Baez Hits for the Cycle at Diablo

Javier Baez hit for the cycle and drove-in all five Cub runs with a two-run triple and a three-run home run, but the Angels rallied for five runs in the middle-three innings to edge the Cubs 6-5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe, AZ.


In addition to his big day at the plate, Baez also stole a base (3rd base following his double) and made the defensive Play of the Day, going deep into the hole to backhand a grounder headed for LF, and then nailing the out with a leap and an on-the-money throw to 1st.


In his first four Extended Spring Training games, Baez is 9-15 with three three-run home runs, three triples, two doubles, and a single, and in his last game prior to the start of Extended Spring Training, Baez clubbed a two-run HR off Paul Maholm in an intrasquad game at Fitch Park.


Today's game was extended an extra inning so that all of the Cubs and Angels pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.


Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):


CUBS LINEUP:
1a. Shawon Dunston, Jr, LF: 1-2 (K, 2B, R)
1b. Jeffrey Baez, PH-LF: 0-1 (6-3)
1c. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-2 (F-8, 5-3)
2. Gioskar Amaya, 2B-DH: 2-4 (BB, 1B, K, 1B, P-4, 2 R)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (BB, F-9, 6-3, K, K, R)
4. Javier Baez, SS: 4-5 (3B, HR, 2B, 1B, K, R, 5 RBI, SB)
5. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, BB, K)
6. Trey Martin, CF: 1-4 (K, 1B, P-4, 3-1)
7. Neftali Rosario, DH-C: 0-4 (P-4, K, 5-3, F-9)
8. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 1-4 (6-3, K, K, 1B)
9. Yaniel Cabezas, C-DH: 3-4 (F-8, 1B, 1B, 1B)
10. Brian Inoa, DH-2B: 0-4 (K, K, 5-3, K)


CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Tayler Scott: 2.1, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 51 pitches (25 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
2. David Henrie: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 37 pitches (26 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Brian Smith: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 33 pitches (19 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 27 pitches (19 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
5. Charles Thomas: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 21 pitches (13 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO


CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Javier Baez - E-6 (errant throw allowed batter to reach base safely)


CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Yaniel Cabezas: 2-2 CS


CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
CF Trey Martin - threw out batter-runner 8-3 after batter singled to CF and then took too wide of a turn around 1st base


ATTENDANCE: 8


WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy at times with temperatures in the 70’s

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Comments

CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Javier Baez - E-6 (errant throw allowed batter to reach base safely)

What a bum!

does baez still do that weird semi-double-clutch before throwing thing?

a lot of his scouting video showed some weird throwing action.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 4:12pm — crunch

does baez still do that weird semi-double-clutch before throwing thing?

a lot of his scouting video showed some weird throwing action.

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CRUNCH: Sometimes he takes too much time to make the throw (like the E-6 today) and then doesn't make a strong throw when he does let it go, and that might give the impression that he's double-clutching.

what i saw a lot of wasn't a true "double clutch" as much as it was he runs with the ball a weird/long distance after picking it up on the run as he tries to either get his grip or get his mechanics to throw or whatever he's trying to do while running 2-4 steps too many. he also tended to do this with his arm already raised, ball in hand...looked weird.

Phil,

Has Javy Baez been the best player on the field you've seen (any team)? Give us a general comp for his hitting, please. I've heard Gary Sheffield like bat speed and power. Similar build, too.

Did you see where Zapata had a nice debut for Peoria? Just let the kids play every year. He'll probably flop like most do, but we Cubs fans live off the hope of a player. Play the young ones.

Also, did anyone notice in a rubber match with the Cardinals, early in the year, we rested 4 of our top 6 hitters. I understand resting guys before a day off to give them two days off, but I didn't like giving St. Louis our weakest lineup in a series finale. Dale needs to save that stuff for the Pirates (we can't beat them anyway).

Sveum's claim was Westbrook was much better versus lefties in his career than righties. Doesn't really explain putting DeWitt in there to butcher second base though.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 4:36pm — Childersb3

Phil,

Has Javy Baez been the best player on the field you've seen (any team)? Give us a general comp for his hitting, please. I've heard Gary Sheffield like bat speed and power. Similar build, too.

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CHILDERS: Javier Baez is the best player out here that I've seen. If there's another one as good or better, I'd like to see him.

I guess Gary Sheffield would be as good a comp as any. Baez absoluterly crushes the ball.

BTW, in addition to his three EXST HR, he also just missed with a couple of others. For example, his double today hit the 422 sign in dead center. (A lot of these ball parks are huge).

Dumb question maybe, but.....why is Baez in Extended ST anyway? With his skill level and draft status, shouldn't he be in Peoria? I understand not wanting to rush young players, and Baez is still a teenager and all, but by the same token you have to challenge the really great prospects, at least a little. He needs to be in the MWL.

Yeah, and based on recent reports it doesn't sound like he's there to fix any potential attitude/ego problems. He ought to get bumped up soon.

Or maybe they are working on his throwing in an effort to keep him at SS?

"Right now, I'm working on my offense," said Baez, the club's first-round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, No. 9 overall. "We are working to make my swing smoother and put me in a position that gives me more control. It's not just about swinging as hard as you can."

