This is the second in an ongoing series of 2014 Fantasy Profiles. I will be looking closer at MLB’s top prospects who should have a real Fantasy impact on the 2014 season. This time, I’m looking at Cubs prospect Javier Baez.
Enjoy, and feel free to comment below, or even request more prospects, as well.
There is always plenty of excitement for top prospects, but even more when they play a frequently scarce position in Fantasy and they have plus power.
Well, Baez has power and plenty of it. He is a natural shortstop, but could be in the majors as soon as this year — at third base, since the Cubs have so much invested in
So, let’s take a closer look shall we?
Prospect Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs
Age: 21 , Ht: 6’0″, Wt: 195 lbs
What We’ve Seen So Far
The youngster had plenty of hype last season, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. He bashed 37 homers between High Class A and Double-A, and will be in Triple-A Iowa to start 2014. The ninth overall pick in 2011 is currently the Cubs’ top prospect.
Below are his minor-league numbers from last season. As you can see. he was quite dominant. A .560-plus slugging, and .900-plus OPS are the kind of numbers that fan flames of excitement. With the good, you need to stress the weaknesses, as well. His plate discipline is a concern. He had a strikeout rate of 28 percent and he is a free-swinging player, who may have been a bit lucky last season.
Regardless, fans will be screaming to see Baez sooner than later at Wrigley Field this season.
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Baez’s Prospects Going Forward
Baez will likely start off in Triple-A Iowa and as his 2013 season shows, he will likely put up gaudy numbers there, too. Baez profiles into a slugger with moderate speed, with an aggressive presence at the plate. Like most prospects, he can work on his patience, and may not take as many walks as he should. Especially, if he gets called to the majors. He has a weakness for offspeed pitches, and in the majors that is a concern.
Defensively, he still needs polishing and for this reason alone, he could remain in the minors. With Castro getting called up so early four years ago, and struggling the past two seasons offensively and defensively, the Cubs have some solid reasoning to let Baez develop some more.
Baez’s talent, power and numbers don’t lie, and no one should be surprised to see him playing in the majors at some point in 2014. Especially with a rebuilding franchise, like Chicago. Get excited folks, but don’t hold your breath.
From a Fantasy perspective I wouldn’t be drafting Baez this season in standard redraft leagues. However if it is a deep league, or Dynasty/Keeper league format, you have to target him. If you have a bench spot and want to take a prospect flyer in redraft leagues, go on ahead. There is no guarantee he will crack the majors in 2014, but if you are a risk taker and have a bench spot — why not let super-prospect Javier Baez sit patiently and see what happens?
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