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Javier Baez doin’ Javier Baez things today.

One pitch, one (devastating) swing, one very long opposite field homer:

I love how early Baez starts preparing for his swing. The leg raises, and his entire posture is like, “Don’t you dare throw this ball in the zone. Don’t you do it. Don’t do it … I TOLD YOU NOT TO THROW IT IN THE ZONE!”

Baez also made a nice over-the-shoulder running catch early in the game, too. He’s good at this thing.

  • Mike

    No cars were harmed too. Man that kid is something else, already keeping his promises.

  • Elden14

    I literally just bought MLB At Bat for $20 so that I could see this faster than waiting for a post. MOAR BAEZ!

  • yooper419

    Starlin Castro’s hamstring says: “I better get right… quick.”

  • JCubs79

    He’s gonna push Castro here really soon.

  • JB88

    Dear god. You see a swing like that and you have to ask yourself: Man, what the heck did that ball do to Baez’s family?

  • ssckelley

    lmao @ Brett: “The precise moment a baseball pees its pants:”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s why you gotta follow on social media, folks! :)

    • johnnyp

      There’s no video of it, but this was one minute after the precise moment I spit out my coffee. Very nice.

  • Steve

    Finish this sentence:

    If a GM approached Theo and offered _________ for Baez straight up, he’d have to say yes.

    • roz

      Mike Trout

    • Jason P

      I like Baez as much as anyone, but there are probably 20 names you could put in that blank.

      • Steve

        I hear you Jason, yet I just cant help but think that finally, we have drafted a super star.
        With the issues he has with his defense and his strike outs, it is possible that even those go away…and he becomes an infield version of Trout.
        How much more valuable is an elite power SS than OF???
        Im afraid I tell anyone calling on Baez to get bent….no matter what the offer is/

    • Jon

      Can’t think of a single position player I would trade Baez for, Trout…Machado, but I think that’s about it.

      • Jason P

        Trout, Machado, Harper, Stanton, Donaldson, McCutchen, Posey, Goldschmidt, Buxton, and possibly Chris Davis or Freddie Freeman.

        • Jon

          Donaldson – F’ck no
          Goldschmidt F’ck no
          Chris Davis – F’ck no
          Freddie Freeman – F’ck no

          • Jason P

            Why? I’d take Goldschmidt in an instant, Donaldson in maybe 2 instants, and I’d have to think about Davis or Freeman.

            • Jon

              3 of those guys play a non premium defensive position at first Baez. Baez can match them offensively while playing a premium position on the left side of the infield.

              Donaldson is living off 1 single year. 1!

              • Jason P

                The chance Baez ever matches what Davis or Goldschmidt did offensively last year is very, very small.

                • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                  We already have a pretty good 1B who was around 20 singles away from being very close to Goldschmidt.

                  Don’t let D-Back fans obsesson with Goldschmidt skew your perception.

                  (If you want to be an easy troll target, tell a D-Back fan site that Goldschmidt is overrated)

                  • Jason P

                    The difference between Rizzo and Goldschmidt last year was a whole lot more than bad luck.

                    I’m still a huge believer in Rizzo (and I’ve stated many times I think he would have been at least average last year with regular luck), but if we got someone like Goldschmidt, Rizzo becomes a valuable trade commodity which we could use to either acquire prospects or MLBers who play a position of need.

                    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                      Well whatever it was, the resulting OPS was about 20 singles and a couple XBH short of matching Goldschmidt.

                      (BTW, Rizzo was 5 runs ABOVE average last year at the plate)

                    • Jon

                      Yeah, Goldschdmit was a lot better than Rizzo last year, and it was definitely more than “just a few singles” That is getting a bit ridiculous,

                      That said, no way I give up on a potential 40HR SS, (even assuming the risk) for a first baseman. It’s probably the most easiest position to fill on a major league roster.

                    • Jason P

                      But considering position, he was below average before you factor in bad luck.

                      Every one of fangraphs’ projections have Rizzo “bouncing back” (i.e. posting a higher BABIP) this year, but none have him reaching close to the level Goldschmidt did last year.

                    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                      Ya, I was off on the HR…helps if I use end of season numbers…not when I last looked at it, which appears to be in August.

