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baez bomb in action

Is it a night game? Is it Spring Training? Then get Javier Baez and Mike Olt in the lineup, damnit!

The last time these two played together in a Spring game at night, Olt went deep twice and Baez went deep once. And then last night, they did it again, going back-to-back against Alexi Ogando.

I love how Olt takes the pitch where it is, and absolutely crushes it:

I love how Baez swings so hard that if he makes solid contact, it’s going out (fast) no matter where in the zone he hits it:

Olt and Baez are tied for the Cubs’ Spring lead in homers at four, and it’s possible they could do some back-to-backing in April at AAA Iowa. Of course, Olt still has a chance of making the big league roster at this point, so we’ll see. Either way, it’s damn fun to watch right now. And maybe they can do it in the big leagues in about four months, and keep doing it for about 10 years.

  • jp3

    I really like olt’s ABs this spring. If he could just get some time at 3B to justify his spot it’d be nice to see him get a chance.

    • BenRoethig

      Yeah. He’s a lot like Rizzo in his skill set. Top tier defensively, unbelievable power, and middle of the road batting average. I’d like to see that SO total become down a little bit, but honestly, Olt is probably going to strike out about once a game. He’ll start in AAA, but it should be a short stay.

      • Norm

        I think you’re overestimating his batting average. Olt will likely be more of a .220 hitter with Rizzo in the 270+ range.

        I’m not getting all the Olt love. Yeah, he’s got 4 HR’s, but that’s it.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I think folks are dreaming on a .230/.320/.450 guy who plays above-average defense at third. That’s a borderline All-Star, and it’s a legitimate *hope* for Olt. He’s still got a long way to go to get there, but that’s why folks are saying the things they say. Plus, he’s really the only realistic “prospect breakout” type story for this Spring Training. So he gets an inordinate amount of attention.

          • Norm

            That sounds reasonable; but I think you’re more reasonable than most.

            • D-Rock

              Not sure how good of a defender he is, but can we make a Pedro Alvarez comparison? Great power but doubtful to ever hit above .250.

              • terencemann

                Olt is maybe a more disciplined hitter with less power. 30 HR is probably not something you’d expect from him anytime soon based on the evaluations you can find on the internet.

        • ssckelley

          ZOMG, someone mentioned batting average!

          Please do not wake up the stat geeks…..plz!

    • brickhouse

      What doyou like about Olt’s ab’s this year ? His 1 walk or his 39% strikeout rate or his 273 OBP

      • college_of_coaches

        Those are great choices that you’re offering there. Let me turn the question back to you. Which do you like about Olt’s at bats this year? His 4 HRs or his .645 SLG.

        • brickhouse

          An all or nothing approach will not work for Ol the entire year. He is trending toward a better fielding Mark Reynolds.

          • mjhurdle

            I could live with that.
            A better fielding Mark Reynolds would be a 3+ WAR a year player.

            • aaronb

              Mark Reynolds was a valuable player at one time. His skills have eroded though.

      • ssckelley

        If Olt keeps hitting .918 OPS I will not care about any of the other offensive numbers.

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

        What do you like about Baez’s ab’s this year? His 29% K rate or his 0% BB rate?

        • gocatsgo2003

          Yes, let’s data mine when I could just as easily counter with a .297/.297/.703 slash line and 7 extra base hits in 37 PAs.

      • Patrick W.

        ‘Cuz it’s One, Two, Three strikes you’re OLT at the old ball game… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH FIRST!

    • Steve

      ” That ball is struck well”…….

      Now THAT opposing announcer said it with conviction.

      I think George Bailey might have to add that sound to his ” You know what the three most exciting sounds in the world are?”

      Yup, make that 4 sounds, George….

  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

    His ability and skills at 3B was never in question so him playing in a ST game will have nearly 0% impact on the decision about making the team.

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      That’s in reply to jp3

      • jp3

        Yeah but I’m saying he needs to be over there at some point to show he can physically do it. He hasn’t done it yet and if he’s legitimately not able to play there due to physical constraints now how do we know he’s able to do it when the season starts. I agree he doesn’t need to show us anything but if he’s battling shoulder fatigue and whatnot in march how the heck is he going to play in July?

