2011 Cubs Draft Ticker Tracker - Day One

ROUND 1 (9): Javier Baez, SS (Arlington Country Day School - Jacksonville, FL)
R/R, 6'1, 205, 18 years old
COMMENT: Rated by Baseball America as the best HS hitter in the draft... Hit .771 with 64 hits, 22 HR, 20 doubles, 52 RBIs and just three K in 2011... Very aggressive hitter with plus bat-speed and plus raw-power... Above-average arm but just barely average range for SS... Figures to eventually outgrow SS and move to another position (most likely 3B)... Emotional player on the field... Signed NLI with Jacksonville U...

Comments

Buzz from the scout.com chat:

4:09 [Comment From Tim Tim: ]
Do the Cubs take Lindor if he is there at 9? Seems the way things
4:10 Frankie Piliere: I haven't heard that but Cubs playing it super close to the vest as usual Monday June 6, 2011
4:10 Frankie Piliere: As I say that, some good buzz comes in on those same Cubs....
4:11 Frankie Piliere: Buzz: Cubs are going "way off the board" with their pick. Not exactly a surprised given last year but makes my job impossible trying to figure it out.
4:13 [Comment From Gammy Gammy: ]
The Cubs are taking Vogelbach or Cron...
Monday June 6, 2011 4:13 Gammy
4:13 Frankie Piliere: At this point, I can't say no to that

http://sbb.scout.com/2/1077197.html

Would anyone be surprised?

Jeff Ames RHP from Canada is the pick.

Tyler Anderson LHP Oregon

3 minutes later he updated with this name: Onelki Garcia Speck

scouting report:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/201...

23 years old, defect from Cuba

Piliere says he is demanding a lot in bonus money.

there's a letter from MLB at bottom of chat about Speck

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.p...

another update on Speck-gate

According to multiple international directors, Major League Baseball sent teams a memo on Saturday at 10 p.m. E.T. to inform them that Garcia Speck is eligible for the draft. Garcia, a 21-year-old who is 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, is represented by Los Angeles-based agent Gus Dominguez, who scouts said had scheduled a workout for Garcia Speck to be seen on Saturday, June 11 at Pierce Junior College.

Multiple international directors expressed frustration that MLB would declare a Cuban defector draft-eligible on such short notice, suggesting that the player likely already has a deal in place with a team. Others added that they would be elated if another team used a high draft pick on Garcia Speck, who struggled with his control in Cuba.

That sounds kind of like the Cubbery we have come to know so well...

Piliere's final mock draft has Cubs taking SS Javier Baez.

I believe I'll be free for some parachatting tonight of game/draft.

Bud Selig should not be allowed to announce the picks.

I think he just said the Washington Naturals were on the clock.

Cubs selected RHP Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt) out of Smyrna HS - Smyrna, TN in 27th round of 2008 draft but he did not sign.

So with so many obvious choices now off the board, it would not surprise me if the Cubs draft Gray again, like they have done in the past with Andrew Cashner, Marquez Smith, and Sam Fuld.

Callis says it will be Javier Baez

http://sbb.scout.com/2/1077071.html

Baez is athletic, fast, has versatility in the field, and most importantly has a plus bat with plus power potential. He has star quality at the plate, and if he can stick at a premium position his value will continue to rise.

Defensively not there as a SS, but could easily move to 3b or OF and link says catcher even a possibility.

http://www.perfectgame.org/players/playerprof...

While Baez’ offensive potential intrigues scouts the most, he has impressive defensive tools, as well, that enable him to play a number of positions. He plays shortstop for his high-school team, but spent last summer primarily at third base due to his thicker build and 6.9-second speed in the 60. The temptation may exist for the team that drafts Baez to install him at third base, given the tremendous offensive contribution he could make at that position, but Baez has solid shortstop actions, good first-step quickness, nice balance on the run and plenty of arm strength. Another position that has intrigued scouts is catcher, and Baez tried his hand at there briefly at the East Coast Professional Showcase last August.

Sounds like he has power (though neither ESPN or BA mentioned speed), but not the most loveable Cubbie type...sounds like a young Milton Bradley (or, at a minimum, Aramis Ramirez):

ESPN (http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/draft/player/_...)

"But the biggest issue for Baez is how he acts on the field. He's more than just flashy, he's very showy, and he doesn't always play like he's fully prepared or engaged. He has as much potential impact with the bat as any prep player in this draft, but the need for a new position and questions about his on-field demeanor are going to hold down his stock."

Baseball America (http://www.baseballamerica.com/draftdb/2011te...)

"Baez is explosive and scouts generally pan his makeup....He plays with energy, but it's not always positive, and he turns off some scouts with emotional outbursts and an off-field demeanor some describe as aloof."

unless he starts hitting his wife/girlfriend or blaming the fans for being racist, sounds more like Z.

