fluke and no longer!)

  • JoeyCollins

    Glad to see this. My parents were at the chiefs game last night and I told them he was one to watch. Mom went down after the game and got his autograph and was able to talk to him for a couple minutes. She said he was really nice very personable and easy to talk to. I’m happy they got to see him play before he was promoted ive been telling them to get to a chiefs game because he wasn’t going to be there long and they made it just in time. I think Baez has a fan for life with my mom now.

  • Jim

    This is great news! On the heals of this, I think it all the more important to promote Vitters to the big leagues to see what he is all about. Valbuena really needs more time in the minors or as a utility infielder. In the next year or two the Cubs could be sporting a very impressive, and young, infield.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    I strongly suspect this promotion had equally as much to do with Alcantara’s timetable for returning as it did with Baez’s performance in Peoria.

    • Richard Nose

      Haven’t you said before that 1 player’s status (whether he’s excelling or injured) shouldn’t have an bearing on the development of the a prospect? Not busting your balls, or maybe you weren’t even in on that piece.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        That doesn’t sound like something I’ve said, no.

        I am aware of the argument that says no high caliber prospect should be hindered in any way by a “lesser” prospect, but I don’t buy into that at all. It simply is not realistic. I do not think a guy with virtually no shot at the majors should block a player who has that chance, but I don’t think one guy with a slightly better chance to should derail the progression of a guy with a slightly worse chance. That’s a terrible way to run an organization. No good team harms one asset in order to favor another one unless there is just no other option.

        Arismendy Alcantara is a legitimate shortstop prospect. Defensively, he has a better chance of sticking there than Junior Lake or (in my opinion) Javier Baez. His bat is not as polished and does not have the ceiling of Baez’s, but I don’t think that means the Cubs should bench the kid just so Baez can see somewhat more difficult pitching now instead of in the Arizona Fall League just a few weeks from now. If Alcantara were likely to come back soon, I don’t think Baez would be in Daytona.

        • Richard Nose

          Good points. Good call.

  • Brian Peters

    Brett, please allow me to go off-topic for a moment to let you know how much we fans appreciate what you day after day. Yours is the first sight I visit when I wake up, the last I visit before I go to sleep, and in between, I check it out probably 10-15 times to see what’s up.

    Thank you so much for effort and your clear, efficient style!

  • Brian Peters

    For YOUR effort……

  • willis

    This makes me smile. He’ll play SS at Daytona with Villanueva at 3B and Torreyas at 2B. Exciting infield all of the sudden in Daytona. For those of you who can go watch them, enjoy that. All three of those dudes are very good.

    He’ll get to 3B eventually, I suspect by AAA right before he’s bumped up to the big club. I’m not surprised by this move, but I had the feeling he’d be in Peoria the rest of the year. He’s going to a very good pitcher’s league so we’re going to learn a lot about him very quickly.

    • Flashfire

      If he can stick at short, wouldn’t you much rather have that bat out of your shortstop than your third baseman?

      • willis

        For now? Absolutely. But he’s on the fast track to the bigs and Castro isn’t going anywhere, not to mention only getting better at SS every day. I’m down with Baez playing SS as long as he can, but his future, if with the Cubs, is at 3B. So once he gets to the high minors I think he’ll see some time there. JMO.

        • willis

          Let me add, this opinion is if you are in the camp (which I am) that Castro is the SS for the next 8-10 years for the Cubs. It becomes then a numbers game. Eventually Baez will be ready to mash in Chicago, and when he is, the easiest transition for him would be from SS to 3B. Obviously much can happen until then, so hell yes you keep him at SS. But as he gets closer I think we’ll see him move over.

          • Flashfire

            That’s fair. I see signs that the front office is tiring of him, and — as he is now — he is absolutely not the type of player that Theo and Jed would choose to build a team around. But, he IS their shortstop, he IS one of the best and most popular players on the team, and so moving him is more than a little risky, I agree.

