Who says thirteen is an unlucky number?
With his four home run night in Daytona, Javier Baez now leads the Cubs’ farm system with 13 home runs. The dueling duo of Rock Shoulders and Dan Vogelbach are next in line with 12 and 11 respectively.
To really get an idea what Baez been doing lately, though, I think we need to look at his last two games together. On June 9th Baez was 0 for 1 with two walks and two steals. In that game, as I mentioned yesterday, he showed that he is figuring out how to help the team even when he isn’t get pitches to hit. Earlier in the season his elevated strike out rate indicated that was probably trying to force things. In a situation where he needed to take, back then he was swinging. On Sunday he showed he could be patient and wait for his moment.
And on Monday he demonstrated that he has not lost the ability to attack when the moment arrives. Four home runs is a rare and iconic accomplishment, but it looks even better in coming after a game marked by patience. Baez needs both of those aspects to his game if he is going to continue to find success.
A night like that understandably leads to speculation about his promotion timetable, but I really don’t think anything has changed in that regard. The Cubs might bump him to Double A later in the season, but I do not expect him to go any higher this year. Another trip to the Arizona Fall League could certainly be in the cards, but not one to Chicago. Absolutely nothing is gained by rushing players up the farm system, and this front office is smart enough to know it. Baez has been responding well and making notable improvements under the coaching in Daytona; there is no reason to hurry him away from that environment.
But I have to admit that I am a little impatient myself. The Florida State League is not hooked up to MILB.TV, so we can’t watch any of his at bats until he reaches Tennessee. And on top of that, I’ll be visiting Tennessee on August 12 and 13. It would be very nice to get a first hand look at Baez and Jorge Soler on that trip.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa picked up a rare road win in this one, 7-6.
Tennessee – Tennessee gave up a late run and lost 4-3.
Daytona – Thanks largely to the huge game by Baez, Daytona won 9-6.
Kane County – The Cougars gave up four in the fifth as they lost 6-2.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Logan Watkins has been slowly heating up again for awhile now. That trend continued with his 2 for 5 game that included a double.
- [Iowa] Ian Stewart also stayed hot with a 2 for 3 game that included a walk and a double.
- [Iowa] In three innings of relief Casey Coleman yielded just two hits while striking out two.
- [Tennessee] Arismendy Alcantara and Christian Villanueva both had two hits in this one. Rafael Lopez had two doubles.
- [Tennessee] A.J. Morris has a nice start. He went 5.1 innings and struck out 4 while giving up one run on 2 hits.
- [Tennessee] Trey McNutt also had a nice night, striking out 2 in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief.
- [Daytona] So there’s this guy named Javier Baez. You might have heard of him. He hit four home runs in this game. You might have heard about that, too.
- [Daytona] Zeke DeVoss tripled (his third). That was the only other extra base hit for the Cubs.
- [Kane County] The Cougars walked four times in this game, and three of those were earned by Gioskar Amaya.
- [Kane County] Rock Shoulders and Albert Almora both doubled, but those were the extra base hits for KC.
- Seven of the Smokies’ eight hits came against Archie Bradley, one of the best pitching prospects in all baseball. It is good to see prospects performing well against the best competition, when those opportunities present themselves.
- In case you missed it yesterday, the roster for the 2013 Boise Hawks has been released. It is a young and talented group, but it is safe to say that it is going to change as some of the 2013 draftees sign and become integrated into the farm system.