Javier Baez, the Chicago Cubs’ top prospect, got in a half season in the Arizona Fall League, but that’s probably going to be all she wrote for him. Baez hurt his left thumb during Saturday’s game, was removed, and is being further evaluated today. (The Tribune reports that the injury occurred off the field during a celebration.)
Baez was having a mixed Fall, with power out the wazoo, but a weak BA/OBP type session. Of course, the sample size is so small it doesn’t really mean much of anything.
What is meaningful, unfortunately, is that Baez will miss out on that extra development at the tail end of the AFL season. Fortunately, we’re talking about two weeks here, so it’s not a disaster. As long as there are no lingering aftereffects, this might end up being no setback at all. After the AFL, Baez was expected to rest up until Spring Training. Sure, he’ll work out and all that, but he can still do almost everything even with a bum thumb.
No one expects the injury to impact Baez’s readiness for Spring Training, so that’s good. I still expect Baez to open 2013 at High-A Daytona, with the possibility of a quick jump to AA. From there, anything could happen, but I doubt we’ll see him in Chicago before 2014 at the very earliest.