Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs Prospect

We’ve been constantly complaining about our never-ending winter in Chicago, ailment but things are looking hot in Mesa, sildenafil Arizona for Spring Training. With the first day of spring this Thursday and two weeks until Opening Day, cialis it seemed fitting we turned our attention to baseball.

Both the Cubs and the White Sox are busy narrowing down their teams, and there’s one player we’ve had our eye on for a while: Cubs prospect Javier Baez, our HAM of the Week.

The 21-year-old Puerto Rican played shortstop with the minor-league Tennessee Smokies in the Double-A leagues, but his strong performance at Cubs Park throughout the past two months could earn him a spot in the major leagues someday.

He’s been ranked as the 4th overall best prospect, and the buzz surrounding him and former HAM of the Week (and another Cubs prospect) Kris Bryant is unimaginable, although it’s likely that both players will not be on the team’s roster until next year.

Baez, meanwhile, has hit 37 homers and 111 RBIs with the Smokies last season. With all the media hype surrounding him, it could also be a good move for the team that is looking to rebuild its organization.

Javier Baez, http://www.mlb.com

Javier Baez, http://www.mlb.com

Baez moved to Florida in 2005 and played baseball on his middle and high school teams. The Cubs selected Baez in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft, and he began his professional career playing shortstop for the Rookie Class Arizona League Cubs.

After floating from a few other teams, Baez was back with the Cubs for spring training the following year, and followed up with the Peoria Chiefs of the Class A Midwest League and the Daytona Cubs in the Class A-Advanced Florida State League. Baez led the latter with 17 home runs.

Baez ended the 2013 season with the Smokies in the Southern League, and was named both the FSL and Sothern League All-Star teams. The Cubs named him their Minor League Player of the Year, closing the season as the team’s top-ranked prospect and third in the Southern League.

He was also awarded the 2013 MILBY Award, given to the best Minor League Game of the Year, for his four home run and seven RBI game this past June.

Baez has seen more regular playing time in this year’s training camp since Starlin Castro’s injury, and is expected to play at second and third base to close out spring training. And there’s no doubt he’s got a lot of power:

 

Baez has a tattoo of the MLB logo on the back of his neck, which he says is because of his love for the game and his goal to get to the big leagues. The love for the sport runs in the family—his brother Roberto Baez plays shortstop for the San Diego Padres.

We’re definitely on Javier Baez Watch. And we think you should be too. Here he discusses his spring training progress with MLB.com:

Thankfully, Baez is pretty active on Twitter, posting in English and Spanish. Follow him at @javy23baez 

The Cubs plan to send Baez down to Triple-A Iowa for the 2014 season, but we think it will only be a matter of time before he takes center field on the North Side. Keep this one on your radar, ladies.

About the author: Hannah Gettleman is a native of the Northern Chicago suburbs. She received her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012 and attended every home Illini football game. Her love of Chicago sports comes from her dad, who has been in the same Fantasy Football league since she was six years old, and her mom, who plays in a 5-0 football pool. She’s also won the family March Madness pool four times in a row. An avid Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks and Cubs fan, she’s excited to share her love of sports and cute guys as the newest HAM Hunter. When she’s not glued to the television on Sundays, Hannah follows the latest in entertainment and red carpet fashion, and makes delicious Betty Crocker brownies. You can follow her at @hgettle12.

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