                      Rizzo needs a few more homers.

                  • mjhurdle

                    that fangraph article that broke down the cost and potential of Craig-Rizzo-Goldschidmt and said that Rizzo would be the best was FILLED with comments from angry D-Back fans aghast that anyone could ever argue that.

                    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                      Goldy > ((Ruth + Maris + DiMaggio + Bonds + Williams) ^ Campana sCRAP+ ) ^ Infinity

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      So, we change his name to Googleschmidt?

                    • Patrick W.

                      John Travolta calls him that.

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  This is about future, not past performance. I would think about Goldschmidt, but not a chance on Davis.

                  • Jason P

                    Davis’ contact issues would make me a little nervous, but then again, Baez had contact issues at AA and doesn’t yet have a track record of ML success.

                • Jon

                  Many projections disagree with you. And I can’t stress enough the difference between a shortstop putting up these numbers vs a first baseman.

                  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                    The odds that he will put up as many RAA (Runs Above Average) at SS as those guys do at 1B, is probably even money.

                    Putting up an identical OPS to those guys is probably worse, if only because they have already done it in the Bigs but I wouldn’t want to offer too lopsided of odds.

                    The question remains, what is his true talent level for BB and K %.

                    If it’s 6% and 28%, that hurts his odds. If it’s the 12/18 we saw for a couple months after his adjustments…GOOD FUCKING GOD, I wouldn’t trade him for Trout.

                  • Jason P

                    The Oliver 5-year projections are about the most optimistic out there for Baez, and even they don’t have him equaling either of their OPS’ at any point in that span.

                    If we knew that Baez would put up those numbers, or if we knew that he could play shortstop in the bigs, then I would agree with you.

                    • JB88

                      But you are talking about a SS equaling the OPS of two first baseman. That we are even discussing such comparisons is all the more reason that you don’t trade Baez for someone like either Goldschmidt or Davis.

                      Not to mention and really the whole failure in this argument is that you haven’t even brought up the contract differences. Sure Goldschmidt has a team-friendly extension through 2017, but even assuming that Baez will be Super 2, he is still going to make significantly less than Goldschmidt over the same time.

                      No way you can make that deal for a 1B in any scenario (unless that 1B is a generational player). Not for a SS that projects as a 5 WAR player (albeit by one scouting service), even in his first year in the league.

                    • Jason P

                      Alright, let me put it this way.

                      Jesus Montero
                      Dominic Brown
                      Julio Teheran
                      Jeremy Hellickson
                      Aroldis Chapman

                      Giancarlo Stanton
                      Jesus Montero
                      Brian Matusz
                      Desmond Jennings
                      Buster Posey

                      Colby Rasmus
                      Tommy Hanson
                      Jason Hayward
                      Travis Snyder
                      Brett Anderon

                      Those are the 3-7th ranked prospects by BA from ’09-’11 (Baez ranked 5th this year). Of the 15 names listed there, there are maybe 3 that I wouldn’t trade for Goldschmidt or Davis with hindsight, even factoring in cost and control. And even for those other three (Posey, Stanton, Heyward), it still wouldn’t be devastating.

                      There’s still a better chance Baez Travis Snyder than there is that he becomes Buster Posey.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Baez is underrated as a prospect. The only 2 guys who are even close are Buxton and Bryant. And a LOT of Buxton is just his incredibly high ceiling, not his performance (he had a great 220 at bats at A ball and did very well at A+, but we’ll see at AA where Baez has already excelled)

                    • Jason P

                      If Baez doesn’t improve his contact rate, he almost certainly won’t be a star in the majors. I’m not saying that won’t happen, but it’s also not a certainty that it will, which adds risk to him.

                      Trading for an established superstar would eliminate that risk, at least for the Cubs.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Uhhhhh no. If he sticks at shortstop and hits 25+ HRs he’ll be a star even if he hits 250

                    • Jason P

                      That wouldn’t make him a star. Solid starter, yes, but not a star.

                      And sure as heck a lot worse than Goldschmidt or Davis.

