With the 9th pick in the MLB First-Year Player Draft the Chicago Cubs selected infielder Javier Baez out of Arlington County High School (FL). Last season Baez hit .463 with 9 doubles and 13 HR for Arlington County High School. The highly touted Baez was regarded as one of the best infielders in the draft and was slotted as the 24th overall pick by Wally Fish in the S2S Mock Draft. The selection was puzzling to some as the Cubs have Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney holding down the middle infield for the foreseeable future. Regardless, he has tremendous upside and was definitely one of the better players on the board. Although he’s already committed to Jacksonville University he shouldn’t be difficult for the Cubs to sign.
Baez possesses the ability to hit line drives to all fields and feature potential above-average power. His bat speed was regarded by Baseball America as the best in the draft class. Defensively, Baez features solid footwork, soft hands and a very strong accurate arm. His only weakness is stated to be his range which could force him to change positions. Like many players his age, size and plate discipline are areas that could use improvement. If the power continues to develop Baez could potentially handle the move to third-base giving Chicago a very solid, young infield.
Baez is one of the more complete prospects in this MLB Draft. He has the tools to develop into an all star with gold glove potential. Similar to many young prospects, the skill-set is present, it’s on Javier to work hard to continue to perfect his craft. He will be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on and I look forward to his eventual stop at Advanced-A Daytona so I can track his progress.