        • Spoda17

          JP3, valid concern, but don’t forget, they did see him play third in Iowa last year. It’s not like we have never seen him play third. He has always been touted as having above average defense.

          • jp3

            That’s not what I’m saying, I’m saying he could be the greatest defensive 3B of all time but at what point do cubs brass say hey can you physically do it because you haven’t been able to do it yet this year.

            • pinkstonaa

              Well, if he can’t play 3B to start the year on the big league team, then he can’t do it in the minors as well, so you start him on the DL?

              • jp3

                He can still DH in Iowa so I guess they just send him there unfortunately. He doesn’t have too many options I guess.

                • terencemann

                  I think the assumption around here was that Vitters and Olt can cycle between 3rd/1st/LF/DH in AAA if they’re both on that team.

                  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                    You can take 3B out of that cycle, that spot belongs to Villanueva, which is part of the reason why I think Olt makes the club out of camp

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      Villanueva could get some time at second on occasion as well.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      True, it’s going to be a very interesting rotation there, especially if Olt starts in AAA. Could Alcantra get some time at short every now and then as well in order to get Baez the occasional game at 2B?

  • ssckelley

    I am sure the homer was extra special for Olt hitting it off his former team. Ranger fans gotta be like “we traded this guy for who????”.

  • Fastball

    that routine groundball right through Baez’s wickets was solid defense too. :)

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    Back ro back oppposite field HRs? Pitches on the outer portion of the plate? And those weren’t cheap shots at all. Man that’s beautiful! Those were “just see of you can get it between my first and second basemen” pitches. They laughed. Baseballs cried. And the rest was history.

  • Spoda17

    … man I really hope Olt breaks camp with the Cubs… He has been fun to watch in the few games. I heard between his first at bat and when he hit the home run he went and consulted the super computer… he said, “Okay S-Comp (the computer already has a nick name) how should I approach my next AB? [S-Comp], calculating, calculating… swing really effen hard! [Olt]… gotcha…”

    DING-DONG!

    • Darth Ivy

      it’s gotta have a better nickname than S-Comp

      Cubpter?

      SuCo?

      Lil Theo?

      Cubbie Calculator?

      Wrigley Rhytum & Blues Revue?

      • Darth Ivy

        That’s, “Wrigley Rhythm….” Again, I don’t know how to spell.

      • college_of_coaches

        How about “Professor Woo Woo”?

        • Darth Ivy

          I like it

  • Ivy Walls

    Barring a potential trade regarding Samardzija the roster and Olt sets up like this:

    Non Roster competitors for spots:

    40-Man on 25

    Position (13)

    OF (4)
    Lake
    Ruggiano
    Schierholtz
    Sweeney

    IF (4)
    Barney
    Castro
    Rizzo
    Valbuena

    C (10)
    Castillo
    Kottarus

    Non Roster Invitee (2)

    Kalish OF
    Bonafacio IF-OF

    Bubble watch (1)

    Olt
    Murphy
    Roberts

    Pitching (12)

    Starting Pitching (4)

    Samardzija
    Wood
    Jackson
    Hammel

    Bullpen (6)

    Veras
    Strop
    Russell
    Wright
    Villaneuva
    Rondon

    Bubble
    SP
    Rusin

    RP
    Cabrera
    Parker
    Wada(NR)
    Sanchez (NR)

    • ssckelley

      Not sure I would put Lake down as a lock to be that 4th outfielder. I think that last outfield spot could come down to either Lake or Bonafacio as I would be shocked if Kalish did not make the team.

      It might be Murphy or Olt for the last spot, I cannot see why the Cubs would hang on to Murphy if Olt makes the team which might be another reason to start Olt at Iowa.

      • Norm

        I don’t think Lake is going to be the 4th OF, but get most of the playing time, for at least the first month or two.

        • ssckelley

          But Lake has options, right? Just guessing here but I think the Cubs would rather go with the veteran players to start the season with, builds value for potential deals at the TDL. Bring Lake up after a deal gets made, I would be shocked if Schierholtz ended the season as a Cub.

          I think Lake could use more seasoning at Iowa.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      I’d say Cabrera is in the pen and Parker is in the pen instead of Rondon, with Rusin getting the 5th starter spot

    • cub4life

      Starting with the position players, the only way that this is true (and not saying it will/won’t be) is we drop 2 from the 40 man and who would you say we drop?

