javier baez aflWho 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.

Other News

  • 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.
  • Jacob

    Not to distract from Luke’s work, but BP wrote an article about Starlin’s plate discipline.


    • ETS

      Thanks for the link, but it tells me what I would have guessed anyway – Castro swings at everything once he gets 2 strikes, and he is a good enough hitter that he puts bad pitches in play which is probably detrimental to his discipline.

  • Die hard

    Nothing like drafting a potential starting 3B to motivate Stewart– wonder how Vitters reacting?

    • Jp3

      I think he pulled a muscle when he leaped for joy after Baez’s 4th HR.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Yup, use the highest draft pick the Cubs have had since you drafted Prior to motivate a douche nozzle like Stewart who will be letting the door hit him in the ass soon. Yup, makes sense.

    • gocatsgo2003

      If Stewart is worried about his job because of an unsigned rookie, then he’s got much bigger things to worry about than hitting AAA pitching.

  • BABIP (MichCubFan)

    The next few games will be telling for J. Baez. He seems to be the kind of player who could get a little HR crazy after a game like he had last night.

    Lets see if he is mature enough to keep a decent approach and resist the temptation to try and hit 4 HRs every game from here on out.

    • Jp3

      I agree completely, I’d like to see him have 3 or 4 BB tonight, I would imagine whomever Daytona is playing today will know about last night and won’t throw him much to swing at and i’d hope he can just take his free passes

    • Tim

      Last night on twitter, Baez blew up my twitter timeline by retweeting every single post anybody had written about his 4 home runs. It really rubbed me the wrong way. That just seems a little unprofessional to me.

      • Kyle

        He does that every time he has a big game, and I think it’s awesome.

        • Tim

          Although it would only be 1 game and nobody would think much of it, I think his next game will tell us the kind of ball player he is. If he walks 4 times then good for him be cocky. But if he strikes out 4 times swinging at everything, then I think that shows he’s a little full of himself.

          • JulioZuleta

            Interacting and acknowledging fans that congratulate him? What a jerk.

            Annoying? Yes. Cocky/unprofessional? I don’t think so.

            • Jp3

              He could always just say his twitter feed was hacked;)

          • Dynastyin2017

            How he does today has nothing to do woth his cockiness. There have been a lot of PROs who have had a horrible day after a great day. It happens. Besides, the kid did something that is rarer than pitching a no-hitter, he should be proud.

      • Jp3

        He’s a bit cocky sure but I kind of like it much like Bryce Harper… He’s a douchenozzle if you’re playing him but he’s awesome when on your team.

      • Rich H

        Remember that just because it is Baez’s Twitter account it may not be him actually doing it. He may have someone that looks after for him once in a while.

      • Cyranojoe

        Main thing, I think, is that people tend to like to see themselves retweeted by “celebrities.” So it’ll probably go over well, in all.

  • FastBall

    Jacob, excellent post on Starlin Castro. I am in 100% agreement with the article. He’s still a kid and he is finally getting coaching that is pointing him in the right direction. He came up early and flourished on his raw talent. Too bad we didn’t have coaches who mentored him properly until now. Rome was built in a day. The kid will get this down pat and when he does we will have one hell of a short stop. I think we as Cubs fans don’t have any real Mr. Cub types on this team so we want to make guys become that icon before they are ready. I think the kid is doing a hell of a job dealing with Chicago and learning as he goes. The more stablized the coaching message is the better he will be. Kids can’t adjust to a new message every year and that’s what he had ever since he was brought up. If he would have had this kind of coaching when he started out he would probably already be a near finished product.

  • CC

    Sitting at airport in Houston. Just looked up and saw Baez 4 bombs as ESPN top play of the night. Sure does look a lot like Gary Sheffield.

  • Frank

    Baez was #1 on sportcenters top ten plays.

  • FastBall

    Rome wasn’t built in a day….

  • Austin

    I think Alcantara is an absolute star in the making. I hope we’re able to find a roster spot for him in the near future. His OBP has increased every single year he’s been in the minors. That really says something about his ability to adjust to the next level’s pitching and that he’s right on track with his developmental curve.

