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javier baez aflNothing top Chicago Cubs prospect Javier Baez does at this point surprises me anymore. When he had his four homer game earlier in the year, that was an amazing, shocking feat. If he did it this week? It would thrill me, but I’d barely blink. He has become that ridiculous on a consistent basis.

OK, I’m exaggerating slightly.

But look at last night: Baez went 4 for 4 with two homers and a sacrifice fly, and it barely registers. It’s an amazing performance, and yet it’s just another day at the office for the 20-year-old shortstop.

After the performance, Baez’s line in the Southern League – where he is one of the youngest players, and he’s playing shortstop – stands at .307/.366/.659. The top OPS among qualifiers is the .903 by almost-23-year-old Marcus Semien. Baez has him beat by more than 100 points(!!!). There are only nine players in the entire league with an OPS above .800(!!!!!! – I’m running out of exclamation points).

On the year, between AA and High-A, Baez is hitting .286/.348/.581 with 33 homers, 33 doubles, 4 triples, and 100 RBI in 119 games. He’s also stolen 19 bases (thrown out just 4 times) for good measure.

  • gocatsgo2003

    Oh boy… now you’ve done it. The “BAEZ NEEDS TO BREAK WITH THE BIG TEAM IN 2014″ vs. “ARBITRATION YEARS AND TEAM CONTROL MATTER” debate will spilleth over.

    • ssckelley

      Yeah baby! Let the debates begin!!!!!

      (I still have exclamation points left to use)

    • Jp3

      Yeah this cost control nonsense has to stop, when someone is banging on the door, let him in. How long must we need to nickel and dime it? Brett, how much did you say we saved this season? $13 million sounds like an extra year of control

      • bbmoney

        It isn’t nonsense. It isn’t the end all be all, but it should always be a factor. Even for a big market team.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          Money matters, but I’m at the point of believing that Baez will sell enough additional jerseys, get enough additional butts in seats, etc.., to cover the costs. On the other hand, I don’t want to lose the team control year, because the goal is still WS. Mid-2014 call up for Baez will be just fine.

      • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

        Cost control, sure. But getting another year of team control instead of two weeks of play at the beginning of the year is a no-brainer. If Baez is good enough, there will be plenty of money for his arbitration, but the extra year of team control is actually a big deal for his trade value, extension negotiations or if he chooses to go the year-by-year until free agency route.

      • ssckelley

        Jp3, bringing up the money “saved” from this year brings up another good point. Someone pointed out in another thread that the Cubs have actually lost money this year to less tickets being sold, concessions, and ad revenue. Imagine the excitement of the Cubs breaking camp with Baez, it would not take very much to raise the extra money needed to pay for that extra year of free agency. If the Cubs sold only an extra 500K tickets next season that alone would raise an additional 22.5 million if the Cubs did not raise ticket prices ($45 per ticket average right now).

        • Cubbie Blues

          You can’t sell an extra 500k tickets in the first month or two.

          • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

            The attendance is just fine! We are barely out of the top ten in the MLB. We are still drawing with a terrible team. Don’t worry

            http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance

            • Scotti

              The Cubs are typically at 96-99% capacity during competitive seasons. They are at 81% this season thus far and they have massive no shows on top of that. The no shows last night were stunning. The Cubs will lose well over $100 million in combined gate, concession, ad, etc. revenue this year. That is far from “just fine” but easy to say when it’s someone else’s $100 million per year.

              • cub2014

                Scotti,
                You nailed it, I would say this bad team has cost
                the Cubs around $110m in gate receipts alone.
                So I have never fealt that getting rid of these high
                dollar contract is out of greed. Its about rebuilding
                this franchise from the ground up.

                • Scotti

                  It seems self-evident that, somewhere along the way, Theo convinced TR that this was the way to get talent for the long haul. Whether that happened during the “Starbucks” meeting, or in discussions prior to that event, it obviously happened prior to Theo signing on the dotted line.

                  • Kyle

                    ““Our ability to leverage our market size into financial advantages is more difficult than I expected,” Epstein said. “I thought that would have been something that was easier for us to do – and do now.”

                    Theo Epstein, March 30, 2013.

                    He thought he’d be able to spend more than he’s been able to.

                    • cub2014

                      But Kyle doesn’t it make sense that
                      playoff contention translates to more
                      fans thus more money. Why else would
                      they not go out and sign guys with
                      2-4 year deals unless they were really
                      trying to build up the talent below the MLB
                      level.

                    • Kyle

                      It would.

                      But he can’t spend what he doesn’t have. Thanks to a combination of debt repayment, falling attendance, and the sales agreement with Zell, he’s just not got the dollars he thought he would when he took over.

                    • JB88

                      “But he can’t spend what he doesn’t have. Thanks to a combination of debt repayment, falling attendance, and the sales agreement with Zell, he’s just not got the dollars he thought he would when he took over.”

                      More and more, it is becoming clear that this is likely true. Given the fact that the Cubs refuse to start the construction until they have assurances that they won’t be sued, I’ve become more convinced that the Ricketts don’t have the assets necessary to do everything all at the same time (i.e., they can’t renovate and spend an extra $60M on payroll at the same time and without extra revenue streams).

                  • JB88

                    You forget one very critical piece of information: At the time that Theo agreed to become the Cubs’ president, the new CBA wasn’t a reality. This notion of tanking for draft picks only is a necessary reality in an MLB that restricts draft and international spending.

