Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Javier Baez: Rookies, Prospects and Recent Call-Ups Evaluation


 

Recent MLB Prospect Call-Ups

Top MLB prospect Javier Baez has been called up to The Show, and made his major league debut last night for Chicago Cubs . Although he's one of many top prospects in Chicago’s loaded farm system, Baez has plenty of hype behind him and big upside for the future.

Along with the recent trade of starting second baseman Darwin Barney, and the moving of Arismendy Alcantara to the outfield, the writing was on the wall that Baez would be making his debut sooner rather than later. Last night we saw that happen. Although Baez only went 1-for-6 in his debut, to go along with three strikeouts, he made a big impact as well hitting a game-winning 414 foot home run in the top of the 12th inning. Not too bad for your first day on the job.

 

Who is Javier Baez

By Nick Martinez (Javier Baez 9) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsBaez, the #9 overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft, will most likely make up an infield of top MLB prospects for a long time including himself, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Kris Bryant and the recently traded for Addison Russell. Despite Castro, Russell and Baez all being shortstops, there should be plenty of wiggle room at 2B and 3B for everybody to get playing time. So with Baez likely to be playing every day at second base the last two months of the MLB season, what can we expect out of his first taste of the majors?

I hate calling guys five tool players when they aren’t, but Baez definitely has the ability to contribute in all aspects of the game. More to come on this shortly. But there are areas to keep an eye on as well. For starters, Baez strikes out a ton. This year in the minors, Baez struck out a whopping 130 times in just 388 ABs. This could be an area of concern in the majors, as the pitchers are better and they will exploit weaknesses in hitters. As noted by Scott Strandberg of FanGraphs, there might be a kink in Baez’s offensive armor:

“Pretty much the only knock on Baez’s offensive profile coming into this season was his difficulty to adjust to breaking balls, partially as a result of his aggressive approach. He hasn’t gotten less aggressive (7.9% BB-rate, 30.0% K-rate in 2013, 7.9% BB-rate, 28.8% K-rate in 2014) — but it seems like breaking balls aren’t giving him the tough time that they used to.” Basically, even though he might have had issues with the off-speed pitches, that hasn’t changed his game and he has adapted properly. Hopefully we will see the same adjustments at the big league level for the remainder of the 2014 season.

 

2014 & Long-Term Fantasy Baseball Outlook

Looking at just speed/power/contact, you know, the parts that matter in fantasy baseball, Baez could be a great addition off the waiver wire to your fantasy teams in any format. He has hit .272 over his last two years in the minors, with a combined 43 HR and 24 SB. Add to that his 64 Runs and 80 RBIs this year in AAA. Baez’s hype isn’t smoke and mirrors, it’s based on legit skill, which is why so many people have had him on their list of sleepers for fantasy baseball.

Baez’s .323 OBP this year in the minors wasn’t great, mostly because of his low walk total (34 total in AAA). But he makes up for the lack of walks with a stellar .510 SLG, to form a very respectable .833 OPS. While I'd expect an obvious decline in some capacity at the major league level, when dealing with a big upgrade in opposing pitching, his power numbers and overall production was high enough in the minors that the expected drop-off in production in the bigs should not be a major concern. He still has massive upside, and the potential to produce for fantasy baseball owners for years to come, especially when you have him slotted in your 2B or SS slot.

As mentioned in previous articles of mine, most MLB prospects have a bumpy transition period when first being promoted to higher levels. Baez is no different, as he experienced a decline in his numbers when moving up through each division of the minors. For example, while Baez batted .292 during the month of July in AAA (his best month by far), his April ended with a dreadful .172 AVG. That was his first taste of AAA. When being promoted to AA in July of 2013, he started out with a .228 AVG for the month before eventually improving to a .357 AVG in August. I’m not saying these numbers imply that you shouldn’t be adding him to your fantasy baseball teams, especially in deeper leagues, but they may be good indicators of what we can expect as Baez adjusts to major league pitching. Just be prepared to move him back to your bench if he starts hurting your team down the fantasy home stretch.

