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It’s becoming a nightly ritual: Javier Baez plays, Javier Baez does amazing things that we want to watch over and over again. Hopefully that’s the story at the big league level soon.

Up first, there’s the scary highlight. It’s Baez colliding with left fielder Anthony Giansanti as they converged in no man’s land on a pop-up in shallow left. At first it looked like Baez hurt his knee, but then it was apparently his wrist that was bothering him. Prepare to be terrified:

Fortunately, the trainers and Baez felt like he was well enough to stay in the game, and there’s really not much discussion of the collision this morning. So I guess he’s fine. Whew.

Now we can just enjoy this.

The play-by-play call? “Wow. That was really, really far”:

Reports have that ridiculous bomb to center going better than 450 feet, which, lulz.

I still firmly believe there is genuine development value to be gained by Baez starting the year at AAA Iowa – let’s keep in mind, much of his Spring success is coming against guys who’ll soon themselves be in the minors – but, whew boy, it’s just so much fun to watch him. Every time he comes to the plate, it’s a must-watch experience. When was the last time you remember saying that about a Cubs player? Sammy 10+ years ago, right? Hell, who can you say that about today in the big leagues? Cabrera and Trout, and that’s about it. Davis last year, I guess. It’s a really short list.

  • Stogie

    I hope we don’t hear in the next year that Baez is being suspended for performance enhancing drugs.

    Not saying I think he’s using, but I just don’t want our budding superstar entangled in that junk.

    • ssckelley

      Rarely right out of high school. Baez has not just shown up one day huge. Not sure how much PEDS help generate bat speed.

      • bwin

        Another stat that bothers me. Still early spring. But 5 HR. 5 RBIs. All solo shots.

        • Jon

          Not his fault his teammates can’t get on base

        • bbmoney

          That bothers me too, or would if it were the regular season. But it has nothing to do with Javy.

          • ssckelley

            Why? If Baez was only hitting singles, doubles or triples then he would have zero RBI’s. I like the fact he can knock himself in.

            • bbmoney

              You misunderstand me.

              I have no concerns about Baez’s ability to drive himself in. I have concerns about the other Cubs getting on base in front of him.

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              Is this a good time to being up that RBI is a worthless stat to evaluate a player’s ability?

              • ssckelley

                Not really, although I have to admit I do like my baseball cards. But I really did not advocate that the RBI stat means anything, I just like a guy who has the ability to knock himself in.

              • DarthHater

                No

        • JeffR

          It’s not like he can get on base in front of himself.

        • JB88

          It bothers me because it shows how anemic the Cubs’ offense is. But a guy hitting HRs on almost a daily basis these days who is also hitting over .300? I can live with that.

          • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

            It’s spring how many times does that need to be repeated ITS SPRING.

        • notcubbiewubbie

          how nit picky can you be.UNREAL.IT REALLY BOTHERS YOU??????

  • cking6178

    Wow, what a bomb! Certainly hope his wrist is fine…I guess we’ll know more when he gets back into a game…I was hoping that the bomb came after the collision, but no such luck

  • JeffR

    I’m no baseball expert and I want to be really excited about this kid, but the strike outs bother me. I guess I just am hoping for more than a 3 outcome type player.

    • Sandberg

      Yup, the strikeouts still make me nervous.