                    If this was Ricketts’ goal all along, I think it is pretty obvious that Theo wasn’t complicit in the plan.

                    • pete

                      I absolutely agree with that. I believe (with no verifiable way to prove) that TR misrepresented to Theo the level of spending he would be able to employ when hired.

              • cub2014

                IMO Theo came in and told Ricketts
                if you hire me we are going to start over.
                Its going to be very difficult and expensive
                for 2 or 3 years. We are going to take every
                asset and flip it for young talent until we are
                ready to make our move then we will go after
                some talented FA with reasonable contracts
                add our prospects. Still have plenty of kids
                in the pipeline to sustain the success.

                Just a guess

          • ssckelley

            Over the course of the season they can. The attendance is in a downward trend, as it should be, this year they are on pace to end up around 2.6 million the lowest it has been since 2002. When the Cubs are winning they easily surpasses 3 million, in 2008 (the last playoff year) the Cubs drew 3.3 million, 2 years later it was still at 3.1 million for a 5th place team. The hype surrounding Baez is building and if the Cubs break spring training with him on the team the tickets will instantly become a hot item. Even if they only get it back up to the 2010 level that is an extra 468K tickets sold generating over 21 million in revenue if they don’t raise prices. Not to mention concessions and addition ad revenue it would generate.

            • Cubbie Blues

              I don’t think anybody is talking about keeping him down the whole year. Just the first month or two. That’s the increase in tickets you have to look at, not the whole season.

              • ssckelley

                The excitement is built up on the front end of the season. You are right that whenever he does come up it will create excitement and result in additional revenue but not near as much if he was to break ST with the team. People like me (and there are a lot of us) cannot just drop everything and buy tickets, I have to plan my vacations around it.

                All I am saying is money should not be the deciding factor in sending Baez down. Send him down because he has things to work on that can’t be done at the MLB level, or send him down because you have no plans on making the playoffs in 2014 (for all the player control/money reasons you all argue). If Baez proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is ready and your hoping to make the playoffs in 2014 he should start next season in Chicago not Iowa.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  I have never said money. I have always said control. I am resigned to the fact that he may become a super-2. Or, take the Harper plan (which has been pretty much what I have been saying). Harper entered the Bigs on April 28th. That was enough time kept out of the Majors to gain an extra year of control. I’d say there was plenty of hype around him.

              • Scotti

                Ticket sales are largely a function of the off-season. For instance, ticket sales were relatively high when Theo came to town and the Cubs didn’t completely dismiss media discussion of Albert Pujols/Prince Fielder but, rather, allowed it to to simmer when they had no intention whatsoever of going that route.

                So, IF, the notion of Baez would drive ticket sales, it would do so far better in the off-season. Personally I’m in the camp that wants to see him show that he doesn’t have any challenges at AAA before he comes to Chicago. For me it’s 100% development. What is the best for his development? It may be a month at AAA that shows he’s putting together great AB game after game or it may be all year at AAA. Whatever his development needs are.

                • ssckelley

                  Success on the field will sell tickets, the excitement of promoting Baez will sell tickets, a playoff contending team sells tickets. My argument is that if you send Baez down to start the season at Iowa it isn’t because of money, the Cubs will have the money one way or the other to afford a player like Baez. If there are still parts of his game that need development that he cannot do at the MLB level then you send him down without a doubt.

                  The player control thing is where it gets tricky. The whole idea of building this organization is for at the end of the day to win, make the playoffs, and win the World Series. The Cubs have went over a century without winning a World Series and at some point you need to start reaping the benefits of your strong farm system. People want to sacrifice a month of Baez because they worry about controlling him in 2020. If the goal of the 2014 team is to make the playoffs then you don’t worry about 2020 and you put the best team on the field that will help you win games. There are so many things that can happen between now and 2020 that I cannot justify sending a player down that can help me win now and hope a month does not make a difference. If I am Theo, while my goal is to build a sustainable winner, my priority is to make sure I am still around to have to worry about 2020 as of right now I am signed through 2016.

        • On The Farm

          I imagine Baez’s April (his adjustment period to the bigs) will probably excite people for the first few weeks, but then everyone will jump on the boo Baez because he is striking out at least once a game. But you are right the excitement factor for that month would be through the roof, but the production wouldn’t be there.

          • terencemann

            The recent success of prospects like Harper, Trout, Machado or even Segura probably makes people think that all prospects should immediately contribute and it’s going to be interesting to see how high a ledge Cubs fans will have to be talked down off of when Baez takes a little while to adjust.

          • Jay

            Let’s just let the process play out and move him thru the levels to get him here. I’ve seen enough Corey Patterson’s in my lifetime to never get too excited about a farmhand. Plus, his infield defense makes Soriano’s time at 2B early in his career look like Gold Glove worthy.

        • Kyle

          Don’t forget that there’s 6 or 7 years of inflation between us and that $22.5m.

      • hansman1982

        So you would trade a month of 21 year old Javier Baez for a year of 27 year old Javier Baez?

        • ssckelley

          So you’re assuming Baez is not a Cub when he is 27. So in 2020 the Cubs are still playing “money ball” and will be to cheap to extend Baez past his arbitration years then no, I would not trade a month of Baez for an entire year when he is 27. This FO has proved they will spend to lock down young talent, they extended Castro, Rizzo, and have been working on Samardzija. If Baez comes up and performs this FO will never let him walk at the age of 27. Chances are they will have him extended well before that happens.

