javier baez featureLast Summer, Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez were among the Cubs’ top handful of positional prospects, and excited big league fans with their debut. Finally, a taste of what was percolating throughout the rebuild (even if each of Alcantara and Baez’s presence in the organization actually pre-dated the current front office).

As we’ve been told so many times, progress is not linear. So, too, with development. Each of Alcantara and Baez struggled with his approach at the plate, and each eventually found his way back to AAA Iowa this year. Now, all we can do is track their nonlinear progress – Alcantara hopefully improving against breaking stuff, Baez hopefully improving his pitch recognition and two-strike approach.

For now, we don’t have enough to say for sure what’s taking and what’s not, but each guy certainly had a great game yesterday for the I-Cubs.

Baez went 3-5 with a double and a homer, struck out once, and brought his four-game line up to .263/.263/.526. Here’s the homer:

It’s subtle, but that looks like a slightly more controlled swing. And that squares with this:

Alcantara, for his part, also went 3-5 with a homer (no strikeouts, no double). No video on that one, but his line is up to .279/.354/.605. It’s good to see, obviously, and we’ll keep an eye on the strikeout rate – currently 22.4%, essentially the same as his rate at AAA last year.

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