    • Ivy Walls

      Did strike outs bother these players? Okay a few like Dunn, Cameron,

      1. Reggie Jackson+ (21) 2597 L
      2. Jim Thome (22) 2548 L
      3. Sammy Sosa (18) 2306 R
      4. Adam Dunn (13, 33) 2220 L
      5. Alex Rodriguez (20, 37) 2075 R
      6. Andres Galarraga (19) 2003 R
      7. Jose Canseco (17) 1942 R
      8. Willie Stargell+ (21) 1936 L
      9. Mike Cameron (17) 1901 R
      10. Mike Schmidt+ (18) 1883 R
      11. Fred McGriff (19) 1882 L
      12. Tony Perez+ (23) 1867 R
      13. Bobby Abreu (17) 1819 L
      14. Dave Kingman (16) 1816 R
      15. Manny Ramirez (19) 1813 R
      16. Ken Griffey (22) 1779 L
      17. Bobby Bonds (14) 1757 R
      18. Craig Biggio (20) 1753 R
      Derek Jeter (19, 39) 1753 R
      20. Andruw Jones (17) 1748 R
      Dale Murphy (18) 1748 R
      22. Carlos Delgado (17) 1745 L
      23. Alfonso Soriano (15, 37) 1732 R
      24. Lou Brock+ (19) 1730 L
      25. Jim Edmonds (17) 1729 L
      26. Mickey Mantle+ (18) 1710 B
      27. Harmon Killebrew+ (22) 1699 R
      28. Chili Davis (19) 1698 B
      29. Dwight Evans (20) 1697 R
      30. Rickey Henderson+ (25) 1694 R
      31. Dave Winfield+ (22) 1686 R
      32. Derrek Lee (15) 1622 R
      33. Reggie Sanders (17) 1614 R
      34. Gary Gaetti (20) 1602 R
      35. Mark McGwire (16) 1596 R
      36. Lee May (18) 1570 R
      37. Carlos Pena (13, 35) 1566 L
      38. Pat Burrell (12) 1564 R
      39. Jason Giambi (19, 42) 1560 L
      40. Jeff Bagwell (15) 1558 R
      41. Dick Allen (15) 1556 R
      42. Ray Lankford (14) 1550 L
      Willie McCovey+ (22) 1550 L
      44. Torii Hunter (17, 37) 1547 R
      45. Barry Bonds (22) 1539 L
      46. Dave Parker (19) 1537 L
      47. Frank Robinson+ (21) 1532 R
      48. Lance Parrish (19) 1527 R
      49. Willie Mays+ (22) 1526 R
      Devon White (17) 1526 B

      • JeffR

        I don’t really know what any of those columns are (career strikeouts maybe). I know there have been many great players with strikeouts tendencies, and I am really excited about Baez, but I’m still trying to hold back my excitement a little bit because of the issues.

      • ssckelley

        I would take Reggie Jackson’s career 23% strikeout rate any time out of Baez.

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          Yeah we’d all take a low 20% K-rate it’s the closer to 30% rate that is concerning. Big difference btwn 23% and 28%

          • half_full_beer_mug

            5 right? Or was that one of those tricky goat questions.

          • ssckelley

            The difference is about 30 strikeouts over 600 plate appearances. Perhaps an extra 8 hits with a couple of homers.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          heh, true: but Reggie probably would K more than 23% of the time in the modern game. Strike outs have been rising over the decades for a variety of reasons (and despite a shrinking K-zone!), to the point where there are now an average of 2 K’s more per game now than there were 50 years ago, which is nearly a 40% increase. Reggie probably would have been K’ing about 28-29% of PAs these days.

          Of course, Reggie also walked about 12% of the time in an era where walk rates were a little lower than they are now. So, he probably would be a 2:1 K:BB guy now with 40+ HR power, which would be damn good. And he also had that whole “Mr. Congeniality” thing going for him….. :-)

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        Is this a list of players with most strikeouts? That seems like begging the question a bit. Because the reason these guys have a lot of strikeouts is because they were good (and could play long enough to amass said numbers.) But I think your general point is taken… it’s possible to strikeout a lot and be a great player.

        The flip side of that is that it’s very rare to see.

        • JeffR

          Some of these players had pretty average strikeout rates. They just played a lot time and got a lot of at bats.

          • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

            Yeah it’s the % that is the concern

      • Norm

        The problem with your list is that guys that K 30% of the time, don’t play long enough to accumulate a high number of K’s.

        • ssckelley

          Right, I don’t have time to go through everyone on that list but I don’t think any of them had a career SO % over 25. Heck even Kong only had a 24% SO rate and he was known for his big swing.

        • JeffR

          Great point.

          • Ivy Walls

            Here is another perspective:

            Thome strikeouts out every 3.3 at-bats, about 162 times a year.

            Reggie Jackson averaged 149 strikeouts per 162 games and struck out once every 3.8 at-bats.

            Troy Glaus about a strikeout every 3.9 at-bats and 145 every 162 games he played.

            Mark McGuire 16 seasons to accumulate 1,596 total strikeouts

            Galarraga 2,003 strikeouts, leading the league four times and averaging 144 strikeouts per 162 games played.

            Dick Allen averaged 144 strikeouts per 162 games played

            Jim Edmonds 1,729 career strikeouts and averaged 139 every 162 games

            Willie Stargell was a historic player in his career, smacking 475 home runs on his way into the Hall of Fame his 1,936 career strikeouts. Those stats are obviously inflated due to a long career, but striking out once ever 4.1 at-bats

            Delgado struck out one every 4.2 at-bats, not the worst, but bad enough to make it on this list. He racked up 1,745 strikeouts in his 17 year career.