          • Kyle

            You can’t assume things you don’t have.

            We might be able to sign him to an extension. We might not. We might have to pay more because of it. But regardless, he’s a free agent after six years of service time, so any discussion involving him has to stop at that point.

            • ssckelley

              You can’t assume anything, this is a 2 way street. Baez could still turn into a total bust, could get hurt, and never reach the end of his arbitration years as a MLB ballplayer.

              • hansman1982

                Very true, but if a month of him is the difference between the Cubs being a playoff contender and not in 2014 then:

                1. He is an absolute beast and odds are you will want that age 27 year.
                2. I guess there really isn’t any other reason.

                Again, do you want $2M now or a penny doubled every day for a month?

                • Blublud

                  I as huge a Baez fan as there is, but I’ll take the 11 nillion please.

                  • hansman1982

                    Wow, I knew the penny doubled beat $2M pretty handedly but $11 Nillion?

                    • Blublud

                      Let me try again.

                      I’m as huge a Baez fan as there is, but I’ll take the 11 Million please.

                      Is that better.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Nope, I like Nillion better. It sounds more obtuse.

                • ssckelley

                  If Baez proves he is ready and the Cubs are making a 2014 playoff push I could care less what happens in 2020. I will take my chances on being able to extend him and roll the dice. You put the team on the field that gives you the best chance to win. The Cubs have went to many years without a World Series win to keep giving away seasons and worrying about what happens 6 years down the road. If the Cubs approach 2014 the same way they did 2013 then you send Baez down no matter what.

                  • Eternal Pessimist

                    You really need to understand that you can’t just say they can sign him when he’s 27. There will always be a budget and a maximum the Cubs will dole our for salaries. Any extra payed out to him when he is 27 will be money not spent on an FA. If we are in the hunt mid 2014 and he is still mashing, he will be in Chicago.

    • CubsFaninMS

      I mentioned below that, with the special talent he has proven over the course of the past two months, he has earned a chance at Wrigley out of Spring Training. But the monetary considerations of doing so would be a negative. Whatever they do, I’m sure it will be carefully considered. We should see one or more exciting pieces come together at the MLB level next year.

      • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

        A. I would quickly lose faith with the front office if this decision was made because of two months of performance and six weeks of hypothetical great play in spring training (Basically the same skill level as where he is playing now).

        B. The monetary issues don’t matter as much as the team control. If he spends two weeks in Iowa, what’s the big deal?

        • CubsFaninMS

          The problem is… Baez, like most prospects, are expected to appear as if they are climbing a mountain when they hit AA. Baez appears as if he is running downhill. It’s not just two months, it’s two months making what is normally a major adjustment look like a cakewalk. I won’t be disappointed if they call him up mid-season 2014 (assuming he continues his progression) but I wouldn’t be disappointed if they rewarded him a starting spot at Wrigley if he performs during Spring Training. I’m indifferent. It’s just exciting that we have a rare, Top 5 talent in our minor leagues. Bias aside, yes, he should be in the Top 5 now.

        • terencemann

          Absolutely agree about not jumping to conclusions based on the end of AA and spring training. Just look at Aaron Hicks. The Twins should have started him in AAA and now they’ve lost a year of team control by playing him during a season where they could lose 90 games. They could have waited a couple months and the team wouldn’t have been any worse.

          • ssckelley

            I completely agree, like I have said before if the Cubs have no shot at the playoffs in 2014 then it will not matter if Baez is ready for the Bigs or not you start him at Iowa. I may not even bring him up at the end of April to avoid the “Super Two” status. Being a small market team with no shot at winning the Twins were dumb bringing up Hicks.

            • Nick

              Yeah, the Twins made a very short-sided decision bringing Hicks with the club out of ST. They’re explanation was something like – If we said it was a competition all spring and Hicks was the best – what kind of message would that send to the other players.

              Obviously don’t base that decision on ST Twins!

              Although, they have since sent him down to AAA and will end up with the extra year of control anyway.

        • Kyle

          I would quickly lose faith in this front office if they *couldn’t* make a solid scouting decision on one of their own players after two months and a spring training.

          • JB88

            And SSS be damned?

            • Kyle

              That’s not a small sample size for the sort of decisions that need to be made.

              A lot of fans seem to have learned about sample size in the early rise of the sabermetric revolution, back when we had OPS and ERA+ and thought we were the ish.

              “Small sample” is relative to the measurements you are using. If you’re going by OPS, then yeah, 250 PAs isn’t the greatest sample (though it’s not exactly tiny, either). If you are using advanced scouting and modern statistical analysis, then it’s not a small sample size.

              • JB88

                No, it’s not tiny, but he’s also still hitting over .360 on BABIP. Personally, I’m less opposed to moving Baez up earlier, though I’d probably wait until June or July to forego super 2 and loss of a season of control. Outside of that, I tend to think what Baez is doing is more along the lines of water rising to its level.

                • Blublud

                  For talent level, a .360 BABIP is about where Baez should be. There is nothing that he is doing in AA right that is not sustainable. The only suprise may be that he is doing it at 20. His BABIP is ok, his HR rate is crazy.

                  • bbmoney

                    I”m not ready to definitively say he’s a .360 BABIP guy. 200 PAs is still an awful small SS for BABIP to normalize…especially with all his K’s and HRs.

                    But it’s probably not as out there as you’d otherwise think compared to a league average ~.300 BABIP because he hits the ball pretty darn hard and he’s got decent speed.