                    • Rebuilding

                      It would give him a 750-800 OPS so right around the 3rd best for a SS in the NL (behind Tulo and Hanley). Guess it depends how you define star

                    • Jason P

                      A .250/.300/.450 line with average baserunning and average fielding at shortstop would make him a 2.9 WAR player.

                      http://wahoosonfirst.com/war-calculator/

                      That’s pretty much the definition of solid regular.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Just as an example, Oliver projects that if Baez put up 500 ABs this year he would strike out 34% of the time, have an OBP of 292 and still have an OPS of 787 and be a 4.3 WAR player

                    • Jason P

                      Literally nobody in MLB history has ever posted a season where they struck out greater than 30% of the time, walked less than 10%, and still posted a 4 WAR or better.

                      The highest was actually last year’s Pedro Alvarez with a 3.1 WAR, and he’s the only one who’s ever gotten over 3 under those conditions.

                      If Baez doesn’t cut the K’s, he won’t be a star.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      But, again, the WAR concept is important here. You are using absolute batting numbers for “star.” However, there are a lot of AAAA 1Bmen who would put up AS numbers if they were playing SS or 2nd. Alvarez would have put up at at least 1 WAR higher if he’d been a SS last year, for example (just going on the relationship between OPS and WAR for 3B & SS last year).

                      *IF* Baez can clout 35+HR a year, then he can be a star SS or 2B with 30% K’s. However, move him elsewhere (or lost some HR), and that won’t be the case.

                    • Jason P

                      That’s a good point, but even if we remove the positional adjustments, the list of guys throughout ML history who have managed to be productive with K-rates above 30% and BB rates below 8% is very, very short.

                      It would take a .510 slugging percentage for a .300 OBP, average fielding, average running SS to be a 4 WAR player.

            • BT

              Donaldson is 28 and has had one great year in the majors, and you would trade Baez for him in an instant?

              Ummm, no. You can definitely convince me on Goldschmidt, maybe on Freeman and Davis, but no way on Donaldson.

              • Jason P

                Baez has had zero great years in the majors. He is almost as valuable as a prospect can be (1 tier below Buxton), but that still makes him less valuable than established, relatively young ML stars.

                Donaldson just put up 8 WAR. Plug that into the Cubs lineup, and they’re already a .500 team on paper with Bryant, Soler, Almora, Edwards, etc. still down on the farm. And he’s cost controlled for 5 more prime years.

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  But is Donaldson really established?? One good season, and his age 27 season at that, does not make an established MLB star. Baez could theoretically put up 5 seasons as good as Donaldson’s before turning 27.

                  • Rich H

                    If Baez puts up one 8 WAR season before turning 27 it is a win. To say he will put up 5 is beyond incredible.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      It was a gross exaggeration, yes, but the point is the Cubs could easily get a great amount of production by Baez before his age 27 season

              • BT

                That’s a false equivalency though. Donaldson spent 5 years in the minors, where he was good, but not great. His one great year in the majors is one more than Baez’s, but you are throwing out literally every prediction tool available to scouts. Baez carries the baggage of the fact that he is a “prospect”, and has not performed at the major league level, which is the only mark against him. Everything Donaldson did last year screams outlier. To be clear, he wasn’t a bum. He was a supplemental first round pick by the Cubs if I remember correctly, but nothing he showed in the minors, or the majors before last year, made anyone think he was going to be a 8 WAR a year player. If we are going to count on 8 WAR seasons going forward from Donaldson, then we also get to count on the “once in a generation” bat from Baez.

                I think the risk of Donaldson become a good, rather than great, player is at least the same as Baez completely flaming out. And I would much rather bet on Baez’s upside than the possible 4 years of Donaldson superiority.

                • Jason P

                  If I was making that trade (Baez for Donaldson), I wouldn’t be expecting 8 WAR every year from Donaldson (or even close to it). Yet, even if Donaldson manages half that (4 WAR) over the next 5 years, I still would probably make that trade because very few prospects — even the one’s ranked as highly as Baez — will ever do that.

                  Right now, the Cubs have a lot of valuable but unproven assets at the high level of the minors. Maybe most of them become stars and our lineup ends up resembling the Cardinals. Or, maybe most of them don’t work out and we end up like the Royals, at the end of a long rebuild with little to show for it and having to make desperation moves for the privilege of winning 85 games.