            • Norm

              And unfortunately, again, this is flawed by using AB’s rather than PA.
              Use simple K%….K’s divided by PA.

              Thome 24.7%.
              Reggie 22.7%
              Glaus 21.6%

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

              And you are comparing a guy striking out 25% of the time in the minors with guys who K’d 25% in the majors and probably K’d less than 20% of the time in the minors.

              Regardless of what Baez does in the majors (succeed vs. fail), it’s going to be rare.

        • Norm

          It’s like saying:

          Pitchers that give up a lot of home runs worked out fine for these guys:

          1. Jamie Moyer (25) 522 L HR Log
          2. Robin Roberts+ (19) 505 R HR Log
          3. Fergie Jenkins+ (19) 484 R HR Log
          4. Phil Niekro+ (24) 482 R HR Log
          5. Don Sutton+ (23) 472 R HR Log
          6. Frank Tanana (21) 448 L HR Log
          7. Warren Spahn+ (21) 434 L HR Log
          8. Bert Blyleven+ (22) 430 R HR Log
          9. Tim Wakefield (19) 418 R HR Log
          10. Steve Carlton+ (24) 414 L HR Log
          11. Randy Johnson (22) 411 L HR Log
          12. David Wells (21) 407 L HR Log
          13. Gaylord Perry+ (22) 399 R HR Log
          14. Jim Kaat (25) 395 L HR Log
          15. Jack Morris (18) 389 R HR Log
          16. Charlie Hough (25) 383 R HR Log
          17. Tom Seaver+ (20) 380 R HR Log
          18. Mike Mussina (18) 376 R HR Log
          19. Catfish Hunter+ (15) 374 R HR Log
          20. Javier Vazquez (14) 373 R HR Log
          21. Jim Bunning+ (17) 372 R HR Log
          Dennis Martinez (23) 372 R HR Log
          23. Roger Clemens (24) 363 R HR Log
          24. Livan Hernandez (17) 362 R HR Log
          25. Tom Glavine+ (22) 356 L HR Log
          26. Greg Maddux+ (23) 353 R HR Log
          27. Steve Trachsel (16) 348 R HR Log
          28. Dennis Eckersley+ (24) 347 R HR Log
          Mickey Lolich (16) 347 L HR Log
          Curt Schilling (20) 347 R HR Log

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Heh, I would be much more optimistic about Baez if I thought that he could become a 3 true outcome player! Those guys often have pretty good OBP despite poor BA.

  • Steve

    I have been on the cusp of being a naysayer about Baez and his all around game.

    You can now put me in the, “Holy shit, this kid is going to be a once in a generation type player”

    Strikeouts??? Bring em on. Looks like that’s going to be the by-product of complete AWESOMENESS.

    +++ Brett, don’t EVER post anything like the 1st video, EVER again+++++++++

    • CubChymyst

      Strike outs are up across the league the past few years. I can’t find the percentage but I’m wonder what is the current range of one standard deviation is?

      • DocPeterWimsey

        On a per-team basis, K’s have increased by approximately 3.5 SD’s over the last 50 or so years. (The average SD among teams over the last 52 years has been 95, and the average K’s per team has risen by by 345; these are based on batters, by the way.)

  • Ivy Walls

    I told another highly informed and passionate fan/friend that I personally seen golf swings of stature, many who were PGA professionals who in my youth I competed against, many slight variations or holes, then I saw Payne Stewart’s when he was a freshman and I knew he had something special, I Bryant’s well crafted swing to Stewart’s. Now compare B later in 1996 I went to Brown Deer WI and watched a young Tiger Woods and comparably speaking Tiger’s approach was/is much like how Baez approaches, born talent that is developed.

    There are talented professional athletes and then there are specially talented athletes. Baez is one of the later.

    • Ballgame17

      Like the comparison with golfers, coincidentally on first official day of Spring. Golf and baseball, here we go!