                    • Blublud

                      He may not be a .360 BABIP guy in the majors, thats up there with Miguel Cabrera. And expecting a 20 yr old still in AA to be Cabrera is just stupid. I do think its sustainable for him at AA. As hard as he hits the ball though when he makes contact, his MLB BABIP will be higher then most. .320+ would be my guess.

                  • JB88

                    .360 BABIP is extremely rare. Sixteen players in the history of baseball have a .360 or higher BABIP for their career, including only 3 players who are currently playing.

                    • Blublud

                      I was speaking more about sustaining it at AA, not at the big league level.

                • Kyle

                  See? The fact that you know about BABIP shows how stats have advanced to the point where we can get more out of what used to be considered a small sample.

                  I’m inclined to do the same. But it’s not because two months and ST isn’t enough to make a decision.

  • Jared

    Brett,

    With the future of the farm system (and Baez in particular), you might want to look into upgrading to a version that allows more exclamation points. I think you will need as many as you can get!

  • D-Rock

    Castro out. Baez in. Do it.

    • Patrick G

      And when Baez struggles like Castro, what do we do then

      • Kyle

        “when” As if it’s inevitable that every player craps the bed for entire seasons like Castro is doing.

        • Patrick G

          It’s an example of how people overreact when young players struggle. Not saying he will, but if he does people will be calling for the next person. Let him mature a bit at AAA and see how he does

  • Jon

    This is why under no circumstances do I include him in a trade for Price; you could get Price and he could live up to his billing as a Cub, and yet, still, the Cubs could regret that trade…that is if Baez puts up those numbers as a middle infielder in the big leagues. Yes, #1 starters are rare, and the opportunity to actually get one is even rarer, but the most rare of all, is a middle infielder that can consistently put up 35-40 HR seasons. The Cubs will be kicking themselves if they give that up, I don’t care who they get in return(outside of a Mike Trout)

    • ssckelley

      But Price is the only one I would think of trading Baez for. You do not come across very many opportunities to acquire a legit #1 starter and there are only about 7 or 8 of them in the majors today. If the Rays want Baez and the Cubs can extend Price then I can get unexcited about Baez pretty damn fast.

      Word of caution Cub fans, we have been there and done that when it comes to falling in love with our prospects. I am just as excited as the rest of you but also know the value in acquiring a MLB proven #1 starter.

      • JM

        So the rich get richer and the dumb get dumber?

        I would argue we have gotten just as excited about other trades and free agent signings, only to get burned.

      • mjhurdle

        Chris Archer.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Virtually none of your arguments show consideration for cost. The Cubs will always have a maximum payroll and taking on the added cost of Price w/ similar player risks (Prices injury history vs Baez’s chances of flame out – which have diminished extremely) doesn’t make sense to me at all…maybe a prospect a little lower down (not Bryant either IMO) and some throw-ins.

    • Geo

      Agree 100% ,& i will also add patric g don’t compare baez to Castro , baez minor league stats blow castro’s #’s out of the water. No comparison he’s the real deal just wait & see!

      • TheDondino

        No, go ahead and make the comparison. Castro hit .310 in the minors with an 11% strikeout percentage. Baez is hitting .289 with a 23% strikeout percentage. Which of the two types of hitters would struggle more coming up and facing major league pitching without seeing the AAA level? I’m betting the higher strikeout guys would have a harder time with major league pitching once they make the adjustment to the hitter. I personally think Baez is going to be a stud and no level of pitching is going to deter him, SO% be damned. But his profile to my rational, analytic mind says give him some time at the AAA level, if only for a few weeks. If he takes that level in stride, call him up. If it gets us an additional year of team control/arbitration year, as well, hey, a bonus.

        • CubsFaninMS

          I’m inclined to think that is their plan with Baez. The last several games may sway them, but the front office did mention that they wanted to evaluate him at another position. They almost certainly won’t be doing that in the MLB.

          • willis

            I think they’ll move him around in ST next year then roll him out in AA or AAA for about a month or so worth of games, getting more game work at positions other than SS. If he shows he can handle either 2B or 3B that would accelerate his time a little, but I’m thinking Early to mid May is most likely for him to show up in the bigs.

  • Spencer

    Those numbers are excellent, but I don’t think anyone can talk about Baez without discussing his K%, which will in all likelihood be above 25% for the season at Tennessee when everything is all said and done.

    • TWC

      If he can maintain an 1.000+ OPS, it doesn’t really matter how many times he strikes out.

    • Jon

      You can live with a 25%K rate with that kind of a power at such a young age. Plus, his recent trends have been good in that department.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        In the majors, yes. A 25% K rate in Double A is still concerning.

        Baez’s season rate is falling, though, and he deserves plenty of credit for making those adjustments.

        • Spencer

          Sure, if his adjustments are the reason why the K rate is falling.

          • hansman1982

            I think we may actually see him open the season at AA next year and get another month’s worth of PA. We still have far more PA where he is K’ing at a rate that is far too high. If he dominates AA as he has the past month, you could move him straight to MLB if the team needs him or AAA for another month and a half to finish his seasoning and conveniently avoid super-two status.

            • Kyle

              The K-rate has been settled down for awhile. It’s been steadily lowering. Pick almost any arbitrary date on his AA time, and the K-rate will be lower after than before.