                  I’d trade a little ceiling to get a little more certainty.
                  That said, I can see being hesitant to make this trade. When I made my list in my initial comment, I actually thought Donaldson was 26 rather than 28

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          The Cubs already traded Donaldson for Rich Harden, soooooooo

        • mjhurdle

          I would trade Baez for a young superstar (McCutchen, Trout, Harper, Machado) but not for someone that had one decent year by age 27.
          Maybe Donaldson is finally reaching his potential and will be a better MLB player than he ever was in MiLB, but for right now that is trading Baez for LaHair 2.0

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          Trout – Yes
          Machado – Yes
          Harper – Probably
          Stanton – Nah
          Donaldson – No
          McCutchen – Probably
          Posey – Maybe
          Goldschmidt – No
          Buxton – Maybe
          Chris Davis – No
          Freddie Freeman – No

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            I agree with this except I’d upgrade Goldie to maybe and downgrade Posey to no. Also would upgrade McCutchen from probably to yes.

    • JCubs79

      Jose Fernandez

    • Kyle

      Trout or Harper. That’s it.

      • Jason P

        You would turn down Baez for McCutchen?

        • JB88

          In a second. I might add a TOR arm or two to that list, but given how often pitchers seem to get injured these days, I might not.

          • Jason P

            Why? McCutchen plays a premium position and is under contract for 4 more very reasonable years, during which he is almost a lock for 6 WAR/yr.

            • JB88

              I understand and there isn’t a lot of logic to this one (unlike my disliking the idea of trading Baez for Goldschmidt or Davis), but my gut says that McCutchen is a regression candidate and that Baez over the same time will be a more valuable player. Plus, and again, this is 100% gut, I think Baez will put up number similar to what McCutchen is putting up now at a much younger age.

              I will readily admit if/when I turn out to be wrong about this and there is ZERO science/statistics in my feelings on this one.

              • Edwin

                I think at some point, you just want “your own” prospect to be the one you find success with. Rational or not, I understand why someone might turn down a Baez for McCutchen type of trade, even a Baez for Trout.

      • bnile1

        agreed

    • cubbiehawkeye

      If their last name isn’t Machado or Harper I’d rather wait to see what I have in Baez.

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    Vine of the Baez HR. Can’t get enough of that bat speed.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Chi_vegasJG9/status/440588320025096192

    • Featherstone

      The bat speed really is absurd.

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  • ssckelley

    Now that I have watched that home run about 50 times as sweet as that swing is I would like to see less wiggle with the bat as the pitch is being delivered.

    • JCubs79

      He’s a lot quieter then he used to be, but I agree.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Why does it matter? A lot of great hitters have had wiggles, etc., in their bats as they get ready for the pitch. It doesn’t have any negative bearing on the swing.

        • Joshua Edwards

          Agreed. The swing starts when the pitch is recognized: prior to that it’s about staying loose, the right hand position for the particular player/approach, and timing. There are plenty of ways to achieve that and a wiggle is just one of them. Gary Sheffield (the en vogue Baez bat speed comparison) had a pronounced bat wiggle his whole career.

          Sure, quiet hands are safer and are the preference. But the lion hunts the way it hunts: you take the 30 dingers at SS/3B/2B/wherever he plays, and help the young Cub learn to hit 40 with some tweaks over time. If he takes to it, great. But if he Castros, you just let him play the way he plays and take the best he gives ya.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          I still love Alfonso Soriano’s swing.

          • Edwin

            He had so much power in his swing, I liked it too.

            His 2006 and 2007 was pretty great. Soriano seems like an interesting comp for Baez, actually. Lowish BB%, K% in low 20′s, ISO in the mid .200′s.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              the only issue with that is Baez is already K’ing at a higher % but in the minors.

              If Baez succeeds, he will be a unique case.

  • Jon

    I believe that home run came of Marco Estrada, now Marco Estrada will not win a cy young this year or any other year, but he is an established, back the rotation MLB pticher. It isn’t like he did that off a AAAA pitcher or STI that will be selling cars next month.

    I am excited.