  • Spoda17

    This is awesome, and I am a huge Baez fan… but on MLB radio yesterday they spent some time talking about the holes in his swing… they also mentioned that his swing is so long that as soon as pitchers see him 2-3 times, they will exploit it… I love his power, and I love his potential, but I agree his swing is really hard, and really fast, but also really long… good with the bad i guess…

    • ssckelley

      Yeah I am not sure how many times Baez will keep seeing pitches up in his eyes when he keeps proving that he can knock it out of the park.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        If he just hit line drive singles off of those pitches, then he’d quit seeing them. They probably are at the point where they can start making heat charts from miLB data. Even if they are not, then they will pretty rapidly figure out the red AND blue zones. Javier will still get pitches in the red zone simply because pitchers miss targets: but they won’t be “challenging” him very long (if at all).

        As for the “length” of Javier’s swing, that’s not relevant: it’s the speed of that swing. It’s tremendous: and if you watch his ABs, then you’ll note that he starts swinging a fraction of a second later than most other batters. (Some of what they are seeing is the waggle and leg motion that batters do on ALL pitches, swing or miss: but as they do that regardless, it is not part of the swing time.)

        • JeffR

          Doc, would you agree that he has a pretty good eye? It’s just a matter of not trying to hit every pitch that’s thrown. Hopefully he can learn to lay off the pitches in his blue zone.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            No, I think that Baez has atrocious pitch recognition: it could well be Dunston-esque. I, too, hope that he becomes one of those very rare players that grows a batting eye: but those are so few and far between that it’s an extreme long shot. This is where the Sheffield comparisons fall flat: for all the similarities in their swings, Sheffield demonstrated great pitch recognition as an 17 year old: and as a result, Sheff walked more than he K’d in miLB! (Sheff’s walk rates themselves were not spectacular, typically being in the 10% range: but low K-rates themselves diagnose someone who doesn’t swing at pitches outside of his personal red zone that often.)

            What I think we can reasonably hope for is a Chris Davis type, with a bit fewer HR and walks, but playing a position where those HR will provide even more of a net gain than Davis’ HR do. However, we’ll also see Baez on that a strike out list above in about 8 seasons, and some fans will whine about his “inconsistency” because of all the K’s.

        • Spoda17

          Doc, I disagree that the length of his swing is irrelevant… granted he can do it now, but in MLB weaknesses/bad habits are exploited. He has a swooping swing, and people are noticing. It’s not going to ruin his career, but it is something he will have to deal with during his career. Batters are constantly adjusting, this is an area I think he will have to deal with one way or another during his career.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Baez will eventually need to figure out a way to keep his strikeouts in the “controlled” range of 25%. This is where he needs more developmental time. It’s one thing to hi-jack spring training style pitching and quite another to be successful once the major league season kicks in.

    That bat speed and violent swing is jaw dropping. That said, I have to believe Baez will be a guy who frequents the disabled list. That bat torque and wrist action is invariably going to create some injuries.

  • cubsfan08

    How many times do outfielders need to be told to say something…pisses me off. It was bad enough when it happens in High School – but in MLB (and SPRING TRAINING none the less) WTF!

    Infielders are told to pursue the ball until the outfielder calls them off. Not to mention the OF usually gets the worst of it since he’s usually jogging and looking straight up while the SS/2B is coming in full throttle. Sorry for the rant but there was nothing worse than busting your ass on a ball only to randomly see an arm and glove appear out of nowhere…

    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      It was likely different when you played given your outfielder. However, you can see in the video that he does, in fact, call for the ball.

      Just because collisions happen doesn’t mean the outfielder isn’t doing their job. Back when I played, I called for the ball plenty of times–just to have our shortstop come barreling at me.

      It’s the pros. There are tons of fans. It is loud.

      And both players are trying to prove themselves. The stakes are different.

      • ssckelley

        Giansanti did call for the ball but it was early and no way could Baez have heard it.

      • cubsfan08

        All true – I guess I should have prefaced my comment by saying it has more to do with outfield/infield collisions in general, not just this particular case. When I look at it I do see he did in fact call for the ball. I just hate the collisions that are almost 100% avoidable. And Dumbledore – I agree that there are plenty of idiot SS running around out there too :)

        And to doc’s point below – yes – there are plenty of those scenarios as well. And those are obviously the most dangerous. The dreaded “both diving for the ball” is always a scary thought.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      In the video, you can see Giansanti calling for the ball, for what it’s worth. It was probably late, though, because of where the ball was. That’s just a tough spot on the field.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        This is also one of the myths that people who never played OF buy into all too easily: an OFer does NOT call for the ball until he is sure that he can get there. On those sorts of flares, you often are not sure until the last second as to whether that is the case. If you call off the other fielders and then cannot reach the ball, then you might cost your team an out if someone else could have reached it.

