Top Chicago Cubs prospect Javier Baez has a number of impressive tools. He’s got great power, a good hit tool, and his defensive ability at shortstop seems to be getting better with every scouting report. But he’s got one thing that you hear about more than any other: crazy, ridiculous bat speed.

For those of you who haven’t seen Baez hit before, thanks to BN’er Jim, we’ve got some video of Baez in the cage at Spring Training this year. And, yes, the bat speed is silly fast:

And, while you’re in a BP mood, how about another video of Brett Jackson showing off his new swing:

And another video of Jorge Soler mashing in the cage:

  • JB88

    Is it just me or are Jackson’s hands higher in that video than in last week’s vidoe?

    • Duffy

      I thought the same thing; they start low, but it looks like when he loads they end up where they were in the first place. May as well just start them up there… it’d be better that way than having extra movement.

      • Ryan

        movement isn’t bad in the hands pre-swing. Just a hand load. You don’t punch someone by just moving your first forward. You bring it back to load up and then throw it forward and push throw the person. Same thing with hitting. Bring your hands back with your weight (a load on the back leg has always been preached) and then explode through the ball.

        • dw8

          This could also be a way of training/reminding his body pre-swing.

  • Patrick G

    Very fast bat, but wonder if that little bat wiggle before his swing will bring troubles once he climbs the minors. Maybe that quick bat will eliminate any adjustments to his approach

    • ETS

      Gary Sheffield had a very similar wiggle, didn’t he?

      • Patrick G

        Oh ok so we can just count on Baez to have a 500 homer career cause he has a similar approach to Sheffield.

        • TWC

          Well, *I’m* counting on that.

          • Patrick G

            I mean I wouldn’t complain if that’s how his career pans out

        • BluBlud

          I mean, would you expect less. 500 might be on the low end.

          • hansman1982

            500 is his floor with 1000 being his ceiling…

            • WGNstatic

              Why are you putting limits on our top prospect!!!

              • TWC


              • hansman1982

                Cause I’d get tarred and feathered if I said my real response…15,134 home runs…so I have to go with a more reasonable 1000.

        • Edwin

          It probably depends on when he stops the wiggle and gets into his actual swing.

          I don’t really know much scout speak, but I think it’s more about where the player is getting the bat in relation to the pitch. The wiggle is fine as long as his bat gets into a proper location as the ball is being pitched/released. Kind of a “it’s not how you start but where you finish” type of thing.

          I could be wrong though. I can’t pick up much from these types of videos. They’re nice, but if you showed me a video Ronny Cedeno, I’d probably think he had a nice swing too.

          • Marc N.

            Agreed with this whole post. There was one really good video of Baez’s game swing from 2012. I’m hoping for several more during 2013.

        • ETS

          I’d like to point out that there’s a large, logic difference in the inferences
          A) A waggle in your swing is not necessarily detrimental to your production.


          B) A waggle in your swing means you will have 500 home runs.


          • TWC

            Troll? My goodness…. Reading up the follow up replies — including one made by the commenter you’re objecting to — might have indicated to you that he was *gasp* making a joke.

            • ETS

              We need a sarcasm indicator. Another forum I frequent people always put sarcasm in red, but we can’t control font color here. hmm… Alright. I’m sorry. Troll was probably over the line.

              • Brett


                • TWC

                  At one point on Usenet I got used to ‘###’ as a sarcasm indicator, but I’ve never really seen it used since. Always seemed like a simple solution to me.

                • DarthHater
    • gocatsgo2003

      It’s sure a good thing you thought of that… alert the Cubs coaching staff, STAT! This is a 20-year old kid with a grand total of 339 plate appearances as a professional baseball player. I’m going to guess that the final product he shows when he ends up at Wrigley Field will be tweaked a million different ways from what we see right now.

  • Zachary

    Baez has to lose that last hitch in his swing. I know Sheffield had it but he is a lot stronger

    • gocatsgo2003

      … than a 20 year-old kid. Shocking.

    • hansman1982

      If he has insane bat speed it may be a timing mechanism so that he isn’t way out in front of the ball.

    • Muck

      Yeah I know that’s exactly what I noticed right away too.

  • Ozzi

    Is it me or does Jackson look a bit jerky just before he connects with the ball?

    • ETS

      ha, ninja’d.

    • Kygavin

      He looks a lot shorter to the ball than he was but to me it looks like he is almost diving out onto his front foot as he swings. I hope its only because he is getting used to the new mechanics but that would make him awfully susceptible to offspeed pitches

  • MightyBear

    Boy the ball just jumps off of Soler’s bat. I hope that continues up the ladder.

