Friday, March 7, 2014

Why You Should Buy Javier Baez

Stephen Strasburg, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Jurickson Profar, Byron Buxton... Javier Baez?  This is the list of the #1 overall prospects over the past few years and I expect Baez to be included next year.  When each former #1 prospect appeared atop a majority of the Top Prospect lists preseason, their chrome autos surpassed the $100 mark, and usually by a lot.  So basically, I predict that Javier Baez will be next if he maintains his prospect status going into 2015.  Thus, I think it's a wise investment to snag any base autos you can get for under $100.

A lot of investors think they missed the boat on Baez, and normally I'd agree, since I usually stick to lower end guys who do not yet have the hype.  But Baez is a special player and the track record of #1 MLB prospects, especially when the vote is almost unanimous, is very profitable.

Many of the top prospects this year will no longer be eligible for prospect lists next year and the game is to correctly predict who will take their place.  Guys like Byron Buxton, Xander Bogaerts, Oscar Taveras, Taijuan Walker, Francisco Lindor, Archie Bradley, Noah Syndergaard, etc. have a decent chance to play enough for their Major League ball clubs.  So a lot of the top prospects will be deleted from the current Top Prospect lists.  Sano is out the entire 2014 season, so he should be towards the top of the list next year, as well as 2013 draft picks like Clint Frazier and Kris Bryant.  But with a track record, and hopefully monster 2014 season, Baez should get the nod over the younger guys and a player who did not play this season.

The other scenario is Baez plays enough in the majors to lose his prospect status.  He should head to the PCL (AAA), which is bar none the best hitter's league.  He will absolutely rake there.  And if he rakes enough for an early call up, you will make money if you bought now and sold when that happened.

Win-win situation.

Size: 6'2"  195 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Age: 12/01/1992 (21)
2013 Stats (combined A+ and AA): .282 AVG, 37 HR, 111 RBI, .920 OPS, 147 K, 40 BB

Sure, he swings at a lot of bad balls, but I'd be anxious too if I had the bat speed of Baez.  Keep in mind he wasn't even old enough to have a beer last year and he made AA pitching look like batting practice.  His patience will improve as he matures and learns that you don't see many mistakes at the higher levels, so you can't swing at everything.

Starlin Castro is blocking him, but another lazy season from Starlin could influence the Cubs to lean on Baez.  If Starlin is money, Baez can handle the hot corner at third base.  His footwork and arm are fine.  It's his glove and attention that needs work.  His 44 errors last year were due in part to fundamental lapses, and not a lack of talent.

As hot as he is so far this Spring, his glove and approach at the plate should land him in AAA for more seasoning, where he will put up some serious numbers, especially in the PCL.  His promotion will not be far behind.  Either way, I'm drafting him in every fantasy league and snagging his 2011 BDPP autos.

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