        It can be particularly difficult on flares hit to the opposite field, as the “slice” makes it tougher to fully read for an extra split-second or two: and that has a huge effect on how quickly you get to the ball, and thus how quickly you get to the point where you can confidently yell “I got it”

      • tobias

        Wasn’t a knock on Baez was that he didn’t have the range to play SS?

      • Ballgame17

        Isn’t that Brett Jackson #7 he almost collides with? If Jackson injured Baez, people would be callin for his head on a stick

  • Wrigley1

    As much hype as there is with Baez now, imagine how much hype there will be-assuming he continues to kill the ball in Iowa-when he is finally called up this year. It will probably be at an extremely low point for the Cubs (aka late June) when the fans could really use something and here will come this kid with all of the expectations of every Cubs fan that ever was, is or will be, on his shoulders. I fully agree with whatever timeline the front office has and certainly don’t want to rush him, but I feel the pressure will be even worse when he comes up midseason than if he were coming north with the team from spring training. I also hope that someone like Alcantara comes up with Baez, but failing that it would be nice if Rizzo and Castro are playing well or if Olt is making an impression to take some pressure off of him.

  • edgebrookbleacherbum

    This is off topic but Bruce Levine is reporting that the Tigers are scouting Barney (presumably to fill in a SS) and Schierholtz hard. Do you think anything becomes of this and who the Cubs would want back in return?

  • http://BN Sacko

    So when does the super two end with Baez? Not sure what all that means anyway.

    • bbmoney

      It changes a bit each year and it’s probably not quite known yet. I think it’s usually sometime in early June (could be wrong), but it seems to get a little later each year as teams play the service clock management game more and more.

    • ssckelley

      This depends on how much service time Baez accumulates this season. To be eligible for the Super 2 Baez must be in the top 22% of those players accumulating service time during the first 3 years. All that means is the Cubs will end up paying Baez more a year earlier since he gets salary arbitration a year early. A full year of service time is being on the roster for 172 days of the 182 day season. So technically Baez only has to go to AAA for a couple weeks to start the season unless the club wants to avoid Super 2 then it will be some time in June.

      Honestly I do not think it matters, Baez will benefit from starting the season in AAA.

      • http://BN Sacko

        That’s fine but don’t want him held up just because of that when we aren’t paying anybody anything anyway.

        • ssckelley

          I don’t either, I believe a player deserves to be paid for performance. But I do want that extra year of control when he is in his prime.

          But again, Baez could use some time at AAA. The 5 homers so far this spring are really nice but there are some things he can work on, better he does it in Des Moines than at the MLB level.

        • Sandberg

          There’s no point in bringing Baez up before the super 2 deadline. Although I do think that if the Cubs felt he could help them make the playoffs, he would be up immediately after they gain the extra year of control. This is assuming he immediately starts smashing AAA pitching, which is not guaranteed.

          • http://BN Sacko

            I have no argument about starting in Iowa, Im just sick of us sitting on our hands and wishful thinking on what we picked up this year and if he is ready and doesn’t come up. Imagine the gate when he does come up.

            • http://BN Sacko

              Tanaka was also wishful thinking and a joke while we watch Hughes and Nolasco go to the Twins. They were reasonable contracts to pick up.
              Now we have another history injured pitcher Mcdonald. Enough!

              • cub4life

                I’ve heard the White Sox are looking for fans or even the Twins since you love there pick-ups (neither of which would help the Cubs this year, Hughes will be down and Nalasco well i don’t think he would have come to us anyways).

                • http://BN Sacko

                  That’s BS it’s not about them it’s about us, Mcdonald and Hammels are better?

                  • cub4life

                    Not going to say that Mcdonald is better (decent AAA pick-up and that’s it) but I will say that Hammels was a good pick up, he will be shipped off at the TDL and we will get some kind of prospect (even if its a low A with desent upside). Hughes would have cost more then he’s worth and not helped the Cubs when needed. Like I said about Nalasco I don’t think he would have come to the Cubs anyways so that is moot.

                    Now for you It’s not about them it’s about us, if your talking about the Cubs vs the fans, I don’t agree with you at all it’s about the Cubs first and foremost.

                    • http://BN Sacko

                      Us includes the Cubs. Nolascos has a better chance to come here then Tanaka so that is also moot. whatever that means. They would also help the complexity we have with Shark and would get more for Shark then Hammels Each would fit pretty nice middle rotation in 2015.