              In April, he’ll have had the rest of this year, the offseason, and all spring to mature. There’d be absolutely no reason to send him back to a level that he’s been crushing harder than any other top prospect is crushing any league at the moment, unless he shows some major regression between now and then.

          • Drew7

            What else would it be?

        • terencemann

          If he continues to push down the K rate, then he’s on to something. I was encouraged by seeing him take some first pitch strikes on Sunday night. I hope that means he’s getting more confident in allowing himself to hit the right pitch and not just the first hittable pitch he sees.

        • Kyle

          A 25% K-rate in AA isn’t ideal, but you can get away with it if:

          1) You are young for the level
          2) You have great power
          3) You take walks
          4) You play a low-offense, high-defense position

          Check, check, check and check.

  • Daniel

    Ok, well Baez is coming in like a freight train. What do the Cubs do with Castro? Does Castro now play 2nd base? How about Barney? Does he sit now?

    I have a feeling either Castro or Barney will be traded in the off season.

    • JB88

      No, you move Baez to either third (most likely) or second. Castro, for all of his warts, is still the better SS than Baez.

      • MDel

        Some would disagree. Jim Callis, for one, thinks Baez is the better shortstop. He graded Castro as a 45 and Baez as a 50 – 55 recently on a radio interview.

    • frank

      If they think Baez is the better shortstop, they’d move Castro to 2nd. That was the plan before they traded Hak-Ju Lee. Castro was to be moved to 2nd when Lee was ready to come up and play short.

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        Castro played the pivot man in a 5-6-3 double play last night and looked very smooth making the play. Looks like he could handle second until Alcantara is ready. I believe Cubs will eventually trade Castro for a front line pitcher. Mets and A’s would be good partners for such a deal.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I wonder if a change of scenery (to 2nd base) might take some of the pressure off Castro in the field and allow him get him more confortable at bat. I understand this is just speculation, but the dude seems to need some mental downtime…or at least I assume he does, because the negative attention he has been getting has to start working on him…it would work on me.

      • Scotti

        Frank, there was never a plan to move Castro off SS because of what Lee was doing in Boise or Peoria. I’m a huge HJL supporter but the only plan was to let things play out for themselves.

  • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

    He should destroy the PLC next year. I still worry about K’s and if the Cubs try to put him at 2cnd or 3B. I don’t like 2cnd cuz its basically SS in reverse and he may be just as bad defensively. He’s got the arm for 3B and could be excellent but we already have 500 3B guys.

    And if you trade him and he becomes what it looks like he could become… The best SS ever (not counting cheaters or overrated Jeters). The front office might never recover.

    • C. Steadman

      hold on hold on hold on….jeter overrated? are you talkin his entire career or just the recent seasons?

      • DarthHater

        Well, he has always been overrated as a defensive SS, but certainly not as a hitter or an intangibles guy.

        • C. Steadman

          agree on defense..but offensively he could be arguably top 7 SS of alltime

        • Noah

          Yeah, despite the fact that Jeter is, for his career, a pretty bad defensive shortstop, he’s still one of the top 10 shortstops of all time. Being even fringe adequate at the position with his bat means he’s one of the best of all time. Let’s put it this way: Jeter was a significantly better all around hitter than Cal Ripken, Jr.

    • ssckelley

      OR, the front office passes on trading for a starter like Price because they see the “coulds, ifs, shoulds, and maybes” like you do and he ends up flaming out like we have seen many times.

      The strikeout rate is still a concern, through history I cannot think of a single prospect to come up with that kind of strikeout rate and end up being a HOF’er. Granted I would be excited to get an Adam Dunn like production out of the shortstop position (with less walks) but I still would not hesitate to trade it for a legitimate #1 starter like Price.

      • JM

        Price has won 20 games, once. 19 games, once. Any guesses what his next winningest year is? 12. That’s right, 12.

        Now I’ll not argue that he would be an unbelievable pick- up, but not at the expense of trading off your most valuable piece.

        So Price comes into his prime now making what? 20 million a year? http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/priceda01.shtml?mobile=false shows other pitchers he’s compared to at the same age… some on the list include Tim Lincecum, Johan Santana, Roy Oswolt, and Tim Hudson. You ready to see if Price goes down that same path?

        • Cubbie Blues

          I don’t know what you said because when you start to build your argument for or against a pitcher based on wins, the rest probably isn’t worth reading.

          • JM

            Yeah, yeah. That’s just stupid for you to even say.

            So what am I allowed to reference that won’t offend your highness? Can I say he’s a legitimate #1? No, cause if he played for the Tigers he wouldn’t be and you’d rip me for that. How about I discuss velocity or command? You’d find something too gripe about there too. Durability? Nah. WAR? Maybe, but I’m too stupid to comprehend that. Walk/K ratio? What do you have on that?

            Sarcasm aside, my point was that several young pitchers very comparable to Price received large contracts, only to provide much less return on investment.

            • Jp3

              His velocity is down…

              • Cubbie Blues

                laRf

            • Cubbie Blues

              I wasn’t being sarcastic. W/L for a pitcher is the equivalent to RBI for a hitter. It should never be uttered. It’s a team stat.

              • JM

                Ok. I understand that whole debate and line of thinking, however, I personally wouldn’t say that whole w/L records are irrelevant. If nothing else, perhaps provides a frame of reference with regards to a pitcher’s ability to win, or perform well enough to win. Their mental toughness. No more willing are you to put stock into v wins, I am equally unwilling to abide by sabre metrics alone.

