The Javier Baez era begins Tuesday.
The Chicago Cubs have promoted their 21-year-old hotshot prospect and he's expected to make his big-league debut Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies. Oh, and he'll be playing at Coors Field, quite the "welcome to the bigs" present for a player who has slugged 60 homers in his past two minor-league seasons.
Baez is the No. 7 prospect in the game according to Baseball America, and the second best prospect in the Cubs' organization behind powerful third baseman Kris Bryant, with whom Baez had been playing recently in Triple-A.
The two of them lead a talented list of prospects that fans are hoping will finally bring another World Series win to The North Side. There's also recently acquired shortstop Addison Russell, center fielder Albert Almora, right fielder Jorge Soler and the already promoted Arismendy Alcantara.
World Series hopes are years down the road, of course, but Baez's promotion will at least bring excitement to Cubs fans, who have been watching him feast on minor-league pitching since he was drafted in the first round in 2011.
In 2013, Baez went nuts, hitting .282/.341/.578 with 37 homers and 111 RBIs between Single-A and Double-A. He started slowly in Triple-A this season, but has rebounded to hit 23 homers with 80 RBIs. He's hitting .260 now, nearly 100 points higher than May 21 when he was hitting .178.
Baez is a natural shortstop, who has started to play second base in the minor leagues because the Cubs have Starlin Castro at short. Alcantara has been playing second base since he was promoted, but he can also play centerfield and figures to be there now that the Cubs have traded Emilio Bonifacio.
Enjoy your first glimpse of the future, Cubs fans.
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