    • Sect208Row8

      Whats wrong with selling cars?

      • DarthHater

        Not a thing. But it’s probably safe to assume that if you are pitching in spring training today and selling cars next month, then you aren’t a ML quality pitcher. I think that’s all that was being said.

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    Woot, a Baez bloop!

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    Good, hard slide by Javy to break up the double play. Absolutely love how this kid plays.

    • Jon

      He does whatever the f he wants to do.

      • JB88

        Javier Baez, what Eric Cartman dreams he could be when he grows up …

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    Off the end of the bat and it even looked like he was reaching with the swing. Nice.

  • Rebuilding

    Gary Sheffield v Javier Baez: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eqpuDvL_FfU

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      He bat speed really is mouth dropping amazing and I think his swing is shorter and better tat Sheffield. Sheffield had a lot of movement pre-swing but Baez stay in position until he swings. It very impressive now the question is if Baez is as good at pitch recognition as Sheffield.

      • Diehardthefirst

        Bat speed blah blah = bat s*#t … So he shortens the length of game by striking out quicker? Pitchers will slow pitch him out of the league in 3 years

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Ah now that’s funny

          • DocPeterWimsey

            It’s beyond funny: it’s DieHard.

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              Yeah it’s all die hard all the time.

        • another JP

          No. reply. necessary. That’s absolute gold.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        “now the question is if Baez is as good at pitch recognition as Sheffield.”

        That is rhetorical, I assume!

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Of course doc ;)

  • fromthemitten

    Is that a stroller he almost hit?

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      BABIES ARE NOT SAFE!

      • Edwin

        He hits baseballs with bad intentions.

  • BlameHendry

    And now he’s 2 for 2 on the day. Can we just give him a major league spot already?

    • Jon

      No, let him hone is craft for a few months @ SS in Iowa. He still has some stuff to work on.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      No reason to start him in Chicago, let’s see how he looks at Iowa after 200 or so AB before we starting thinking about this.

      • Joshua Edwards

        Frankly, I want him to go to Iowa so he gets angry, and just tries to piss off the FO. I want to see how his emotion plays on the field. I want to see if he knocks the cover of the ball at Sec Taylor Stadium, and demands a spot in Chicago after a month of brooding about it in Des Moines (my hometown–go Roughriders!).

        When he does that, and I believe he will do that, then look out MLB. And windows and windshields everywhere.

        • ssckelley

          The Cubs are not looking to compete this season so wasting a year of control on Baez by breaking camp with him on the active roster makes no sense. I believe the earliest we see Baez at the MLB level is June.

          But honestly the guy does have some things to work on. Baez has a lot of movement with his bat as the pitch is being delivered. I would like to see him cut down that movement in AAA. But his bat speed is incredible, Baez might be the one to break Glennallen Hill’s record for the longest homer hit in Wrigley.

    • Jon

      Him starting at Iowa will also let some issue at the major league settle…i.e.Is the 2011-2012 Starlin Castro coming back?

  • David

    Tyler Beede’s stats so far: 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA. Hitters hitting .085 vs. him. 5 walks and 24 K’s in 18 innings.

    Cubs Game 3 starter in 2017 world series.

    • Soda Popinski

      I’ve been keeping an eye on him, too, David. I’ve been really impressed with his control so far (stuff has never been a question).

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    Baez coming up with two on and two out.

    • cubbiekoolaid2015

      And he scolds a ball right to the second baseman.

  • mjhurdle

    Baez is not getting cheated with his swings…

  • Jon

    Has Arodys Vizcaino got in this game yet?

  • Patrick W.

    Want to be a little depressed?

    Compare Javy Baez’ 2013 season with Brandon Wood’s 2005 season.

    I don’t think it means anything. But do it.

    • Soda Popinski

      “Want to be a little depressed?”

      You sold me with the opening line ;)

    • Rebuilding

      Yeah, we’ve talked about Wood before. Of course he put up those numbers in A+ ball as opposed to AA as a 20 year old. It was also the California League where you are I could OPS 800 in the high desert

      • Patrick W.

        I might be able to slug .500 in Rancho Cucamonga but I’d strike out too much to OPS 800.

