Iowa Cubs manager Marty Pevey has a lot of nice things to say about Javier Baez, who started at second base for the first time last night, but the most important piece of information was this:
“I’m working with [Baez] there over the next several days. We’ll see him mainly at second base at least over the next several days.”
When Baez got the start at second base it seemed like a small step towards his eventual promotion. But without the Cubs consistently playing him at the position, it could have just been a once in a while type of thing. However, now it looks as though the Cubs are serious about making sure that Baez is ready to play in the Big Leagues as soon as possible.
That’s not to say that a promotion is at all imminent or even will happen this season, but the fact that the Cubs have made the move to allow Baez to learn the position that will get him to the Majors is an exciting notion for Cubs fans. In a season that has been devoid of many exciting moments, you can’t blame a fan for getting a little giddy at the thought of Baez finally reaching the MLB level.
That isn’t all Triple-A manager Marty Pevey had to say though, as he went on to lavish praise on the 21-year-old Baez:
“He looked like an All-Star shortstop playing second base. You can put an All-Star shortstop anywhere in the infield. He had the most range of anybody I’ve seen at second base in a long time.”
If that wasn’t enough, Pevey addressed one of the last remaining issues Baez has that could keep him from having initial success in the Majors:
“What I was mainly happy about was him shortening up his swing with two strikes. He stayed on the fastball. The fastball was elevated, and he hit it about 430 feet to straight-away center.”
Baez now has 15 home runs on the season and has his average up from .172 at the end of April to .244 after a 2-4 performance last night that included a double, a home run and a sac fly. While Baez may not be up with the Cubs anytime soon, if he continues to have games like last night and consistently proves to the front office that he has nothing left to learn at Triple-A, then Cubs fans may still have a chance to see Baez hit balls onto Waveland Ave. at some point in 2014.