Mar 7, 2013; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez (70) doubles during the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at HoHoKam Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Baez strong as Minor League Postseason Continues

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Postseason Minor League excitement on the anniversary of the day 23 fans attended a Yankees-Athletics game at Shibe Park, the lowest attendance figure in American league history.

>The Tennessee Smokies took a 9-2 victory over the Birmingham Barons last night, avoiding elimination and bringing the series to 2-1 in favor of the Baez. For the Smokies, Cubs shortstop prospect Javier Baez went 2/4 with a 2-run homer. The home run was the former 9th overall pick’s 37th of the year, as he has torn apart both A+ ball and AA in his age 20 season. Ranked by us as the 11th overall prospect in baseball coming into the season, Baez’s monster season has only improved his stock and he will assuredly fall into the top 5 before 2014. Expect to see him in the majors by next July.

>The Corpus Christi Hooks rallied in the ninth to take game 4 of their series with the San Antonio Missions, forcing a decisive game 5. In the loss, Missions’ lefthander Juan Oramas was brilliant, scattering three singles over six shutout innings while striking out five. Oramas, 23, has battled injuries throughout his career but has been terrific when healthy, particularly this season when he posted a 3.07 ERA and a 10.3 SO/9 in 12 AA starts. If he fails as a starter, he may very well pop up as a dominant left reliever in the majors.

>The Lancaster Jethawks defeated the Inland Empire 66ers to take the first game of their five game series. Starting for the Jethawks, Brady Rogers was brilliant, giving up just one run over 7 1/3 innings, striking out 11. Plucked up in the third round by the Astros in the 2012 draft and was solid in his first half of season last year, going 7-2 with a 2.89 ERA. This season, however, Rogers has struggled mightily, putting up a 5.38 ERA between the rotation and the bullpen. His peripherals however – 1.8 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 – are much better than his ERA would indicate, and he may still have a bright future as a starter.

>The Harrisburg Senators defeated the Erie SeaWolves 5-1, winning their 5 game series. For the senators, starter Robbie Ray tossed 6 2/3 one run innings, striking out six. The former 12th round pick had a great year in the minors this season, going 11-5 with a 3.36 ERA between A+ and AA while using his plus fastball to strikeout over 10 batters per nine. He’s likely a reliever down the road, but he has an outside shot at being a number three starter down the road.

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