      • Voice of Reason

        Rebuilding:

        Been a while since I’ve seen you on here!

        The last time we were posting you said that I would be eating crow once the Cubs signed Tanaka…

        • Rebuilding

          Let me guarantee you the crow tasted good on this end. I definitely underestimated the Yankees desperation. Although I don’t think they’ll be disappointed with the contract

          • Voice of Reason

            We both agree on wanting to see the cubs win it all.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        The K’s Man, THE K’s!!!!!!!

    • Kyle

      Doesn’t depress me in the least. There are some differences, but the main thing is that you can find an awful comp for anyone if you dig hard enough (not saying you did in this case).

      • Patrick W.

        No, I was just reading about how Brandon Wood caused all of the Angel’s current problems and the stats were really close so I thought it was interesting.

        I don’t think it means anything.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          You are correct. It doesn’t mean anything.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        He is an interesting case.

        On one hand, noone has succeed with such god-awful low-minor K/BB numbers. On the other hand, very few folks have failed after destroying AA at age 20.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          NO ONE…fuckity damnit

          • TWC

            ::glares::

        • DarthHater

          Did somebody call me?[img]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2809/12914631025_e59c066dd7_m.jpg[/img]

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Given that around 40% of top-ranked prospects never amount to much, one often does not have to dig too hard!

        Here are two different statements: 1) most of the top players in MLB were top-ranked miLB prospects; 2) only about half of the top-ranked players in miLB will be successful MLB players. If people can understand why both of these statements are true, then they can put prospects into better perspective (for good or for ill).

        • Joshua Edwards

          I bet you just love Venn Diagrams.

          Thanks for posting a clarifying statement, per usual for you. As a philosophy major who had to TA for a symbolic logic course, I appreciate the way you recognize the premises are not at odds.

          Moreover, Doc, I have long enjoyed the statistics and evidence you use to back up your insights. I owe you several beers for times you have provided grounding and/or diffused needless argumentation with your analysis. I always respect your opinion.

    • ssckelley

      The only thing that scares me about comparing Wood to Baez is the strikeout rate. But the one thing I have to question is how can a power hitter go from hitting 144 home runs in the minors between 2005-09 and then drop down to 10 in 2012 playing in Colorado Springs (in 438 PA)? Colorado Springs is a place where even non power hitters can hit 10 home runs. Now at 28 years old his power is almost completely gone (he hit 4 last season in 252 PA). I am sure this has been questioned already but this screams of PEDs use.

      • Darth Ivy

        Only two things scare me, and one is nuclear war

  • jp3

    Castro being out for about 10 days is going to do something else I hadn’t thought of yet past us getting to see him more…. He’s going to make it very hard if he continues launching moon shots for the FO to continue saying “he’s going to AAA because he needs to work on some more things”. In some regards that’s silly because Castro wasn’t a wizard with the glove when he came up either. All I’m saying is it’s going to be an interesting situation he puts them in.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I’m seeing posts witha permalink option, but no way to reply. This is my response to J Powers saying that if Baez doesn’t increase his contact rate he will neer be a star. So what part of his three at bats today lacked contact? Homer, single and hard groundout.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      Well, that would be the 28% of 240 PA in AA where he struck out.

      He has the power to make up for a higher than average K rate, but will he avoid enough Ks in the bigs.

    • Jason P

      I assume your talking about my post (me and Jason Powers are 2 separate people).

      Baez struck out at a 28% clip last year. That translates to about 33% in the majors if he doesn’t develop further (again, a very real possibility but no certainty), which would make it virtually impossible to maintain a high BA or OBP since he doesn’t walk all that much.

      He could still be a good player at shortstop with 25 home runs and a .300 OBP, just not a star.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        That 28% is potentially troubling, but it should also be noted that he had a ridiculous in-season delta on his K%. He started out in Daytona by striking out at a truly horrifying rate, and finished up in Tennessee looking like an almost-disciplined slugger.

        I don’t recall ever seeing that radical of a change within a single season by any player at any level.

        In fact, it was so remarkable I’m skeptical it is real. I’ll be watching his Triple A campaign with extreme interest for that reason.

