To no one's surprise, Javier Baez is headed to the Arizona Fall League. Through Monday, Baez is hitting .287/.347/.583 combined between High-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee, with 33 doubles, four triples, 35 home runs, 108 RBI and 20 stolen bases. (He's actually hit more homers in Double-A, 18, than in High-A, in fewer games.)
This will be Baez's second tour of duty in the AFL; he hit .211/.250/.406 there with four home runs in 57 at-bats last fall before being injured in one of the weirdest ways possible:
How did Baez wind up with a non-displaced fracture on the tip of his right thumb? To borrow a medical term from Lou Piniella, it might be classified as a Cubbie occurrence. Celebratory high-five or (something like that), general manager Jed Hoyer said Thursday. They dont know exactly when he did it, but it was some sort of odd, non-baseball-playing injury. It certainly wasnt anything negative. He didnt punch a wall or anything. But it sounds like he was celebrating and might have hit it wrong.
Anyway, obviously Baez was fine after that and he's put up outstanding numbers in the minor leagues this year. He's the one guy in the system that likely has "superstar" written on him. Baez turns 21 in December.
Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant will also be on the roster of the Mesa Solar Sox, where Cubs prospects play in the AFL. Cubs pitchers heading to the AFL: Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino.
Albert Almora will be on the "taxi squad"; players on the "taxi squad" can play twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays. AFL play begins October 8; the championship game will be held November 16 and will be televised on MLB Network, which also will carry the "Rising Stars" Game (AFL All-Star Game) November 2.
Josh will have more analysis of the Cubs' AFL players and what this all means coming up Thursday.