Why Javier Baez Could Be the Best and Other Bullets

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Why Javier Baez Could Be the Best and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

javier baez aflI liked being able to tell The Wife the other night, when a certain rapper won an award at the Grammy’s, “That’s Robinson Cano’s agent.” I was even happier when she responded, “I know,” instead of, “Who’s Robinson Cano?”

  • On the heels of BP’s top 101 prospects, Jason Parks chatted about the list, and Cubs fans turned out in droves to ask questions (the first two questions were Cubs-related). Among Parks’ thoughts: (1) if C.J. Edwards can sustain his performance (not just results, but stuff) over a full season’s workload, Parks may change his stance on Edwards’ future as a starter; (2) Jorge Soler could be in the show in 2015, and he could be a 30-homer guy (but there’s a lot of work needed for him to get to that ceiling – nice to have more confidence in the development staff than in years past, yes?); (3) on why Javier Baez has a case to be the number one prospect in baseball: “It was put to me this way, which helped tun the light on a bit (even though we’ve been high on him and I’ve seen him play before): Baez could end a 40 HR shortstop. That’s his ceiling. That’s actually a possibility. Likely? Not sure. But its possible. How many prospects in baseball can make such a claim? That’s a truly elite ceiling. That’s a generational talent. That’s why he has a case for #1.”; (4) Parks believes Kris Bryant will see time in the big leagues this year; and (5) Albert Almora’s poor (relatively-speaking) speed will always hold him back in center field, even if everything else he does out there is fantastic.
  • You got the sense throughout the chat, by the way, that Parks believes Javier Baez is the best prospect in baseball, in terms of ceiling.
  • In her latest Q&A thing, among other things, Carrie Muskat implies that the outfield could see a great deal of moving around, with Justin Ruggiano and Junior Lake seeing time in multiple positions (including center field). While I still think it’s a lock that Ryan Sweeney will see the majority of starts in center, I’d still really like to see what Lake could do there, if given a meaningful shot. It’s still hard to see Lake’s bat playing in left, but if he were able to play average or above-average defense in center? Then he might become an asset. From there, Sweeney could still play regularly against righties, but, heading into 2015, he could be more of a fourth outfielder, where he may be better suited (and, to be clear, Sweeney could be an excellent fourth outfielder).
  • Apropos of yesterday’s Santana/Jimenez discussion, Jeff Sullivan writes about which teams could net the most wins by signing Ervin or Ubaldo. The Cubs aren’t high on the list (presumably because, since the offense ain’t great, adding an upgrade in the rotation doesn’t really add many more wins), but the Reds, Giants, Phillies, Astros, and White Sox are. I guess it’s kind of a compliment to the Cubs’ rotation, but a criticism of the offense.
  • Dan Szymborski chats at FanGraphs, and notes, among other things, that he expects the NL Wild Card battle to look a lot like last year’s (i.e., Pirates and Reds at the top of the heap). He also still projects the Astros to be worse than the Cubs. Huzzah!
  • The Phillies have hired someone to work on analytics in their front office. It is 2014.
  • For those who haven’t been following, Jay has been reviewing the Bears’ positional groups, and he just hit one of the more eye-pleasing ones: the ball carriers. That means Matt Forte. That means awesomeness.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.