  • ETS

    So the only other FSL 4 homer game was also a cub?

  • FastBall

    I think it would be awesome if the Cubs brought up Baez, Soler, Almora, Bryant and a few others and let them play for a week at the end of the season. Call it futures week. Give everybody a chance to see what the Cubs will look like soon. But what if they won like 6 or 7 in a row. Then what? I like youthful enthusiasm and it might be good for the Cubs.

    My lineup might look like this. These boys would be electric. I would put this team out there now and put up the a better record than we will with the guys we currently run out there. And the fans would be back in there seats as well.

    Baez 2B
    Almora CF
    Soler RF
    Rizzo 1B
    Bryant 3B
    Castro SS
    Lake LF
    Castillo C

    • Kyle

      It would destroy the 40-man roster for the upcoming offseason and severely limit the Cubs’ abilities to protect other prospects in the Rule 5 draft

    • Kramden

      Yup… It did wonders for Vitters, Jackson and the rest of us last year.

      Awesomeness for sure.

    • http://none millhah

      are you high?

  • David

    Stick Vogelbach in that fantasy lineup after Bryant. There will be a DH in tbe NL in 2 years.

  • JulioZuleta

    Soler goes to Tenn by the end of June. Baez the first week of August. Almora to Daytona in the beginning of July.

    That Boise team isn’t doing much for me right now. Underwood and Penalver are interesting. Blackburn too. After that, there’s not a whole lot right now.

    • Jp3

      I was thinking the same about Boise. It’s hard to get excited by Dunstin Jr and Gretsky, other than Underwood and Blackburn… Meh. Hope I’m wrong and someone explodes.

      • JulioZuleta

        Have to think Gretzky’s clock is ticking a little bit. Can only hold onto a power hitting prospect that doesn’t hit for power for so long. Too bad though. I was hoping to bump into his sister at Wrigley some day.

    • Kyle

      Yeah, I was a little surprised at how underwhelming Boise turned out to be.

    • Spriggs

      Well, maybe some of the draft class will make up for the boring roster later. Underwood and Dunston are the only ones I’m really interested in at this point. Not as excited about Penalver, Gretzky and Blackburn as others seem to be – but who knows? And what on earth is going on with Panigua? I no longer think he will arrive and his contract will be deemed not valid for some reason.

  • MikeW

    There’s a reason to move Baez and Soler up soon – and it’s called the shitty rainy season Daytona always has the 2nd half of the season

  • Jp3

    Our 3rd rounder Hannerman you think goes there as long as he signs? He’s a little old but he’s really raw apparently and not your run of the mill college players.

  • Featherstone

    Does anyone have any replays or video of Baez’s 4 homer night?

  • North Side Irish

    Not to nitpick Luke, but you forgot to include in Ian Stewart’s note that he then went home and did his typical d-bag thing on Twitter last night…possibly while drinking.

    BeefStew2 ‏@IAN_STEWART_2sc 8h
    @justinjabs I meant they might as
    Well release since I have no shot of a call up….let me
    Sign elsewhere

    BeefStew2 ‏@IAN_STEWART_2sc 8h
    @believesumner Ibelieve it or not it’s more fun in aaa than the bigs….no stress no media….it’s
    Way chill

    BeefStew2 ‏@IAN_STEWART_2sc 8h
    @heitkamp2827 I think dale
    Doesn’t like me and
    Running the show

    BeefStew2 ‏@IAN_STEWART_2sc 8h
    @believesumner I said that be because the cubs are done
    With me….there going to let me
    Rott in AAA all season and then non tender me after

    BeefStew2 ‏@IAN_STEWART_2sc 8h
    @believesumner why would I quit? I’m making 2 mill in AAA like u would give that up by quitting

    Papa Penn ‏@papa_penn 7h
    @IAN_STEWART_2sc sad part is Stew isn’t an AAA baller. He is a big show baller in an org. With terrible leadership
    Retweeted by BeefStew2

    • KidCubbie

      Just wow. How bout a little professionalism Stewy…..

