Baez Hoping to Tatoo Peoria Opponents

Published 06/06 2012 11:20PM

Updated 06/07 2012 12:01AM

WMBD/WYZZ-TV - PEORIA, Ill. -- Javier Baez is making a good first impression on the Chiefs.

The Cubs top draft in 2011 says Peoria is making a good first impression on him, too.

"I love the place, the ballpark, a big stadium," said Baez, who joined the Chiefs from extended spring training on May 28. "The team is pretty good, too. I love it."

The 19-year-old shortstop has been putting on quite a home run show in batting practice. Even though he says he's not trying to put on an exhibition.

"I was hitting the ball hard. I don't know if I hit homers or whatever," said Baez. "I'm just doing my job."

He may not be trying to draw attention but he's doing it naturally. Baez had three hits in the Chiefs' 4-0 win overf Cedar Rapids Wednesday.

"Natural ability," said Chiefs manager Casey Kopitzke. "You can see it in everything he dies. HItting, throwing, running the bases. It's a gift he's got."

Baez thinks it's a gift to be playing baseball for a living. Born in Puerto Rico, he moved to Florida when he was 12 so he could be ready to play high school baseball in the United States.

"There's more baseball over here," explained Baez. "There you only play two games a week. Here you play every day. I got used to it. It was hard to learn English. Now I can talk better, I don't need a translator."

Baez is happy to let his skills do the talking now. And just in case you forget what his goal is, he has the Major League Baseball logo tattoed on his neck.

"I'm going to keep working hard, trying to get there," said Baez. "I'm going to play my game, see who likes it and who doesn't. Keep working hard."

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