  • Corey

    Man, Soler and Baez are just gonna be absolute beasts. Can’t wait to see them in Daytona!

  • Edwin

    I never knew batting practice videos were so exciting.

  • Brent

    I could watch Soler hit all day.

  • BluBlud

    I’m still thinking Baez will see some time in the majors this year. I just remember Jeds comments about making sure Baez got a “whole” season in this year. A whole season would be MLB ST through the MLB regular season considering the minor league camp and season are much shorter.

    • hansman1982

      The only way I see that is if he destroys A and AA ball through July. They *might* test him in AAA for August then, if he destroys that then sure. I’m guessing they were referring more to the rain outs in Daytona than anything else.

      Even then, I’m not sure about that. He isn’t on the 40-man and being able to hold him in AAA to start next year and at least get that extra year of control might be very tempting.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Also, there is the very real chance that AA pitchers will exploit his lack of a batting eye at frequencies that A pitchers could not. As guys go up the system, not only does competition improve mechanically, it also improves tactically.

        • hansman1982

          Very true, and the odds on him MASHING 3 different levels of hitting this year are infinitesimal.

          Just needs to keep the IsoD at .050.

        • Marc N.

          As far as Cubs prospects are concerned my biggest fear for 2013 is AA lays waste to Baez’s mediocre plate discipline. He’s got plenty to exploit unless he doesn’t anymore.

  • Stevie B

    Solar is…a big young man.

    The Dave Winfield comps are looking dead on.

  • PKJ

    I’m not used to looking at this sort of thing, so I can’t really tell, but what differentiates one bat speed from the next? I can’t tell the difference from one player to the next.

    • TWC

      You know how when you’re watching a movie and a car drives by and it kinda looks like the wheels are going backwards? It’s kinda like that. Baez actually swung 47 times during that video, but you really need a high speed camera to appreciate it.

      • PKJ

        Wow, if you slow it down, you can really see all those swings!

        • TWC


        • Spriggs

          If you play it backwards, it is clearly satan.

          • hansman1982

            Javier Baez backwards and translated from Spanish to English to High German to Kilgon back to English is: Spriggs is the Devil because that is the only way he knows that much Cubs trivia.

      • frank

        Kind of like Gene Wilder in Blazing Saddles with a baseball bat . . .

  • hansman1982

    Speaking of bat speed, good God does Lillibridge have terribly slow bat speed. The video where he is swinging next to Jackson. There is even one swing that looks soooo slow it appears he stops mid-swing.


    • Edwin

      I think it’s cause his stance is so slow.

      • TWC

        You can really see this when you pause the video.

        • D.G.Lang

          I thuink you are on to something there. Or is it ON something?

          • TWC

            Yeah, probably.

            • miggy80

              Hey soooo what are we talking about here?

    • cub2014

      If lillibrige is your other bench guy yikes! Cubs bench
      will be weakest ever. bad hitters no power.
      Navarro .245
      Lillibrige .213
      Valbuena .224
      Sappelt. .256
      Schierholtz .270

      give me jeff baker and reed johnson

      • TWC

        It’s always helpful to show batting averages when you’re slagging a hitter’s ability to hit for power.

  • Kygavin

    That sorta bat wrap Baez does right before he swings worries me

  • Vince

    Doesn’t it seem like Brett Jackson’s weight is a little too forward and that his back foot is too high up off the ground when he turns?

  • cubfanincardinalland

    If Soler can hit the breaking stuff, it is scary how good he can be. Just a beauty of a swing.
    Now Jackson is worrying me. Hitting is about balance. He is lunging for the ball.

    • Rich H

      I saw that too and it looked like Jackson was adjusting midway through on some of the swings. But changing an approach is a work in progress lets see if he can hit live pitching this way before we start getting to critical of it.

  • Vince

    Right I am sure they are working with him on this. He has made it this far so lets home he can make it to the bigs again. It could be right now that he is trying to get his hands and body through the zone faster because he seems to be late. During this batting practice I think there is only one he hits opposite field but I think in the last one he had a few more he was late on.

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  • PuertoricanPride

    Javier Beaz swing is fine just how it is.. The only fault he has is that he is just a little aggressive at the plate and chases pitches out of the zone.. But regarding bat speed and power, this kid is up there with the majority of Major Leaguers if not at the top end!! The numbers speak for themselves!! Sorry I am friends with his older brother Rolando who also played with the San Diego Padres and was a hell of a short stop!!

  • PuertoricanPride

    Oh and by the way!! This BP were watching, maybe their first round because they look like they’re not swinging 100%..

  • Jp3