javier baez aflFor months now, we’ve heard/seen/recorded nothing but incredible feats from top prospect, Javier Baez. The 20-year-old shortstop was not only the Cubs’ Minor League Player of the Year, but he was one of the most successful minor leaguers in all of baseball this season.

All of that was on the field, though. How has Baez’s progress been off the field? The minors are for learning, after all.

Well, Baez’s hitting coach certainly seems to think Baez is progressing in his development as a future big leaguer, thanks in large part to his eagerness to learn and follow directions.

Former big leaguer Mariano Duncan was Baez’s hitting coach at High-A Daytona, and he says Baez is a hard-worker who’ll make his way to the big leagues soon.

Duncan related a series of post-season text messages to Cubs.com: “[Baez] said, ‘Thank you for having patience with me for the whole year. It means a lot to me.’ I texted him back and said, ‘Thank you for listening and making the adjustments.’ When I texted him back, I said, ‘Don’t thank me for that. I get paid to do that and to try to develop you guys and make you a better player.’ All the credit should go to him. He works so hard and he listens. He did everything he is supposed to do on the field.”

The Cubs.com piece is worth a read, especially if you’d like to add yet another layer of excitement to your Baez-related heart flutters.

  • Jono

    I keep wondering if they’ll stick to their full AAA season idea that they talked about when Rizzo was in Iowa.

    • cub2014

      with the cavernous holes in LF
      3B and 2B I hope they speed things
      up a bit. If they progress out of the
      gate next year.

    • willis

      I don’t think they can afford to at this point. You have hitters that are going to be ready in Baez and Bryant who will not need the full season and who can be brought up at some point next season and most likely make an impact. And like 2014 said, there are huge holes at 2B and 3B, the FO knows this and knows they aren’t going to go out and spend for anyone at those positions, so I do believe the two I mentioned will be on more of an accelerated course.

      • Jono

        I’m hoping that’s the case PLUS having Olt come up, too, filling three positions (with bryant in the OF). Suddenly the lineup doesn’t look too shabby, with Rizzo, Baez, Castro, Olt (if he’s performing well enough to earn the call up), Bryant, Lake. Suddenly it’s like whoa, that’s a real lineup.

        • willis

          I get the feeling, and I’m not sure why other than the FO has salivated over him for a couple years, that Olt will be given every opportunity to win the 3B job out of ST next season.

          • Jono

            That would be even better than a mid year call up.

        • Tim

          I do not like Olt at all.

    • hansman1982

      Only for as long as they want to. If it takes until June 1 for them to feel comfortable that Baez will mash in the bigs, then they will say it until June 1. If they think he is ready on Opening Day, they will say it until they get the extra year of control and then say he “forced the issue”, has “nothing left to learn”…blah blah blah.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        This could not have been said better. Joe, please forward this to Bruce Levine and Jesse Rogers at ESPN. I cringe every time they throw out the ‘ 500 PA at AAA’ line.
        They should know better.All our guys will be brought up when 1). they can produce, 2). their development won’t be hurt and 3) the Cubs gain as much cost control as possible.

        • hansman1982

          I do love how much everyone hangs on every word this FO and coaching staff says and consider everything to be concrete, so long as it fits into a certain narrative.

  • Internet Random

    Meanwhile, a hansman1982 somewhere is seething in a hissing fury.

    • hansman1982

      I am drowning my sorrows with hamburger smoothies.

  • jon

    You know it’s been a rough year when the press has restored to discussing text messages.

  • Le Cubs

    I see him as the number 3 prospect in baseball behind Buxton and Walker.

  • Stevie B

    I’m a Chicago Cub fan…I see him as the #1 prospect in all of Baseball.

    BOOM, goes the dynamite!!!!

  • Tim

    Mariano Duncan once had about 500 plate appearances in a season and only walked 10 times…….WHAT?!