Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Javier Baez

Javier Baez is a member of a rare breed, power hitting shortstop prospects.  He's coming up through the Cubs organization and looks like the cornerstone building block they will build their team around for the future.  He's a former first round draft pick(#9 overall) in 2011 out of Puerto Rico.  His power numbers have been coming on strong and he hit a total of 37 dingers between High A and AA last year.  Looking at his numbers, he appears to be a free swinger with relatively low walk rates and relatively high K numbers.  He is someone who could move to 3B and his bat would be just fine there, but the Cubs are keeping him at SS for now.

At 6'0", 190 bls, he's not a real big guy, but remember that Hank Aaron and Willie Mays were not big dudes either and somehow managed to hit over 1400 HR's between them.

He only played half a season at AA last year, so I would guess he starts out in AAA.  If Starlin Castro continues to struggle at SS or if the Cubs need a 3B, which they almost certainly will, I could see a relatively early callup.  Again, he will be rosterable at 3B, but a potential monster at SS.

Just for fun, here is his Oliver projection for MLB in 2013:

.245/.297/.489, 33 HR, 5.5 BB%, 32.2 K%, 4.3 WAR.

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