            There are a ton of what if’s here — and an infield of Rizzo-Amaya/Torreyes/Villanueva-Castro-Baez is certainly a strong possibility. However, i don’t think it’s fair to just assume Baez eventually plays third because if he plays a decent shortstop with the way his bat is developing — we’re talking potential Hall of Famer. FAR more valuable to a team than even Castro.

            • Gabriel

              What signs do you see? All they talk about is how much they love him and that the walks will come (i.e. they aren’t worried about it). His power/defense is developing more rapidly than I think most of us expected as well.

              And if Baez is a potential HOFer, then Starlin most certainly is! I hope you can see that – don’t get me wrong i LOVE them both.

              • Pat

                His OBP has gone from .347 to .341 to .308 (so far this year). Now his power has increased some, which balances it a little. The FO generally likes their bigger players to have better on base skills.

                • Scotti

                  Castro’s OBP has dropped because his BA has dropped. The kid is a career, again career, .298 hitter when most kids his age are in AA. Few, if any, MLB SS have ever had as many hits as he has had at his age.

                  I’m certain this FO is interested in the fact that he leads all NL SS in assists and put outs. His range/arm takes away other hitter’s OBP.

              • Flashfire

                This front office are the kings of saying one thing while doing another. If they ARE trying to trade him, what’s the message to put out? “We’ve pretty much decided he’s a goner and we’ll be happy to get one blue chip pitching prospect for him” or “Starlin is going to be the best shortstop in the history of man, the more we see him, the more we like him. We’re convinced he’s about to supplant Babe Ruth as the greatest player in the history of the game.”

                The biggie is that they’re currently trying to completely change his approach. They can say all they want about “walks will come,” but his current slump has all the hallmarks of a guy being told day-in, day-out, “You need to take more pitches, son.” Some of his raw ability has been mollified by that. Further, Brenly constantly talking about his, “more patient approach” is confirmation, in my mind, that a serious push is on.

                The results have been not good to this point. The front office has put out talk of how “coachable” Rizzo was in fixing his swing. We decidedly haven’t heard anything similar on Starlin. Silence says quite a bit with this front office.

                Then there are little things. By themselves, they’re insignificant. In a larger narrative, they say things.

                First was the mini scandal earlier this year when USA today said the Cubs were willing to trade anyone but Samardizja. (Wonder if that opinion has changed recently…) They obviously quickly corrected that.

                Then we have reports that a Castro to the Diamondbacks deal was briefly discussed. Again, by itself, seems like a reporter trying to make something out of nothing.

                Yes, both of the above are probably some bad reporting. When was the last time we heard bad reporting about the Nationals trading Steven Strasburg? Or the Pirates trading McCutchen?

                Then there was the odd treatment of Marco Hernandez. A 19-year old shortstop who played very well in AZL last year. He was promoted to Peoria to start the season where he struggled. At the middle of the year, he went to Boise and still hasn’t gotten back in the groove. That aggressive a promotion doesn’t make a lot of sense if you have the shortstop of the next 10 years already in the big leagues. Developing Hernandez slowly as a trading piece is the better option there.

                Is ANY of this conclusive? Nope, they’re just pieces of a puzzle. I combine them with knowledge that Castro is no-way, no-how the player they would pick if they could have anyone. Altogether, to me, it’s a lot of smoke suggesting a fire.

                • Drew7

                  Good thoughts.

                  I just have a hard time believing the FO is pushing Castro that hard to change his approach. I think it’s pretty well known that Castro, while having many tools considered above-average, has s lacks pitch-recognition. Therefore, merely having him *take more pitches* isnt going to help anything (similar to if BJax started swinging earlier in the count).

                  A change in swing mechanics (Rizzo) is completely different in that it’s a very fixable issue, since it can be done without hindering other tools in his skill-set.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          He’ll see more balls at short, and therefor will improve his overall defensive skill set at that position more quickly. He should be able to transition to third in a matter or weeks when that time comes. There is no hurry at all.