                And RBI? really? That speaks directly to a player’s ability to hit with men on. . I’ll trade all of Rizzo’s hits with nobody on for hits with runners on. Remember the days of Sosa? King of the meaningless home run?

                • jh03

                  Ugh..

                • On The Farm

                  JM, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

                  • TWC

                    Well, that’s a bit over the top, eh? “Insanely idiotic” and “everyone is now dumber” doesn’t add much to the dialog, now, does it?

                    Perhaps by illustrating the error of his thinking you might achieve more than insulting him alone. Should you chose to do both, I’d recommend leaving out the ad hominem attacks and focus on trivializing his myopic view of wins correlating to a pitcher’s “ability to win” or his silly focus on RBIs. Personal insults, however, are rather unseemly.

                    • jh03

                      It was a quote from Billy Madison….

                    • On The Farm

                      Sorry I just posted that quote from Billy Madison while I was working on a bit of research located a few posts down. But if he is going to base future production of a player and compare him to guys like Oswalt and Santana based off wins, then year I guess I would be alright giving him $20 mil

                    • DarthHater

                      Hippie.

                    • TWC

                      Peace and love, you grouchy Sith lord. Peace and love.

                    • DarthHater

                      Personally, I’m into ad homonym attacks.

                • TWC

                  Sosa has 609 career HRs. 326 were solo shots. That’s 53.5% “meaningless” HR rate, by your definition.

                  Barry Bonds had 726 career HRs. 450 were solo shots. That’s a 62% “meaningless” rate.

                  RBIs are a result of people ~who are not the hitter~ getting on base. The hitter has no control over that. Sosa’s RISP vs bases empty stats show almost the exact same split (once you take into account all the IBBs w/ RISP). Same with Bonds. Same with Hank Aaron.

                  • bbmoney

                    I choose to ignore your statistics and replace your reality with one of my own invention.

                    • TWC

                      Man, I do that allllll the time.

                      Just not with baseball.

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    No, no, no, Thomas, you have it all wrong. If he was a really good RBI guy, he would make sure there was always a man on when he is at bat. That’s his responsibility, to make sure people are on base.

                    • On The Farm

                      Well if he protected them in the lineup he would be doing his job of making sure the person ahead of him see good pitches and get on base so that he can knock them in.

                    • TWC

                      Now you’ve gone too far!

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Oh, that’s where the line is? I always wondered. But, is it in sand or drawn with chalk or pencil where we can move it from time to time?

        • ssckelley

          I would have loved to have gotten any of those pitchers at 27 years old. Other than Lincecum the other 3 players had some really good seasons after they turned 27. Go to baseball reference and highlight the 4 or 5 seasons after they turned 27, the numbers looked really good. Those Astro teams Oswalt played on were not very good, you have injury risk with Baez as well if you consider Santana, and Hudson has been solid throughout his career and still is a solid starter. Lincecum still has good stuff and can bounce back.

          • JM

            I guess the whole argument rides on what Baez ultimately becomes. It’s all just a crapshoot… Just ask Brett…

          • JM

            That sort of is my point though. They were good, not great., not top five in baseball, like many consider Price to be.

            • On The Farm

              I am not sure what you are talking about here. I pulled up Hudson, Oswalt’s, Santana’s WAR from their 28-32 YO season (left out Lincecum because he is only 29 so has three more years). Hudson, who has never been a elite pitcher still averaged a 3 WAR from 28-32 (3.08), Santana was second best at 3.925m, but didn’t pitch in his 32nd year. Oswalt was the best of the company at 4.08. Oswalt’s numbers would make him a top 10 guy over the last two seasons and Santana’s numbers would set him on the outside of the top 10, 15 range.

              If he puts up Oswalt like production he would be worth the $5.5 Mil/WAR. So I guess take it for what its worth.

              • JM

                There’s the sarcasm again…

                All I know is that Rizzo just gets blasted on this site for not hitting with men on…

                • JM

                  Sorry, above post was meant to go elsewhere.

                  But since I’m already here, how many years would Price want? I’ve seen as many as 7.

                  Given the Cubs current situation, they are likely to be about this bad through next year and possibly the next. Trading Baez for Price now would mean having a top pitcher, in his prime, pitching for a 90 loss team for as many as two or three years of that contract. As the Cubs are getting better, Price’s effectiveness would be diminishing.

                  Guess I’m just an advocate for seeing what Baez can do.

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

      Jeter was a great shortstop. Maybe the best hitting shortstop in the modern era. And he pulled a ton of wool. Still overrated.
      Yankees fans are kinda like Bears/Ditka fans when it comes to Jeter.

  • Internet Random

    Hans?

    • TWC

      Joe’s deeply in denial. And, likely, deeply into a cheeseburger.

      • Internet Random

        Yeah, I don’t get it.

        Well… I get the burger.

      • hansman1982

        I tell you what, this cheeseburger is tasty.

        Oh, and Javier Baez is kicking the crap out of my sterling reputation. He’s made some serious adjustments and, if the past ~60 PA (12% BB rate, 18% K rate, 40+HR) are an accurate representation of his abilities, he has become a legit candidate for #1 prospect status and someone who profiles to have some serious success in the bigs.

        Now, can he repeat it next year?

        Just have to eat more cheeseburgers to drown my sorrows.

