As announced yesterday, Chicago Cubs top prospect, Javier Baez will make his major league debut today against the Colorado Rockies. Cubs’ fans have been waiting a long time to see Javy’s in a big league uniform; so what can we expect to see from him in the final two months of the season?
1) Expect to see a lot of Jay
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer didn’t decide to bring Javy up just to see what he looks like in a major league uniform, they brought him up to play. Javy’s presence in the lineup will cause a bit of a shake up as he will, most likely, play second base, which will move Arismendy Alcantara to the outfield permanently, which will, in turn, significantly cut playing time for Nate Schierholtz and/or Junior Lake. But make no mistake, Javy will be out there every day, rain or shine, streak or slump.
2) Expect Javy to hit around .250 when all is said and done
Javier Baez’s .260 batting average is not a great indicator of his overall skill as a hitter because he endured a dreadful slump for the first two months of the 2014 season, but don’t expect him to hit .400 in the big leagues either. Despite his incredible second half performance thus far, Baez has never been a guy to hit for an impressively high average. He hasn’t hit over .300 at any level since he was in A-ball back in 2012. And if Arismendy Alcantara’s performance is any indicator, big league pitching is significantly better than AAA pitching. Alcantara hit .307 at AAA and entering play last night was sitting at .253. Javy will also collect his fair share of strikeouts. In 104 games for the Iowa Cubs this year, Javy has struck out 130 times. Striking out part of being a power hitter but don’t be alarmed if he strikes out 13 times in his first 10 games.
3) Bring your binoculars to the game!
Speaking of hitting for power, expect Baez to make it rain on Waveland Avenue. Javier Baez has some of the best raw power that has come through minor league baseball in quite some time and he can hit the snot out of any mistake left in the strike zone. “He’ll want to hit every ball 600 feet,” said Baez’s manager at AAA, Marty Pevey. And with any luck we’ll get to watch him do it!
4) Expect him to make mistakes
Javier Baez is a 21-year-old kid. He’s is going to make mistakes. Javy has been on the fast track to the big leagues and has moved through the Cubs farm system at warp speed because of his talent. That doesn’t mean he won’t make a mental error or two, or strike out on sliders in the dirt. It’s all part of the process and everyone needs to realize that.
5) Expect one heck of a fall at Wrigley Field
Baez’s promotion is a huge benchmark in the Chicago Cubs’ rebuilding process. Arismendy Alcantara’s promotion was a nice first step, but fans have been waiting on Baez since the Cubs selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. The excitement and buzz at Wrigley Field will be palpable for the rest of the season! Tell your friends to jump on the bandwagon now because this is the beginning of a new era of Cubs baseball.
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