Let me say this: I love Javier Baez. I firmly believe that this MLB prospect and top talent is going to be around for a long time producing for the Cubs and fantasy owners. I also love the idea of him already being a SS/2B option, giving him massive upside for fantasy leagues. And who knows, he may even see some time at 3B depending on how the team wants to stretch him out this year before really letting him loose in 2015. For this season, I would definitely be adding Baez to your fantasy baseball teams if you have holes in your middle infield, are looking for power upside, or have some bench space to spare. If you are in a keeper or dynasty league, and he is somehow still available, go grab him immediately. Just make sure to watch him closely over the next couple of weeks, and make sure he is helping your team down the stretch more than he is hurting it. Hopefully the late inning heroics that we saw last night are a sign of big things to come for Baez, the Cubs and fantasy baseball owners.

 




Today’s Most Viewed Players

More Recent Articles

 

Wide Receiver Matchups To Target In Week 15

In Week 14, DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas were the high-end options that came through with solid performances, both finishing in the top-five even though they had fairly tough matchups. A.J. Brown finished as the No. 1 receiver on the week, scoring two touchdowns off of just seven targets, while Darius Slayton and Emmanuel Sanders... Read More


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 15

Welcome to our Week 15 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More


Woos and Boos - Starts and Sits for Week 15 Lineups

The trend of fresh faces being among the tops of the fantasy scoring leaderboard continued in Week 14. Across the skill positions, we saw players that took advantage of plus matchups and excelled for fantasy owners during the first week of the playoffs. Mitchell Trubisky and Drew Lock came out of nowhere to finish inside... Read More


Week 15 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 15 James Conner is expected to make his return this week. Devante Parker (concussion) is good to go for... Read More


Week 15-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Still doing things a little differently this week--for those of you who are still alive. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More


Week 15 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are in full swing in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning... Read More


Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 15

Welcome to Week 15, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football playoffs. These player selections are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More


Week 15 Panic Room: Outlooks for Slumping and Injured Players

As you set your Week 15 fantasy football playoff lineups, there may be some players who make you feel very uncomfortable about starting them. Based on recent lackluster performances, injuries, or just an intangible bad vibe, it's a struggle to insert them into your lineup in a do-or-die week. But you may also nervous be... Read More


Drew Lock: Is He Ready For Fantasy Football Playoff Consideration?

There is much excitement in Denver after Drew Lock put on an air display at Houston last week. In just his second NFL start, the rookie threw for 309 yards and three TD passes, all in the first half, as the Broncos stunned the AFC South leaders, 38-24. The final score doesn’t indicate what type... Read More


Survive and Advance: The King's Guide to Fantasy Football Playoff Sanity and Success

As the playoffs progress in the NFL every season, media coverage ramps up. By the time we get to Super Bowl week, it's become a full-blown circus. There are microphones and recorders being shoved in players' faces at every waking moment, and the questions never stop. As the fantasy football playoffs move ahead, there is... Read More


Red Zone Usage Risers and Fallers - Week 15

We are at a crucial point in the season. Hopefully, your team is still alive, but there is always an opportunity to get your team in shape before that final push! As fantasy owners, we know that not all touches are equal. A touch in the red zone has an increased chance of scoring a... Read More


QB vs Pass Rush Matchups To Watch - Week 15

Week 15 is here, and the fantasy playoffs are rolling. Some head into the fantasy semifinals as big favorites but others are scrapping to keep their season alive. Real teams start at quarterback, and the position is pretty important for fantasy as well. Quarterbacks have changed the game for fantasy football this year with guys... Read More


Inside the Tent - Week 15 NFL Injury Insight

At RotoBaller, we can't stress enough the importance of keeping up with injuries and playing your best lineup week after week. Players are going to get injured, that's an unavoidable fact. What's avoidable though is making the wrong roster decisions based on the injuries surrounding your fantasy squad. If you want to dominate your leagues... Read More


NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system. Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of... Read More