Cubs Promote Javier Baez
Superstar prospect Javier Baez makes his MLB debut tonight in Colorado. He’ll take the field at Wrigley on Friday.
MLB.com and Baseball America’s #7 prospect in the game has joined the big league Chicago Cubs, sparking a frenzy of excitement for a Cubs fan base hungry for it.
Shortstop Baez was drafted ninth overall in 2011 out of high school in Jacksonville and made a quick impact in the minors, drawing early comparisons to former MLB great Gary Sheffield as a shortstop with extremely quick wrists and explosive power.
It’s become popular to group label the increasing number of impact Cubs position player prospects–Baez was the first of the “Big Three” that also included outfielders Jorge Soler and Albert Almora. Soon after came the “Core Four”, adding third baseman Kris Bryant after he was drafted with the #2 overall pick in the 2013 draft. And finally, July’s trade with Oakland brought in the smooth Addison Russell. The Tribune has dubbed them the “Future Five”.
However you label the group, they’ve got Cubs fans excited. Bryant, Russell, Baez, and Soler ranked first, fourth, eighth, and 28th, respectively, on ESPN writer Keith Law’s midseason top 50 prospects list, while Almora narrowly missed after a slow season start.
But of all of them, Baez has been the most visibly impressive to Cubs fans. He demolished A+ and AA pitching for 37 HR and 111 RBI in 2013. Tape measure home runs off big league pitchers in Spring Training the last two years have finally allowed fans to see the bat live on TV; they’ve also earned him some high-profile endorsements from the bewildered pitchers. A big home run in the prospect showcase Futures Game during All-Star Week last month only grabbed more headlines.
Much has been published about how rough these last few seasons have been for Cubs fans. But many fans are considering tonight’s game in Denver must-see TV; a remarkable turn of events amidst another season of declining ratings and attendance. And the next home game, Friday against Tampa Bay, is suddenly a hot ticket.
Cubs fans finally have a fascinating on-field reason to come to Wrigley. He wears the #9 jersey.