        • Edwin

          Exactly. If Baez can somehow cut down on his K% signifigantly, then he’ll be the exception to the rule, but in a way all great players are exceptions to the rule.

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          Obviously he is showing an ability to make adjustments. An intangible factor is mental makeup. He gets an opportunity with the Castro injury and hits the first pitch out and goes two for three. I seriously don’t think that failure is part of his vocabulary. And what is exciting is that Bryant is doing the same.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          I wouldn’t put too much stock into the in-season shifts. I’ve know that I’ve posted these plots before, but here are Javier’s month-to-month K-rates with support bars limiting the likely hypothesized true rates. I think that I put the first couple of days in July into June because he changed leagues in early July:

          [img]http://imageshack.com/a/img823/607/9bs5.jpg[/img]

          Now, yes, there was a big dip from July -> August: but he dropped to a 25% K rate. Moreover, you couldn’t reject the idea that he had about a 28% K-rate and just happened to have a relatively “good” and “bad” month. (And that does not even take into account that he might have faced better pitching in the first month than in the second!)

          His walk-rates look pretty similar, with a 7% or so “true” rate seeming likely:
          http://imageshack.com/a/img42/2748/jatu.jpg
          Again, we do see disjunct support bars: but because the quality of the opposition pitching varies from month to month, the support bars actually are smaller than they should be.

          This does not mean that Javier hasn’t “improved”: but it does mean that we really need a bit more data before we can reject the idea that he hasn’t. (It also should be a good lesson in just how much variation we can expect in a consistent probabilistic process, too!)

        • Joshua Edwards

          Bingo.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          IF he is a true 7% BB / 28% K rate kind of player, that really puts a damper on his ceiling.

          If he succeeds, it would be one of, if not the, first time a prospect has had such ugly BB/K rates in the low minors and succeeded in the pros. If he fails, he will be one of the first players to destroy AA at age 20 and fail.

          Unless his approach was soooo horrific that he is a true 10/20 kind of player that performed WAY outside of expectation, we will need to be expecting an .800 OPS driven solely on power. (which isn’t a bad thing, just not a future HoF like some folks are drooling over).

  • mjhurdle

    BJax with a walk before a 2 run single by Ibarra (whoever that is). It is sad that i think it is an accomplishment every time he doesn’t strike out.
    Hopefully he finds a way to bounce back and prove us wrong.

  • Lou Brown

    As a regular of this site and others, I like to think I have a pretty good handle on the club, and its farm system. But every spring training a Tommy Hottovy and a Walter Ibarra come along, and I still find myself asking who the hell are THESE guys????

    • Joshua Edwards

      Who’s Lou Brown?

      I never heard of half these guys. And the ones I have heard of are waaaay pay their prime. (Most of these guys never had a prime.)

      • jp3

        Yeah Rick Rent was probably selling white walls not too long ago too

      • Mike

        This guy is dead!

        Cross him off then.

        • jp3

          That was probably her best line though “I want to be there when you go splat” was another.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Baez is a defense liability with below avg skills and instincts save for above avg arm strength but below avg accuracy-he’s a potential DH with a strong arm- wonder what he could bring in trade with AL team in need of DH?

    • DarthHater

      [img]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2873/12908841474_b7f4f165cf_m.jpg[/img]

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Baez is a defense liability – False
      with below avg skills – False
      and instincts – False
      save for above avg arm strength – True, the arm strength is above average
      but below avg accuracy – False
      -he’s a potential DH with a strong arm- – In the sense that any hitter is a potential DH, True

      So you were right on 2 of your 6 points. If we’re talking batting average, that’s pretty good.

      • Joshua Edwards

        I think I just heard a windshield break. Who did that?

  • Lou Brown

    Ahhhh, but then when I feel clueless for not knowing who Ibarra is, diehard comes in with a statement like that, and all is right with the world again. Yes the guy who can play every position on the field, except pitcher and catcher, is clearly a DH and trade bait to the AL…

  • Jon

    For those watching, what was Vizcaino hitting on the gun?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No gun display for me.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Seriously great D there by Villanueva to throw out the runner from foul territory. Vizcaino hit the first batter, but no further damage. His motion looks easy…

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