      Now as for the on the bubble, to me it all depends on Olt’s shoulder? does Murphy have options? how many options does Lake have? does Kalish have options?

      As for the pitchers, I believe Villenueva will be the 5th starter to start the season and if Arrietta is only going to miss 1-2 starts he will be active but not play. Rusin will be in AAA (why have him up for only a week and a half and then send him back down?) Drop Rondon to AAA and kep Cabrera (no options will be lost if not in MLB) and Parker (right now better then Rondon).

  • BenRoethig

    It was a slow start this spring, but its pretty clear Mike Olt is back to being Mike Olt.

  • Q-Ball

    Unless Olt is unable to play 3B by the start of the season, he’ll be in Wrigley, IMO. I think he’s made the team from a hitting standpoint, which was the biggest question; his defense really isn’t in doubt if he’s healthy. He’s 25, he’s ready to either make it in the majors, or not.

    For organizational reasons, the Cubs really need him to make the ML club anyway; 3B is getting crowded in the high minors between Villanueva, Bryant, and maybe Baez getting reps. They also need to find out if Olt is a ML-starting 3B, because if he is that will have implications for several development decisions (or trade scenarios)

    • baldtaxguy

      I agree – if he can’t throw the ball, I would hope he gets sent to Iowa and get consistent PA’s at DH. He needs to be healthy to be in Chicago.

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  • Jr 25

    Really liking Kalish if he can stay healthy. Time to trade Schierholtz and Barney to Detroit for Porcello or Smily and a mid tier pitching prospect.

    • ssckelley

      I think Kalish is our new scrappy and belly-fire type of player.

      Campana II? Except this guy might actually be able to hit.

  • Boys of Zimmer

    Trade Barney and Schierholtz to the Tigers for Porcello and a prospect. so our open day lineup would be.
    1. Bonifacio – CF
    2. Castro – SS
    3. Rizzo – 1B
    4. Olt – 3B
    5. Baez – 2B
    6. Sweeney – LF
    7. Castillo – C
    8. Kalish – RF

    Pitchers- Shark, Wood, Jackson, Hammel, Porcello

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Replace Baez with Barney and it’s more likely. There is 0 chance Baez is with the team on Opening Day

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Sorry didn’t see Barney was in the trade. Put Valbuena at 2nd, or Bonifacio at 2nd, Lake in left, and Sweeney in center

    • Edwin

      There’s no chance the Tigers give up Porcello for Barney and Scheirholtz.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Hmm, unless Hoyer has the same jpegs of Dombrowski that Rizzo evidently has, I have a tough time seeing the Tigers bite on that.

      • Edwin

        Well, you know what they say, one team’s trash is another team’s treasure.

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

      There is a less than 0% chance Baez is on the Opening Day roster. Even if he gets a hit or walks in every remaining ST PA.

      • Edwin

        IMPOSSIBLE

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

          Possimpable

      • baldtaxguy

        I’d say a .05 % chance exists if he homers in every remaining ST at bat….

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

          If he homers in every at bat, sure. I’d love to see him crush Bonds’ record.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        But….But…Bat Speed

  • Stogie

    Where can I get my Baez jersey?

    That no. 70 needs to go.

  • jeff1969

    Wow, that was just back to back beautiful. Olt hit that ball like a caveman.

  • ruby2626

    anyone on the Baez bandwagon to start the season with the Cubs needs to witness his first at bat yesterday. Bags loaded no outs and he swings at several bad balls no where near the strike zone and K’s. Next time up no one on base and he goes yard. 4 home runs and 4 RBI’s this spring. Honestly I don’t think this guy is going to be good, I think he’s going to be a superstar, just need to tweak a few things down in the minors and then watch out world. With his incredible bat speed it seems that all he has to do to get the ball out is hit it about 50%. I can totally see this guy leading the majors in home runs at some point, let’s just hope the average is at least .270 when that happens.

  • Cornish Heat

    I love watching the home run swings from Olt and Baez, because they’re so different, yet both so powerful.

    • JB88

      I was almost more impressed with Olt’s homerun because his mechanics seemed to get fouled up on that swing. His back leg wasn’t planted at all and yet he still generated 400 foot plus power.

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