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

Campana 8, Jackson 7, Gonzalez 3, Valbuena 6, Castillo 2, Cardenas 4, Sappelt 9, Vitters 0, Amazega 5, Coleman starting

McNutt goes for Tennessee, awaiting starters

#Cubs lineup: Szczur- CF, Torreyes- 2B, Perez- DH, Rohan- 3B, Jones- 1B, Alcantara- SS, Silva- LF, Bonne- RF, Burruel- C...Jokisch- P

Chiefs Monday lineup: DeVoss 4, Darvill 5, Lopez 2, Cuneo 3, Hoilman DH, Easterling 8, Hernandez 6, Gonzalez 9, Zapata 7, Jensen 1

Soto 6, Watkins 4, Ha 8, Bour 3, Burgess 9, Adduci 7, Apodaca 2, Samson 5, McNutt 1

3/3 with a run scored so far for M. Szczur, Jokisch though has given up 4 ER in 4 IP

That's nice--Szczur has been off to a pretty slow start, though he did open the season with a few more walks than we might have expected from him.

It's clear to me that Szczur is changing his approach at the plate, so long as the numbers can be believed:

2010 A- Boise 7.4% BB rate, 13.6% K rate
2011 A Peoria 7.0%, 9.4%
2011 A+ Daytona 2.8%, 11.0%
2012 A+ Daytona 17.0%, 17.0%

That's a huge jump in walk rate. His K rate goes along with it as he works deeper into counts, etc. SSS of course.

http://firstinning.com/players/Matthew-Szczur-a

make it 3/4 for Szczur now

McNutt gives up his first run of the season in the first

Campana with a leadoff walk, but B. Jackson strikes out looking and Campana caught stealing on the play.

Amezaga and Campana both reach with 1 out on errors by the 3bman, Campana steals 2B, then Jackson BB's. After a sac fly scores Amezaga, Campana and Jackson pull off a double steal and Campana scores on the throwing error.

2 runs, 0 hits that inning for Iowa.

McNutt through 4 with just a run allowed on 3 K and 1 BB.

Jokisch goes 6 IP, 4 ER, 7 K, 3 BB and gets the loss vs. Toronto's stacked affiliate

Peoria up 3-1, R. Cuneo with a HR

Phil - do you know the penalty under the new labor agreement for going over the "pot of money" available for signing draft choices this year?

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 7:19pm — DavidP

Phil - do you know the penalty under the new labor agreement for going over the "pot of money" available for signing draft choices this year?

=========================================

DAVID P: A club's "Signing Bonus Pool" is the aggregate $$$ value of all of its draft pick slots in the first ten rounds (added together) of a given Rule 4 Draft (including compensation picks).

The value of each draft slot in the first ten rounds (including supplemental rounds) is determined by the MLB Commissioner prior to each Rule 4 Draft.

The pre-assigned $$$ value of any slot in the first ten rounds is subtracted from a club's Signing Bonus Pool if the club fails to sign the player selected with that pick.

A bonus paid to a player selected in any round below Round 10 (rounds 11-40) is exempt from the Signing Bonus Pool limit as long as the bonus is less than $100,000. If the bonus is $100K or more, it is applied to the club's Signing Bonus Pool.

PENALTIES:

If a club spends 0-5% over club's Signing Bonus Pool - penalty is 75% tax on overage.

If a club spends 5-10% over club's Signing Bonus Pool - penalty is 75% tax on overage and loss of 2013 1st round pick.

If a club spends 10-15% over club's Signing Bonus Pool - penalty is 100% tax on overage and loss of 2013 1st and 2nd round picks.

If a club spends 15%+ over club's Signing Bonus Pool - penalty is 100% tax on overage and loss of 2013 & 2014 1st round picks.

Important to note that slot bonuses are much more than previous recommended slot bonus $$$

Holy Cow. Seems like going up to 5% over is worth it if there is someone you really like, but more than that is extremely counter productive due to the loss of picks.

2 runs, 0 hits that inning for Iowa.
------
That will be fun when it translates to the parent club.

holy f'n faceplant a.gordon (KC)...he seems to be okay, but he nailed himself on a diving catch...and he made the out. ka-ching.

AZ PHIL:

It is great that there seems to be some actual talent coming into the fold recently with respect to the position players.

However, has anyone on the mound knocked your socks off this spring? In a Cub uniform, that is.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 7:26pm — The E-Man

AZ PHIL:

It is great that there seems to be some actual talent coming into the fold recently with respect to the position players.

However, has anyone on the mound knocked your socks off this spring? In a Cub uniform, that is.

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E-MAN: At Extended Spring Training, Rob Whitenack looks to be coming back nicely from his June 2011 TJS. Once he gets his pitch count up, he should be back with Tennessee. He is a very good SP prospect. And Gerardo Concepcion had a solid first start a week ago at Maryvale vs MIL, before getting cuffed around a bit in his second start last Saturday vs OAK.

At Minor League Camp last month I was most impresssed by LHP Kyler Burke, RHP Ben Wells, RHP P. J. Francescon, RHP Yao-Lin Wang, and RHP Michael Jensen (all ended up at Peoria), RHP Tony Zych (the closer at Daytona), RHP Dallas Beeler (rotation starter at Tennessee) and LHP Jeffry Antigua (#1 lefty reliever at Tennessee), and LHP Chris Rusin (rotation starter at Iowa).

The thing to remember about Kyler Burke is that he is eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent (so-called 6YFA) after this season, so it's not a matter of taking a chance that he could get selected in the December 2012 Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the 40-man roster after the season. He can just walk away.

So unless he implodes or suffers a career-threatening injury sometime prior to the close of the 2012 season, Burke MUST be added to the Cubs 40-man roster no later than 5 PM on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series.

Again, it's NOT a matter of adding him to the 40-man roster so that he won't get selected in the next Ruile 5 Draft. It's because he can be a free-agent.

Thanks for this report, Phil. When I read it, I had an unfamiliar feeling. I think it's a prospect boner. Should I be using a cream or a balm or something?

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