Spring Training may be the most exciting part of the 2014 season for the Chicago Cubs as their top minor league prospects will be in attendance, including top prospect Javier Baez, but don’t expect him to be with the big league club until he improves his defense.
Baez was one of the top hitter in the minor leagues last season as he combined to hit 37 home runs and 111 RBIs in his two minor league stops last year, but the 44 errors at shortstop have to be rectified before Cubs management can begin to think about a potential promotion later this season.
“I’m going to try and play better and work on my defense,” Baez said Monday morning.
“A lot of my errors are I get a ground ball and I look at the runner and I lose where I’m going to throw the ball,” he said. Baez is expected to get some work at third and second base with Starlin Castro signed to a long-term deal and occupying shortstop. “I’m going to try and play either one and do my best.”
Baez put on a show during some Cactus League games last year with his penchant for tape-measure home runs, but don’t expect to see that at Wrigley Field until he can put rectify the biggest weakness in his game.
He’s already shown an improvement in his plate discipline as he has begun to take more walks, so provided Baez makes similar progress, the fans at the Friendly Confines could see him later this summer.
Whether Cubs fans can be patient enough to wait that long enough remains to be seen.