javier baez kris bryantI always told you that Yahoo’s Jeff Passan was a smart guy.

His recent piece on Chicago Cubs prospects suits my purposes there just fine, as he goes to great lengths to not only praise guys like Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, but also to distinguish them – and the current prospect-driven rebuild – from the Cubs prospect ghosts of the past. Passan also nods toward other top Cubs prospects, and the balance of his piece is a belief that the Cubs really could be good in the relatively near future because of these prospects.

This passage from Passan, in particular, is in some kind of meta way the very poetry he’s trying to describe in Baez’s swing:

Baez, 21, remains with the Cubs, and so remains, for now, the most incredible swing in the game. Not the minors. The whole game. To see Javier Baez swing a baseball bat is to see the most compelling argument yet why God gave human beings wrists. Bryant’s swing is understated beauty; Baez’s is what Bamm-Bamm Rubble grew up to do. His high school coaches tried to temper it, Baez said, only to find a rigid truth: “I just can’t slow it down. It’s my swing. I can’t swing nice and easy.”

It’s a big leg kick, and a torso angled forward at about 15 degrees, and a back elbow bent so high his bat, for a split second, is pointing at the second baseman, and then somehow his wrists propel it from that awkward position down through the zone where it whip-cracks like it belongs in a torture dungeon. Baez’s hips separate, he carves the path of his uppercut swing and the ball is read its last rites. The pain ends quickly.

You can swoon. It’s ok.

It’s a great read from Passan, even if only to tell you things you already believe about the Cubs’ future.

  • Sandberg

    Hah! Bamm-Bamm! That should be his nickname – Bamm-Bamm Baez.

    • Thomas

      I dig it. Thats a good nickname.

    • TK

      That could stick. Very fitting. I like.

  • Steve


  • Edwin

    I thought we didn’t like Passan because of that other article he wrote?

    • Jon

      He’s good when he tells us things we want to hear.

      • Danny Ballgame

        Aren’t they all like that?

  • candyland07

    I think in the last week I have seen so mush praise and worship that it borders on being silly ,but as an older Cub fan – I dont get to excited over prospects . I value them and its good to witness the inspiration that these two players have given to the mass majority of Cub fans and that is special . When they get to the big leagues is when I will start smiling.

    • Sandberg

      I agree, the Baez love has gotten a bit out of hand. I can’t wait for the AAA season to start, though. Will be highly focused on the K rate.

      • Jon

        I’ll be highly focused on watching him hit balls that land in Nebraska.

        • C. Steadman

          The way Principal Park is setup that would be a foul ball… :)

        • candyland07

          Well if your talking about Wrigley Field …. those would be long backwards foul balls but yeah depending on the wind he might just take out the center fielder in Comerica Park.

  • snakdad

    And that’s also why he whiffs so much and probably always will. That said, I would hope the Cubs brass has learned their lesson from Starlin Castro about monkeying with someone’s swing and approach when that player obviously has been getting it done their own way.

    • TK

      Sadly, i hoped the new FO, including Rickettes, would’ve learned that from all the times past FO’s ruined so many past Cubs prospects, ala trying to turn CPat into a leadoff hitter. Not sure Cubs will ever learn.

  • Seth

    Welp, I need to change my pants now.

    • Darth Ivy


  • Javier Bryant

    Great article. Terrible comments.

  • Kyle

    I can’t put my finger on it, but somehow Passan seems a lot more credible than he did the last time he wrote a major Cubs article.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s kind of the joke.

    • BT

      No Kyle, the positive articles are “puff pieces”, the negative articles are the ones telling it like it is. And everyone else has a double standard.

      • mjhurdle


      • Kyle

        I can see how you’d need to try to paint me into that sort of stereotype in order to try to grasp some of the more nuanced arguments I put forth, but that’s inaccurate.

        This is a puff piece, and it’s accurate. But the fact that it’s accurate doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means.

        The last piece was a hatchet job, and it had some accuracy but could have been better-done.

        Nuance. It’s hard. But strive for it anyway.

        • BT

          Double standards for the masses, nuance for the elite.

          It’s a guess Kyle, but I’m assuming you house is just chock full of mirrors.

  • David

    I think the real reason for the delay on the jumbotron is that Theo is having the design enhanced to prevent any bombs from Baez from destroying it. Significant design changes take time.

  • Darth Ivy

    So, was it too early to have gotten my Baez-neck tattoo earlier this week?

    • Picklenose

      It should go really well with your Sheryl Crow tat!

      • Darth Ivy

        your….your brain has the shell on it.

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

    ” If the last 105 years have taught us anything, it’s that good things don’t happen to the Cubs.”

    To be fair, it’s only been the last 75 years or so that have been rough on the Cubs.