On MLB.com’s 2013 Top 100 Prospect list, Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez was ranked 16th, the highest of any player in the Chicago Cubs minor league system. The twenty year-old Puerto Rican was ranked 62nd on the same list the year before, so there is clearly something about what he is doing in the minor leagues that is causing some attention.
The highest level Javier Baez has played so far in the Chicago Cubs organization is in A+ Ball, for the Daytona Cubs. Although his numbers in A+ haven’t been up to snuff so far, his collective averages in the minor leagues are a respectable .293 AVG, .342 OBP, and .534 SLG. According to baseball statistic website The Baseball Cube, which analyzes players in individual fields of their game and gives a number ranking up to 100 in each skill, Javier Baez is a 99 in Batting, 97 in Power, and 97 in Speed, with only a 37 for Contact and 7 for Patience. These numbers are generated by comparing statistics against peers in the same league with a minimum number of at-bats.
After the brutal disappointments of players like Felix Pie and Corey Patterson, both of whom were highly touted prospects who were at one time considered the best in the organization, Chicago Cubs fans in general are hesitant to put too much of their ever-tested faith in a particular prospect. Baez is projected to be a great player, and his scouting numbers are even higher than those of Patterson and Pie, but no Cubs fan will think we have anything special until Javier Baez is in the MLB and making All-Star teams and hitting 30 homers a year.