Wrongway on Baez:

Cubs felt Javier Baez was second-best bat in draft. Tim Wilken projects him "close to 70 power'' and a 60-70 hitter. High-ceiling pick.

70 power projection? wow. that's faith based on hands and wrist speed, imo. wonder when he projects that power to show itself.

Another snippet from BA: "He has the fastest bat in the draft... plus raw power as well."

Personality issues aside, I like him better than the two high school hitters taken ahead of him, he can at least hit.

I like him better than Lindor, but Starling has more power, better speed, better defense and possible the farthest opposite (to the positive side) in attitude. I hoped that the Cubs would get Starling...when he wasn't available, I was hoping for a pitcher.

ESPN stated (paraphrasing) that he swings for the fences on every pitch and his ability to hit for average will be dependent on his ability to cut down his swing when needed.

Doesn't sound like a very stable guy, not sure how coachable (maybe he has just had bad coaching, though his coach is his legal guardian) and really is more just quick bat speed and raw power than anything else.

Here is the ESPN quote:

At the plate Baez unleashes on every pitch with a max-effort swing that, when he squares a ball up, produces loud, hard contact. He doesn't shorten up or ever use another approach beyond "swing with all you've got," and he can get too power-happy and start to swing uphill.

He still projects to hit for plus power, but the potential to hit for average will depend on his willingness to cut down his swing when needed

why are you posting Alfonso Soriano's scouting report?

That is a good comparison, though Soriano actually seems to have a great attitude and appears to work hard (though not hustle).

Hopefully Baez can put up early Soriano numbers and then we can trade him/let him go to another team prior to becoming the Soriano of today.

Not sure where you get the Starling has more power.. he's a worse hitter. Drafting guys who cannot hit never works out, unless you liked him as a pitcher? Ryan Harvey with CF speed is still a guy who never makes the bigs.

Stories of 500 foot home run shots in ESPN's story about him.

He hit .481 and hit a homer every 6 ABs. Not sure how that is considered a "worse hitter" or someone who "cannot hit".

No scouting story at all says he can't hit. You are just making that up to make a point that Baez is a better hitter now, something that is likely not true.

More importantly, every report had Starling rated higher than Baez. Starling has more talent, a higher ceiling and an attitude that makes reaching that ceiling more likely.

You are looking at this through Cub-colored glasses if you prefer Baez to Starling. The comparison to Harvey is funny...Starling is significantly more talented. But because you want to make that comparison, I'll say he is similar to Ken Griffey Jr. Comparisons are both invalid, but it appears that you thought you justified your point with this comparison, so I might as well justify mine with Junior.

So .481 in rural Missouri is better than .771 in Jacksonville Florida?

Every scouting report you read on him says that his hitting needs work... every single one. Why would you spend $6 million on a hitter when you're not sure he's going to be able to hit? Because he can cover a lot of ground in the outfield?

You did find me out though, I do create the Baseball America draft issue, and when I put that Baez was the best high school hitter in the draft, I did that wearing my rose colored Cubs glasses, knowing that the Cubs were going to take him 4 weeks later.

Starling can't hit...maybe he learns to, maybe he doesn't. That's a helluva a maybe to go after when it costs you that much money and another player.

http://sbb.scout.com/2/1077285.html
"his hit tool needs refining at the professional level"

http://orioles-nation.com/2011/06/05/derek-bu...

"...he has little refined baseball skills...will have to be completely tutored with proper professional coaching"

http://www.prodraftcentral.com/scouting-repor...

" ...his hitting ability still needs some work and his swing could use some cleaning up"

On MLB Network they said that his hands/wrists were similar to Gary Sheffield.

Later they said he has webbed feet like Aquaman.

Did he have adamantium claws like Wolverine?

How many losses in a row before the firings start?

I say 0-fer road trip (which would be 12 in a row I think) would at least get a pitching or hitting coach fired.

I wonder how hard it will be to find a new GM to take the job, it's almost like a poisoned pill at this point.

sadly, Cubs will name Randy Bush as the new GM.

/facepalm

How many losses in a row before the firings start?

25

Playing blake dewitt in lf is a firable offense...replacing Soriano's bat with a singles hitter is akin to replacing DLee with Neifi, and DeWitt's defense is a good comp with....um, Alf.

What's next...Koyie Hill in LF?

His presence in the outfield makes the line drives slow down by 4-5 mph.

Nicely played!

speaking of neifi...seen our #2 and #3 hitters?

it's about time to let one of them hit 2nd, move the other deep, and let aram/pena/soto fill the 3-5, imo.

Speaking of Neifi have you seen Aramis Ramirez?

his power is picking up and he's clipping it into the OF.

his 6hr pace is ugg, but his 45 double pace says he might be able to get that HR pace into double digits.

He's totally selling out for his doubles power, though. Remember when he used to be a smart hitter? Now all I see is a big looping swing, trying to hit HR's to left center regardless of situation or the pitcher or, really anything.