      • bryan

        i say demote him to boise. make him have to move out there. then in aug move him to Daytona, then back to iowa for the last few weeks of the season. Just move him all over and be an asshole back to him lol

    • Jp3

      For those of us that don’t speak Twitterese, what in the hell did he say, and what did he just retweet of someone else’s? Feel free to paraphrase (unless you’re worried about offending anyone’s delicate sensibilities).

      • gocatsgo2003

        Without direct translation, it was an epic string of douche nozzle-y goodness. If it weren’t already clear that he’s an entitled, overpaid prick, he took care of that for us: Dale doesn’t like me WAAHHH I get $2MM to chill at AAA WAAHHH why won’t you release me? Oh yeah… I want to keep my $2MM WAAHHH I’m a big leaguer despite hitting .164/.279/.345 at AAA WAAHHH.

        • willis

          Pretty much. I love the “dale doesn’t like me” card he played. Maybe, just maybe, it’s because A. you can’t stay healthy and B. Dale is sick of your act, realizing that it ain’t worth the headaches to deal with a sub .200 hitting piece of shit? Maybe?

          Now he’s at it again, retweeting a Sullivan tweet. He’s taking his cubs war to twitter. Good job, good effort.

          • Jp3

            Ok I’ll bite, what’s Sullivan’s tweet? Ugg, please find a shit job that Mike Rowe wouldn’t do for the rest of his $2mill this year.

            • willis

              He just put up a link and said “Ian Stewart tweets “he probably never will get back to the Cubs.” Then posts a twitter link. Stewart retweets it and adds a “Correct” to the retweet. Confirming his All Star twitter rant from last night.

              He’s begging for a release at the end of the day. And now taking the war public.

    • Jp3

      I just don’t want to call him a douche about something he may not have said. I could just call him a douche for his last offenses (not on the field of course).

  • Spriggs

    I lost track fo Rhee… Is he done for the year — what kind of injury does he have?

    • TWC

      A bruised ego and a prolapsed douchenozzle.

      • DarthHater

        That’s gotta hurt.

      • forlines

        Slow clap. Comment of the day

  • willis

    Haha, awesome tweets by Stewart. Ever the prick.

  • Headscratchin

    Fine his ass for conduct detrimental to the team a few times and maybe that 2 mil for doing nothing becomes a bit less attractive to him. $10,000 for the first jackass comment and add an additional $10,000 each time and that ought to cut into his rent a little.

  • willis

    The funny thing is, he’s been complete dog shit or injured all season. He has a couple good games and goes all twitter blow hard for the world to read. He’s just an immature ass and someone who hopefully won’t be part of this organization much longer.

    • waittilthisyear

      funny thing (not haha funny, like not like he is here to amuuuuse us) is that this organization gave him every opportunity to succeed and genuinely wanted him to do so. fact is, he is a fragile, self-centered punk (a word i rarely use, seeing as i am only 24). we will see what happens to stew when this contract of his runs up. guesses? mine is he gets work as either a hs coach or trainer of high school kids, and he tells all his pupils how if he could have only caught a couple breaks, he would have been one of the greats…

  • North Side Irish

    Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 1m
    If Ian Stewart prefers to be released, he’d have a better chance by offering to forgo remaining $1.3m salary for ’13. http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-chicago-cubs-stewart-twitter-20130611,0,7681521.story

    It kind of sucks that Stewart’s whining is getting this much attention…

  • Dustin S

    Stewart + Twitter… you’d think he’d have an agent that would have told him to delete his account ages ago.

  • Esteban

    Is Jacob Rodgers going to be the Hawks third baseman? Gretzky is a lefty, so he’s probably at 1B, right? Lockhart and Penalver up the middle. Dunston in CF, Encarnacion at one corner and a battle for the other?

    I am guessing that Kris Bryant skips this level and probably the next and starts in High A? Is Jesse Hodges going to be on the Boise team?

    With Rizzo, Vogelbach & Shoulders all ahead of him at 1B, wouldn’t it be mutually beneficial if Rogers learned to play 3B? I realize that he’s probably not even in the top 30 in the system, but he could be an interesting prospect if he can play the INF and OF corners.