        • Blublud

          Yeah Hansman, Beaz is really starting to make my crappy reputation look much better. Feel good to know I am winning, at least currently, one debate with you. ;)

          Now as long as he doesn’t go all Felix Pie or Cory Patterson on us, I should be good for the win. The only problem is, we are approaching the 9th inning of this debate, and Carlos Marmol is warming up.

          • TWC

            “The only problem is, we are approaching the 9th inning of this debate, and Carlos Marmol is warming up.”

            Heh. Well done, Jay.

  • Jon

    BTW, a shout out to Kyle for a great twitter troll job on Professor Parks last night. Bravo!

    • JB88

      Link?

  • North Side Irish
  • Tim

    Is a healthy Troy tulozitzki the ceiling for Baez?

    • hansman1982

      With the adjustments Baez has made and how good he has looked over the last 60 PA, possibly better.

      Over this span he has been on pace for 40 HR over a full season. Get him into his physical prime and he could push 50 with a .300 + average and a .075 IsoD.

      Provided this truly is Baez.

    • Noah

      Not a good comp. Tulowitzki doesn’t strike out much, doesn’t quite have Baez’s power (Tulo is a 60 power guy, while Baez has 70 ceiling), and Tulo is a much better defender than Baez is ever likely to be.

      They’re just very different types of players. Baez could be as good as Tulo is, but he’s going to have to get there in a different way (hitting 40 homers a year).

  • Kevin F.

    Baez has struggled upon being promoted at every step. Better to put him in Iowa to get his feet wet and hit .125 for a couple weeks than get swallowed alive at the major league level.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Right. Because if he is struggling that mightily at AAA, I’m sure he would immediately get the call up without proving any kind of adjustment. That’s the ticket.

    • CM

      He struggles at every promotion for about 2-3 weeks, then starts crushing the ball again. Why not give him the last six weeks to see how he adjusts to the majors?

      • On The Farm

        Because he would be jumping AAA and go straight to struggling in the majors. He is fine where he is at. AA playoffs then off ot the AFL.

  • Werner

    Keep saying to yourself, “He’s still a prospect. He’s still a prospect. He’s still a prospect.”

  • Featherstone

    Hey Brett,

    Fangraphs has Baez’s AA stats at an even more ridiculous .314/.374/.674 Which one is right?

    • DarthHater

      That’s odd. Fangraphs has him at 42 games, Baseball-Reference at 43 games. But his SLG could not have gone down on a 4-4 night with two HRs…

      • Featherstone

        Yeah none of his triple slash stats could have gone down after a 4 for 4 game with 2 HRs.

        Also just for fun, his wOBA and wRC+ are .465 and 200 respectively…

        *drool*

    • Kyle

      Fangraphs mysteriously skipped his 0-for-4 a couple of nights ago and then started adding the games after it.

      • hansman1982

        Fangraphs game logs are goofy. They give him a AA game and then a couple of A+ games before cementing him in AA.

        • Featherstone

          Ahh that makes sense. They still dont have Kris Bryant either.

        • bbmoney

          i’m pretty sure that’s not a fangraphs issue, but had to do with a suspended game that occurred before he got promoted, but was completed and he played in at AA after being promoted. It just shows up as only being played on the day it started.

        • Mr. B. Patient

          That AA gae, to a few A+ games isn’t Fangraphs fault. After Baez was promoted to AA, Tennessee finished a game that was suspended. So Baez actually played in a game that was started before he was promoted.

        • ari gold

          The reason why is that he played in a doubleheader, one of which was a make up game from June before he was actually on the AA team. That’s why you see 1 AA game, followed by some A+ games, and then the AA games again.

  • CubsFaninMS

    I may be one of the last… but at this point… I see no reason not to give Baez a shot at the MLB level out in 2014 if he performs in Spring Training. He’s certainly a special talent, that is increasingly obvious.

    • Featherstone

      Extra year of control is a pretty good reason not to have him break camp with the major league team.

      • Noah

        Yeah, there’s really no reason not to put him in Iowa for at least a few months to start the season. He still has things to work on, and while the pitchers in the PCL will not necessarily have any better “stuff” than the pitchers he’s seeing in the Southern League right now, they will have, on average, better control and command.

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com Hookers or Cake

      And do you just throw him at third on the MLB club? Seems kinda dumb.

      “Hey figure out third in the offseason kid. We’re gonna skip triple AAA and you mash in April in the bigs.”

      • Jp3

        Hmmm sounds like the training method for junior lake’s new position, we wouldn’t do that…oh wait…

      • CubsFaninMS

        I like your logic. Because Baez is blocked at second by Darwin Barney, his only option is third base, right?

  • cubzfan23

    I don’t see any reason not to give him a shot, other than the service time. There have been a few players come up over the last couple years and be successful. Come onTheo/Jed pull the trigger, Doo it.

    • Featherstone

      Service time is a very big reason. If you think Baez is going to be an absolute stud then the extra year of service time could be worth as much as 20 million.

      • Hansman1982

        And it’s trading a month of Baez now for a year of fully grown and developed Baez. That’s like the $2M now or a penny doubled every day riddle.

  • another JP

    As great as Javy has been this season Bryant might be doing even better. After destroying college pitching he’s making a mockery of minor league pitching thus far. What we’re looking at in the next year is 1960 all over again when Santo & Williams came up- and I think these two prospects will outperform the early results of those HOFers. The scouts will say otherwise but I believe Baez & Bryant are on par with the Twins stud prospects Buxton & Sano.