          • ssckelley

            I tried making this argument last fall and pretty much got shut down. To me it would make sense that if the Cubs were “going for it” that they would want to start the year with the team that gives them the best chance to win. But it does not appear that is the case, even if it was I believe they only have to send him down for 2 weeks to get that extra year of control.

            But he is not ready, I get as giddy as anybody watching him crank out long balls but he can work on that quieting down that swing a little and I would like for Baez to see more breaking pitches. He will see fringy MLB pitching at AAA and he can benefit from having some at bats in Des Moines.

  • Elden14

    Is it weird that my favorite part about the HR was his immediate move to run the bases? I can’t say how happy I am that he didn’t, and hasn’t yet, to my knowledge, pimp the HR.

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  • Bilbo161

    When I saw the collision last night my first thought was OMG no! Then, I thought boy that number five will never live this down if Javey is hurt bad. But after watching it a few times I was impressed that Giansante’s(#5) little lean back and pirouette move may have kept that collision mild instead of a possible head-on full speed mass stopping mass collision. Looked like Giansante was calling for the ball too. I think his instincts may have saved us a lot of heart-ache.

    • ssckelley

      Giansante looked like he could have been seriously hurt on that having his leg extended out the way it was. I about had a heart attack when the trainer started looking at Baez’s wrist.

      Weird, I usually keep myself on top of Cubs prospects but before last night I had never heard of Giansante.

      • ced landrum

        Anthony Giansanti does nothing great, but he can literally play all over the field. He is a minor league supersub.

        • ssckelley

          Thanks for pointing that out to me, I just discovered he has literally played every position in the minor leagues even pitcher and catcher.

  • Jon

    On that home run by Baez, who was on deck? He totally dissed Baez on the handshake/high five when he crossed home plate.

    • ssckelley

      I believe it was Ryan Roberts. Who will probably be out of a job when Baez gets called up, if he even makes the team.

  • CubChymyst

    I’d feel better if the collision came before the home run and not after (home run top of the 8th, collision bottom of the 8th).

  • tymx9

    Yeah forget about keeping him down there for development. Keep him down so he doesnt gain super 2 status. He’s eventually going to break the bank if he keeps progressing at this rate.

  • tymx9

    All but one of Baez’s shots have been solo. I’d like to see if someone has a break down of how they’re pitching him with runners on or if his homers are based on weak pitchers or just mistakes in location.

  • ari gold

    I hope I’m dead wrong, but I still think Baez’s strikeouts are going to derail his career. Not sure he can get it much under 30% in the big leagues.

    • Jon

      Considering he’s never had a K rate north of 30 in the minors, and he’s always been incredibility young for each respective league he is in, I have no idea what this is based on.

      • Edwin

        Generally, players have a higher K% in the Majors than in the minors, due mostly to facing better pitching in the Majors. Baez had a K% of 28.8% in AA. It’s not completely off base to predict a K% north of 30 in the majors.

      • Sandberg

        It’s likely based on his MLB strikeout rate being higher than the 28% strikeout rate he had in AA.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Looking at Baez’s Double A season rate doesn’t tell the whole story. It started very high, he made adjustments, and then it dropped pretty rapidly.

          It is quite possible, I suspect, that once Baez adjusts to Triple A and then to the Majors that he will have K% in the healthy-ish 25% range, and not in the scary to debilitating 30%+ range.

          • Sandberg

            Right, I know. That’s the only reason I still have positive expectations for Baez. However, I don’t find it unreasonable to guess that he will end up hovering at or above the 30% range.

          • Edwin

            It’s possible, sure. But it’s just as possible that he’s not able to adjust, at least not enough. Most players don’t.

      • Norm

        It’s based on the fact that K’s will increase in the majors.

  • ari gold

    He was at 29.1% in AA last year. Yes he was very young for the league. But usually the K rate doesn’t decline from AA to MLB. Like I said, I hope I’m wrong, but his K rate is much higher than Adam Dunn’s in the minors.

    • ssckelley

      Baez has started every level in the minors striking out over 30% and then he leveled off. We were all over this when he started off in Daytona and then Tennessee. When he first comes up to the majors it will not surprise me if he starts off striking out over 30% of the time at first, but as he gets used to big league pitching I would think the rate would get to a reasonable number.

