The Cubs Friday named Javier Baez and Kyle Hendricks as their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year for 2013.
Baez had one of the best seasons of any minor-league player this season; he hit a combined .282 (146-for-517) with 34 doubles, four triples, 37 home runs and 111 RBI in 130 games between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. His 111 RBI and 75 extra-base hits led all of minor league baseball while his 37 home runs ranked tied for second. Baez is the first minor league player in 17 seasons to reach 30 doubles, 30 home runs, 100 RBI and 20 stolen bases in the same season since D.T. Cromer did so in 1996 for the Modesto A’s (40 doubles, 30 home runs, 130 RBI and 20 stolen bases).
Hendricks, acquired as part of the deal sending Ryan Dempster to the Rangers in July 2012, combined to go 13-4 with a 2.00 ERA in 27 starts between Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. He struck out 128 batters and walked just 34 in 166⅓ innings pitched, good for a 3.76 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Hendricks allowed just five home runs while limiting opponents to a .229 batting average. His 2.00 ERA was seventh-best among full-season minor league pitchers while his 166.1 innings ranked ninth.
Some of you lamented the fact that the Cubs didn't make the Dempster-to-Atlanta deal that might have brought Randall Delgado to Chicago. It's possible Hendricks could turn out to be better.
Both of these players have a chance to play for the 2014 Cubs at some point.
They'll be honored in a pre-game ceremony at Wrigley Field Saturday, September 21 before the 3:05 game against the Braves.