          • willis

            Exactly. And I don’t think it’s assuming anything other than the opinion that Castro is our SS for the forseable future. There are a lot of moving parts and much to come, either way it’s exciting news to see him move up.

            The Daytona infield is stacked.

          • Scotti

            I agree that there is no rush to push Baez to short but I suspect that plan on giving him an entire off-season and subsequent time at AAA to make the transition.

            • Scotti

              *off short

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      The Midwest League is also a solid pitcher’s league. Not quite to the level of the FSL, but it’s not far off.

    • Jeff1969

      Wow, that’s a great combo to watch.

  • Flashfire

    I wonder if this was done to see if he can handle AA next year or not. Either way, it’s clear that he needed actual competition and the Midwest League wasn’t providing any.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      He was going to get competition soon anyway. I strong suspect he’ll be sent to the Arizona Fall League at the end of the season. That should be a very nice challenge for him.

      • djriz

        Who picks the players for the AFL, and how many representatives can each team get? Love to see Baez, Soler and Torreyes get a shot.

        • Spriggs

          Each team sends 6 players to the AFL. The rosters will be named some time later this month. Not sure exactly when. Only 1 player below AA is allowed per team, so all those guys won’t be able to go.

        • Spriggs

          however there is some rule about foreign born players that i don’t understand… so maybe Soler and/or someone like Amaya could go in addition to Baez. Anyone know how that works? I know that in general, a team can only send one guy who is below AA (as of August 1). So I think Szczur will be on the roster for sure.

      • Bric

        Hey Luke, thanks for all the updates on Baez, Almora, et al. Do you have any new info on Maples and the other guys that the Cubs shelled out big bucks for last year?

        • Drew7

          Maples pitched a couple innings last night. I think he walked a couple and struck out 1 or 2, no runs allowed.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Maples was mentioned in this morning’s Minor League Daily.

          http://www.bleachernation.com/2012/08/04/cubs-minor-league-daily-only-in-the-minors/

          And many of the guys the Cubs shelled out big bucks for this season and last season earn frequent mentions, as do quite a few of the player’s whose signings probably flew under the radar somewhat.

          • Bric

            Sorry bud, I read this article first before the other one. But other than Maples, who were these guys. All I remember was his name and a lot of cash involved.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              The biggest numbers went to Maples, Vogelbach, Gretzky, Dunston, Baez, and Taylor Scott.

              Vogelbach got off to a slow start, but is playing well in Boise.
              Gretzky is not playing very much in Arizona, and I’m not sure why. Could be a lingering injury issue there. I know he has some problems earlier in the spring.
              Dunston started in Boise, did not do well, went back to Arizona and has recently refound his bat.
              Baez… well… you know.
              Scott recently started pitching in Boise and is doing fairly well.

              Austin Urban also received a lot of comment when he signed, but he’s be sidelined with injuries so far. I doubt he makes it into a game this season.

              • hogie

                Doesn’t Gretzky play multiple positions? I would think that if healthy it would be easy to get him at bats. I thought I remembered him getting a late start too.

  • Dumpgobbler

    Baez was not being challenged at all. I’m generally in favor or being real patient with prospects, but a promotion from Baez probably isnt the worst thing.

  • Cub Style

    If someone says to trade Castro, I will smack them.

    • Jared

      smartest thing ive read all day lol! thank you!

    • Gabriel

      Yes indeed – the kid is a star in the making.

      • scorecardpaul

        I agree, also like to smack the guy who says Castro should play a different position.

      • Scotti

        Not true. Castro is a star NOW! He’s a career .298 hitter who leads his league in total chances at short. Two-time All-Star. If we were to trade for that player we would recognize that we just traded for a star. He has room to grow and that is incredible.