    • JCubs79

      Look at his month by month K rates. He starts off struggling as he adjusts to a new league and how team are pitching him and then once he adjusts his K-rate begins to drop significantly.

      • Norm

        And there hasn’t been enough time for pitchers to re-adjust to Baez.
        And Baez hasn’t seen the consistently good offspeed and breaking pitches that he’ll see in AAA and the majors.

  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

    Something I was thinking about. If Baez comes up and is successful, the Cubs will almost assuredly offer him a long term deal when he is still pre-arb like they did with Castro and Rizzo. Wouldn’t this lessen the blow if he brought up before the super 2 deadline, making the call up date much less important?

    • ssckelley

      No, because even if they do give him an extension to buy out the rest of his arbitration years you still want that extra year for negotiations. You lose a year of control either way whether you buy the years out or not.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Sorry I should have said it, but this would be assuming the keeping down for a couple weeks to assure the extra year. It was more pointed at the fact that the difference in the extra arbitration year would probably be diminished in a long term extension

  • Steve

    I know stats are a good way to make predictions on future performance, but for once, let’s just dream on this kid being our version of Trout….can we do that, at least for a bit??

    • Sandberg

      Nobody is stopping you. :)

    • Norm

      Go right ahead.

  • C. Steadman

    “Every time he comes to the plate, it’s a must-watch experience. When was the last time you remember saying that about a Cubs player?”

    We don’t have to go all the way back to Sosa for this, I would say 2005 Derrek Lee.

    • mjhurdle

      2012 – Tony Campana

      • C. Steadman

        Campana definitely a must watch on the basepaths…i don’t know about at the plate though

        • Professional High A

          But every weak ground ball (there were lots) was a very exciting four seconds.

          • C. Steadman

            Very true, but then it’d usually wind up with Campana jogging back to the dugout…

            • Professional High A

              But even the jog back was fast!
              Seriously though his at bats were fun to watch but the 70% of the time he was jogging back to the dugout was not fun to watch. I am a sucker for good player stories and scrappiness, I was always hoping he could start hitting the ball.

        • ssckelley

          I took notice when Campana came up to the plate, but only because I was hoping he would bunt it. I remember wanting to throw my remote every time he hit the ball in the air. If I had a guy with that much speed I would probably make him run laps every time he did that. Unless the ball was hit right at an infielder every ground ball was a close play at first.

  • ssckelley

    Let’s not rule out that Baez might be a once-in-a-lifetime talent who breaks the mold when it comes to a MLB superstar. Us fans are guilty of having to find some one who has done it before, we use history to measure the now when it very well could be that Baez will be the first to break that +25% K rate barrier.

    Reggie Jackson broke that barrier in the late 60’s, he broke the mold back then. He was only 22 when he had his rookie season with the A’s in 1968, he finished the year with a 28% strike out rate but he hit 29 homers that year and ended with a OPS of .768. The next season Jackson was an All Star and finished 5th in the MVP voting. Reggie Jackson was an outfielder, not particularly a good one and keep in mind Baez will be doing this while playing a middle infield position. If Darwin Barney had an OPS of .768 would we care if he struck out 30% of the time? With his defensive skills he would be an All Star every year and they would be looking some where else to put Baez.

    Bottom line is everyone keeps using the words “elite talent” when describing Baez, maybe, just maybe they are right. All I know is I have not seen someone crush a baseball like Baez since Glenallen Hill. Who, btw, in high A struck out 40% of the time one season as a 20 year old. He might have been a Hall of Famer if he could have played 2nd base. Sign me up for a 2nd baseman or shortstop who has a career .804 OPS.

    • Professional High A

      If anyone can break the strikeout mold it would be Baez. I kept reading about “crazy elite bat speed”. Didn’t think that crazy elite bat speed would look that different from a normal ML’er swing. I didn’t know and couldn’t imagine people that could swing the bat that fast. It’s nuts.

    • Professional High A

      Anyone that can get to triple a Iowa to see him play should. Seeing his swing in person is much different from seeing it in videos online.

      • ssckelley

        I know I will be. The ICubs have to be salivating over being able to sell tickets with Baez on the roster. Plus there will be other guys worth watching. It has been a while since they have had a prospecty lineup, the past couple of years it has been full of fringy MLB players.

        • C. Steadman

          I know I’ll be making the trip from Chicago back to my homeland to catch a few I-Cubs games this summer.

  • Pingback: 1000 Words on Javier Baez’s Uniquely Incredible Bat Speed | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

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