    • bbmoney

      Bryant’s been great. But he should have been great in the NWL, as a top college bat he should have been beyond that and crushed there, and he was and he did. He hasn’t been in High A long, but its off to a good start.

      I’m excited to see what he can do in AA next year and hopefully (I’ve heard rumors to this) in the AFL in a couple months.

    • Featherstone

      The only nitpick with that and this is super minor is that Buxton/Sano are slightly younger than Baez/Bryant and are at the same levels in the minors. Ceilings are probably given too much weight in these evaluations, but I can easily see how an argument can be made that the two-headed monster of Baez/Bryant are possibly the best minor league prospect combination in baseball.

  • North Side Irish

    Smokies on Radio ‏@SmokiesonRadio 41m
    VIDEO: Javier Baez blasts two home runs at Birmingham on August 21; Take note of the MPH after his 2nd home run http://wp.me/pMW4q-2CH

    Video of both HRs…

    • Kyle

      It was a curveball that he did not get close to all of.

      That’s what great power does. It’s not the 479-foot moonshots when you make solid contact. It’s the fly balls you don’t get all of that most people would hit 310 feet that you hit 370.

      • Featherstone

        Quick question Kyle,

        Baez still has an awful lot of movement in his swing even as the pitcher is delivering the ball. Do the Cubs leave it until he struggles or try to slowly quiet his hands over time?

        • Cubbie Blues

          I have heard he uses it to slow his swing down since his bat is so quick.

        • JB88

          I’d think taking out some of the herky jerky for many players is to “speed up” their swing (i.e., remove the extraneous to maximize the amount of time one has to put the bat through the zone). With a guy with the sort of bat speed of Baez, I’m not sure it is all that necessary.

        • Kyle

          I’m not a swing expert, but my guess is they leave it alone. They seem more concerned with helping him identify pitches than they are changing his swing.

          It has calmed down quite a bit since he was drafted.

  • C. Steadman

    anyone else excited to see what Baez can do in the Pacific Coast League(in 2014) where the ball flies out of the park on the regular…league average slugging is generally 40-50 points higher than the Southern League

    • On The Farm

      I am, I would love for his confidence to build and for him to face some closer to Major League arms. I am all for watching him make adjustments, even if it is a 100 PA stop, I may drive out just to see him.

      • C. Steadman

        yeah i’ll have to see him in iowa quick too…which is nice bc i live in chicago right now but my hometown is 45 in away from des moines…i plan to see alot of baez in the coming years

  • AD

    DeJesus again claimed off of waivers. wow!

    • Cubbie Blues

      By who?

  • jan forty-two

    Jav!er Baez. The guy deserves an exclamation mark in his name.

  • North Side Irish

    Mark Gonzales ‏@MDGonzales now
    Possibility of Baez promotion to Cubs unlikely as of now, but Sveum deferred to Theo epstein and Jed hoyer on final decision

  • Bill

    Whoa! 500 tickets per game times 81 home games equals 40,500. Times that by the average ticket price of $45 and you get $1,822,500. Not 22 million plus.

    • Blublud

      Yeah, but I’m sure he was talking bout selling more then 500 tickets. That why he put 500K. Notice the K. :)

    • Cubbie Blues

      Huh? Who are you talking to?

    • ssckelley

      Bill, I was talking about tickets sold over the entire season. Cubs will end up around 2.6 million by the end of this season, they are up around 3.1 to 3.3 when they are competing. That is where I get the 500,000 ticket (or 500K) figure from.

    • Jp3

      Not to mention I realize Puig is a more flashy player possibly but you’re forgetting the Baez mania gear that will be sold the minute he gets promoted. Puig jerseys sold 600 of them over a 4 day span that were going from $110-$225 a pop. Not to mention the other 2500 t shirts in that same span. That’s in for days. He’s absolutely worth the dough

  • Blublud

    Baez struck out 37 times in his first 24 games and 109 PA at AA. That’s a 33.9% rate. In his last 18 games and 82 PA, he’s has struck out 16 times for 19.5% rate. His last 10 games, he is down to 18.6. This has become a consistent trend. The guy is one of the better prospects in all of baseball in making adjustment.

  • Bill

    Can’t wait for Baez to play short in the Cubs big show and knock off ” I ‘m an all star leave me alone.” Castro.

    • DarthHater

      Note: Quotation marks are for statements that somebody actually stated, not for things you pulled out of your ass.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Heh!

  • LWeb23

    Not impressed. Let me know when he goes 4-4 with 4 HR’s.

    • Blublud

      A yeah. Theres no way he’ll ever do that. :)

      • Featherstone

        I dunno Baez does “what ever the f he wants”

        • ETS

          [img]http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l9fqjzTyW91qcikulo1_500.png[/img]

  • willis

    Baez makes me smile.

  • Ralph

    I got a chance to see Baez last year in Cedar Rapids when he played for Peoria (went to the game just to see Baez). He hit an absolute bomb out to left, and the bat speed is as advertised, no joke.

  • Chief Illiniwek

    I seriously can not wait to see what he will do in the next few years. All this has made me think…..I wonder if the Cubs would have taken Lindor over Baez if they had the opportunity. Just some food for thought

  • Steve

    Don’t bring Baez to the Friendly Confines in Sept. He’s had great progress at A and AA this summer. Let him take some time off and then have him get ready for Winter Ball learning to play 2nd base with Castro as his double play partner. Barney may be an outstanding fielder but he just can’t hit for a decent enough average to be a regular on the our rebuilding team.

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