  • steve

    I would actually really like to see Baez at 2B. It would not hurt to have a big hitting guy who can field and hit for power and average at second base. He is very quick and supersingly fast for a bigger guy. Future infield, Villinueva or Vitters at 3B, Castro SS, Baez 2B, Rizzo 1B. Would be nice to see

    • Cub Style

      One of his biggest strengths on the field is his reaction time, that’s maximized at third

      • Scotti

        Correct, and the best asset for a 2B is speed (even more so than SS) because that speed allows the fielder to “out run” the slower hit balls that a 2B sees (whereas balls hit to short are hit more sharply because there are more right-handed hitters pulling the ball vs. left-handed hitters pulling the ball).

        A plus defender at 2B will ALWAYS be fast where a plus defender at third needs to be quick. A plus defender at SS can even be an average runner as long as he is quick and has a strong arm and quick release.

        • Scotti

          FWIW, 2B is probably the #1 position in MLB that has the greatest desperity between the best and worst fielders when judged based on the most plays made/not made (i.e. erstwhile outs winding up as hits). Most teams try to put their best defensive C, SS and CF out there or close to it. 2B is also a premium position and yet you see some awful defenders out there. A mere 0.25 differencial in assist per game is worth 40 hits per season (nearly all singles at 2B). That is a huge factor.

          While Baez might be “ok” at 2B or SS, it appears that he could be optimumal at 3B and you should seek the player’s optimumal production both offensively and defensively.

    • Flashfire

      Amaya and Torreyes are going to have a LOT to say about that. Ben Badler had a chat for BA the other day where he was effusive in his praise of Torreyes (better than Altuve offensively and defensively at the same age) and kind of middling in his praise of Villanueva. What’s great about all of this is we have a bunch of pieces that are interchangeable depending on who develops and what free agents are to be had. That gives me a lot of hope for the Cubs future.

  • Fastball

    I think the old school thinking of a player needing to spend a certain amount of time at zach level is goung by the way side. I think he plays winterball then starts at AA next season and if he does well gets a call up to majors like Castro did. Its pointless to let him sit in the monors. Let him grow up in chicago.

    • Scotti

      I couldn’t disagree more.

      • Eric

        yeah Castro did it because he had an ungodly contact ability even at a young age. Don’t expect that to be the norm, it’s the outlier. That doesn’t mean Baez can’t be up in the majors in 2 years if he proves too good for each level. He is still an elite talent with a high ceiling.

  • Nathan

    This move had to be made regardless if Alcantara was hurt or not. AAA has no one at shortstop. Lake moves up to AAA, Alcantara moves up to AA, and Baez to High A. Also, I believe that Alcantara and Lake are two guys that eventually get traded because of the Cubs depth in the infield.

    • Chris

      Was there a chain reaction of moves? I’ve only seen this so far. Daytona put Elliot Soto on the DL the other day too, so this could just mean Saunders and Baez will be playing 2B and SS, respectively. I’d love to see them move Lake to Iowa, but I’m not sure this is the start of mass promotions.

      • Flashfire

        Saunders was the other side of the deal — he moved to Peoria. Looking like an org guy.

        • djriz

          Kind of early to give Saunders that tag. he was just drafted this year, played in AZ, then promoted to A+ ball. He was holding his own in Daytona. Now he was a later round pick, but a guess on his demotion was to open up a spot for Baez.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            It is much too early to dismiss Saunders as an organizational guy.

      • Nathan

        I was just voicing my opinion about how I feel this should of been the case even if Alcantara was healthy. Baez was able to move up to Daytona without significant roster moves because Alcantara was hurt. I believe this move with Baez to Daytona should have been made regardless. But saunders was moved down to Peoria I heard…

    • djriz

      This move had to be made because Baez was not being challenged in Peoria. This front office isn’t going to promote people because a more advanced league team has an opening. If that was the case, Lake would have been at AAA all year.
      Baez was not growing. There was no motivation for him too work on what Goldstein calls his warts. Why be patient at the plate when you KNOW you can hit anything. It all comes down to this…..you to what’s best for your premium prospects. Baez is a premium prospect.

