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Cubs Promote Javier Baez To Double-A Tennessee

The 20-year-old prospect shortstop's play in the season's first half has him headed to a higher minor-league level


The Cubs' No. 1 pick from 2011 (and ninth overall choice), 20-year-old Javier Baez, will play the second half of this season at Double-A Tennessee; he was promoted after playing Friday's game for High-A Daytona. The Daytona Beach News-Journal has the story:

The Cubs made the move official following Daytona's 5-2 win over the Brevard County Manatees at Space Coast Stadium in Viera.

Baez, 20, went 1 for 3 in the game. He'll leave the Florida State League after hitting .274 with a league-best 17 homers and 59 runs scored. The 2O11 first-round draft pick also was second in total bases (16O), fourth in RBIs (57), fifth in slugging (.535) and sixth in hits (82).

You know about Baez from Josh's daily wraps and from his colossal home runs hit in spring training this season. Just three weeks ago, he became only the second player in the 94-year history of the Florida State League to hit four home runs in a game (and please try to ignore the fact that the other player to do that, Cubs prospect Ryan Harvey, never played in the major leagues).

Here's what I'd like to know, from you, the BCB reader. Baez turns 21 in December. Despite still having to work on plate discipline (21 walks, 78 strikeouts this year in 337 plate appearances) and his defense (31 errors in 73 games at shortstop), there is at least the possibility that he will go into 2014 spring training with a chance to make the big-league roster.

So the question is: should Baez be placed on the 40-man roster and get a September callup this year?

Arguments for: he's an exciting player that even casual fans have heard of; it might show those casual fans that the system is beginning to produce. A callup could create a bit of a buzz about a team going nowhere, and maybe put a few people in the seats in September.

Arguments against: he'll have two months of Double-A ball, still fewer than 1,000 minor-league at-bats, and he could be overmatched against big-league pitching. It wastes an option year, and gets him big-league service time, which could come into play in future contract negotiations.

I've set up a poll here. Vote, and weigh in via the comments. Personally, I think I'll vote "maybe" -- I can see both sides of this argument. I'd like to hear what you think.