It will be hard for his (Baez) defense to be worse than what aram's is these days

Someone on mlb radio (not Grant Paulson), XM, said his hitting reminded him of manram in his hs days.

I'm knocking the Cubs and not Baez, but really, what odds does a high school hitter drafted in the 1st round by the Cubs have to even sip coffee in the majors? 10%?

Lou Montanez made it!!!!!!!

Can't think of another one off hand though?

KPat

2/3rds of our "Outfield of the future" !!!

Shawon Dunston. But seriously, we have a horrible track record for several decades of first round high school hitters never panning out.

I think it's totally awesome that they let Selig get all liquored up before the draft started.
Worst toupee in show business since...?

charlton heston

easy on the toupee...#10 left it to the commish in his will. The one from the Met season opener.

and Baez coach comped him to Hanley Ramirez, Harold Reynolds said he comps with Gary Sheffield.

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?tcid=mm_chc...

I'll say he is similar to Ken Griffey Jr. Comparisons are both invalid,
---
Or...he comps with Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig

Rays have 7 - SEVEN compensatory picks between the first and second rounds... Holy CRAP!

baez HS numbers/blurb from TSN:

"SS JAVIER BAEZ, Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville). His numbers this season were staggering—22 home runs, .771 batting average, 64 hits, 20 doubles, 52 RBIs and just three strikeouts. "A lot of guys—and I respect them for that—challenged him," ACD coach Ron Dickerson says."

...a quick check by me of recent stats from the region put it on par with a lot of HS programs where guys batting .500-.600 isn't too uncommon for top 10 performers.

.771 is pretty hardcore in this area...or any area.

.463 with 13hr in 2009 as a soph. (8bb/5k/93pa)

I have lived in Florida. Some of you may have as well.

It is baseball all year long at a high-level in high school and colleges.

To me it says he was doin' it against very serious competition.

Its like being a top two or three HS football player in Texas.

We'll all see in due time if any of this pans out, but the kid has some talent goin' on.

yeah, this isn't some HS dude throwing high-90s vs. competition in utah at least.

I like the pick.

Just hope this kid has an ounce of plate discipline. Or that this regime doesn't beat it out of him, to promote hackery.

PROMOTING HACKERY: Your CHICAGO CUBS!

Ricketts is paying these Wrigley employees by the hour. No sense in taking pitches and extending these games out past 2 1/2 hours?

nice.

ditto.

Good God, those numbers are obscene.

.771 batting average, 64 hits

That's slow-pitch softball batting average territory.

I guess it's all about perspective:

"He's got two different swings," Wilken said. "He really lets it out at times, and then he's got a good two-strike approach."

Wilken and other Cubs scouts were impressed when they met with Baez last week in Sebring, Fla.

"He's a very quiet young man off the field, very fiery on the field," Wilken said. "He's more of a student-type young man. He's confident, but it's silent confidence. He doesn't mince his words. You're going to get straight answers. There's not going to be a lot of verbiage in between."

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

"He's confident, but it's a silent confidence."

That narrows it down for me. Sounds like anyone from Andre Dawson to the Unabomber.

Bell is still on the board... if he falls to the Cubs hopefully they have the cash to sign him.

FWIW, and I don't think I saw anyone mention this but could be wrong, I saw somewhere yesterday that Baez got good grades. This shows a little discipline of the good kind, and leads me to think we may not be looking at character issues with the "fiery" disposition but just a hard nosed player.

http://jacksonville.com/sports/baseball/2011-...

oh and he has a tattoo.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/highschool/blog/prep_...

Seems like he shouldn't be too hard to sign.

Feeling good about the Cubs' 1st rounder?
The Rays have already drafted 10 players... Now that is one way to fortify your farm system... (seems like the ONLY way)...

Well another way might be to trade a pitcher with high trade value for a bunch of prospects. Someone like... oh, I don't know... Matt Garza.

There are a handful of first-round-talent-tough-sign types, many of whom will be available when the Cubs pick. I am foolishly getting my hopes up.

Understatement of the year-

RT @Buster_ESPN: There is no more ineffective group of veteran players, in terms of leadership and matching production to dollars, than those of the Cubs.

That would make a great t-shirt.

Or billboard near Wrigley Field. How does the TCR advertising budget look this year?

Thanks Einstein.

Recent comments

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  • best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...

    also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.

    Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.

    Rob G. 4 min 16 sec ago view
  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 46 min ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 3 hours 7 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 3 hours 23 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 3 hours 56 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 4 hours 4 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 4 hours 24 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 19 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 7 hours 37 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 7 hours 42 min ago view
  • "Pitching prospects not looking so hot"

    That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 45 min ago view
  • Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 4 min ago view
  • Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:

    "Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
    "No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"

    billybucks 18 hours 46 min ago view
  • How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.

    billybucks 18 hours 50 min ago view