      • Nathan

        That is what I said…That was the whole point of me saying Baez should have been called up regardless of Alcantara’s injury

        • djriz

          I was affirming, not arguing.

  • HackAttack

    The climb up the ladder…

    • gratefulled

      LOL! I wondered if someone else had noticed…lingering effects from the blog-o-thon.

  • Turn Two

    I hope this list of comments to this article is not one of those things in 15 years that you look at a copy of and just laugh at how overvalued all of these players were. Like we could look back on a list from the past and see a discussion about how Choi, Hill, Orie, Pie, etc. are the future and how we can’t trade them or how we won’t know which of our stud minor league 2nd basemen are going to get the spot and which will have to move to other spots.
    These are minor leaguers, fun to watch and speculate on, but you just can plan the perfect future infield. If Baez is capable of playing short of course you keep him there, who knows if Castro ever develops into a great hitter or whether Baez is just hitting well and won’t be able to match adjustments, etc. Its a collection of assets, you just let them play and see what happens.

  • cas-castro

    Its nice to see we may have some impact guys in the infield and outfield. We need an impact guy at catcher and at the top of the rotation.

  • steve

    Only time will tell and before you know it it’s next year 8/4/13 where will these players be and how good or not good will these guys be playing. It’s a development period and time and patience will tell us alot.

  • Alex

    The only way I’m sure this promotion is real is if Muskat tweets that Baez is taking batting practice in Daytona.

    • djriz

      She wont, but I hear Kershaw is starting for Daytona tonight.

      • Richard Nose

        hahaha what? Kershaw’s playing CF and Baez is pitching?

  • Dan

    Does anyone know which Cubs prospect is most likely to be moved up to the Majors by the end of the year? (If Any)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Dave Sappelt, Chris Rusin, and Brooks Raley should probably top that list.

  • steve

    Brett Jackson in September

    • Brad

      Yeah, I really don’t know why he hasnt been brought up. Seems like perfect opportunity right now. Hell, bring up Soler (joking…but hey it sureas hell make me want to go see the cubbies)

  • steve

    I would like to see VItters as well.

  • Tommy

    I think Alcantara will be moved up to Tennessee shortly after coming back, and Lake will get moved up to Iowa. Unless of course Baez completely tears it up and they move him up instead!

    Brett or Luke – do you think this is a possibility?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Lake could go to Iowa at any time. I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t happened already, to be honest.

      With Baez in Daytona now, I strongly suspect Alcantara is essentially done for the season. He may get in a few games if he makes it off the DL, but I expect the Cubs to play it safe and essentially shut him down. Next season he could open in Tennessee or back in Daytona, depending on his health and where there is a job. No matter where he goes, the main thing is that he is playing shortstop every day. He has potential there, but his defensive… particularly his throws… need a lot of work. He can’t get that work if he’s riding the bench and playing DH.

      Baez’s destination next season will depend largely on what he does in spring training and over the winter. I would not be shocked to see the Cubs challenge him by starting the year in Double A, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they don’t, either.

      • MoneyBoy

        Luke … Does Alcantara go to winter ball in Central America? Or to the Az Fall League? Or both? If, in fact, he does get shut down for the remainder of the regular season.

  • calicubsfan007

    I really think Vitters should be at least given a shot. I have always been given the impression by some of these posts that it is inevitable that Vitters will fail, as it seems to be a foregone conclusion that Baez will play third for the big league team in the near future.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Baez is likely still two years away. Vitters will have plenty of time to succeed or fail before he has anyone breathing down his neck.

      I think his bat will play just fine in the majors. It’s his glove that could be an issue. He could be adequate, but I don’t see any Gold Gloves in his future.

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    I was hoping to get over to Peoria and see him play. I guess I will just have to wait for Soler, Almora, and Vogelbach.

  • WNebCub

    One thing i wanna say is that was an awesome video to watch from Tim Sheridan! Almora is very polished in his media game and presence. no doubt about that. i’m sure it has something to do with the lack of crowd and the video but in all the videos we’ve seen from these guys in arizona the sound of the ball coming off the bat is different. when Almora or Vogelbach are either crossing home plate or waiting on Soler to cross home plate when he high fives them they look small. loved the video. love the Baez promotion…this kid seems like a player with some of that flare to go along with it.

    I was at Wrigley for all three cardinals games and it’s apparent how talented Castro is and that Rizzo already seems like a grizzled vet. his approach and even more than that the way opponents are treating him. i got twitter response from Goldstein the other day on his swing change…said it’s definitely elevated his ceiling from the start of this season. both Castro and Rizzo are perennial stars, in the making or almost there in the case of Castro.

    Very excited about the future…and i agree with those that are talking about prospects being looked at as trade chips. we appear to be really lacking in the starting pitching dept in the minors and i’m sure some of this over abundance of positional talent will be used to acquire young arms, along with Garza this offseason.

    all things considered, dempster fiasco included, the future of this franchise appears to be bright. great leadership determined to get it right. and not just one person making the decisions. a talented groug of guys who are proven winners.

    • Eric

      Good optimistic post. I feel simular. Every recent Jed Hoyer interview I hear him talk about building up the farm and being happy with it’s progress. He knows, and reasonable fans know that few prospects really reach their ceilings. Though 1st rounders like Baez are more likely to. But the farm is on the uptick and it’s really kind of exciting to see some of the talent they’ve added in less than a year to the TOP END of the system. Almora, Soler, Vizciano, Baez was already here but really taking a huge step, and Rizzo is already performing well in the majors. They really do know how to build it up. And one of the reasons you do build it up, is so you’re system looks very attractive to other teams and you should have an easier time trading some of your prospects for very good major leaguers because you do have the high ceiling type talent other teams are looking for.

      • Eric

        I totally forgot some of the early round pitchers. Just take a look at the high ceiling top heavy talent this group has added in less than a year. Rizzo, Torreyes, Almora, Soler, Pierce Johnson, Underwood, Vizciano. My God give these gentlemen another year and I can’t wait to see what we add by this time next year with: this offseason, next years high draft position, next years trade deadline. We really will have one damn stocked farm system and our major league team will continue to get better with Rizz, Shark, Garz, and castro already here. Right now our AAA guys none are really high ceiling but maybe Vitters and Jackson can turn into somebody else via trade? I dunno, it’s just one exciting time to be a Cubs fan.

        • Scotti

          While Vitters’ defense is nothing special (to be kind), his bat is high ceiling. He has easy power with very little load (and he’s begun to add some load this year). Brett Jackson also has much more power than he’s been given credit for. He’s legit to all fields. If they pan out as prospects I can easily see them average 20-25 HR during their productive years. That is pretty big power during the post steroid age.

          In terms of value, neither player’s value is high enough now to get a positive return. Best to bring them up and establish themselves after they are finished at AAA before considering moving them. Either or both could be a long-term fit but, even if not, their return now would be minimal at this point. Best to let them ripen on the vine.

        • Beer Baron

          And don’t forget Paniagua – considering they used half of their international signing pool to get him he’s got to be a legit prospect, too. So in less than a full year, they’ve added Juan Carlos Panniagua, Arodyis Vizcaino, Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn, and Duane Underwood…all high-ceiling potential starters. And with Dillon Maples just beginning his career its almost as if he’s a new pitcher as well, and he could be the best of the bunch. Plus I’m not writing off Concepcion quite yet – he’s only 19 and the mono thing explains some of his struggles so maybe he gets into this list, too. So there is definitely cause for optimism – but also patience as most of these guys won’t be seen at Wrigley for at least 3 years.

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