WMBD/WYZZ-TV STAFF - PEORIA, IL - The Chicago Cubs and Peoria Chiefs have announced that shortstop Javier Baez has been promoted to the High-A Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League. Taking his place on the roster will be infielder Tim Saunders who arrives from Daytona.
Baez, who was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month on Friday, was 2-for-4 with his 12th homer on Friday night in his final game as a Chief. In 57 games he hit .333 (71-for-213) with 12 homers, 33 RBI, 10 doubles, five triples, 33 RBI and 41 runs scored. Baez slugged .596 with a .979 OPS and also stole 20 bases in 23 attempts. He completed his stint with the Chiefs by collecting his 22nd multi-hit game in 57 total games played. He had seven 3-hit games and 10 multi-RBI games.
Since he joined the Chiefs on May 28, Baez leads the MWL in slugging percentage, OPS and total bases while ranking second in hits. Baez is third in homers, fourth in RBI, batting average and extra-base hits and fifth in runs scored. The 19-year-old is also fifth in triples and seventh in stolen bases. Baez hit three of his 12 home runs at Peoria Chiefs Stadium where he hit .311 in 30 games with 17 RBI. He hit .388 against lefties and .317 against righties. Baez collected a 16-game hit streak from July 4 - 21 and was named the MWL Hitter of the Week on July 16.
Baez was drafted ninth overall in the 2011 draft out of Arlington Country Day High School in Jacksonville, Florida. As a high school star at Arlington Country Day, Baez hit .771 with 22 home runs, 20 doubles and six triples in 115 plate appearances as a senior in 2011. He led Country Day to the National Association of Christian Athletics Championship. He signed with the Cubs last summer instead of heading to Jacksonville University on a baseball scholarship.
Baez joined former first round picks Lou Montanez (2000), Ryan Harvey (2003), Mark Pawelek (2005), Josh Vitters (2007), Brett Jackson (2009) and Hayden Simpson (2010) who have played in Peoria since the affiliation switch to the Cubs in September 2004. Montanez and Vitters were both selected third overall while Harvey was the sixth pick. The Cubs did not have a first round pick in 2004 and both Tyler Colvin (2006) and Andrew Cashner (2008) skipped over the Midwest League. Current Chiefs hurler Kyler Burke was a supplemental first round pick of the San Diego Padres in 2006. In the 1980s eight first round Cubs picks played in Peoria most notably Rafael Palmeiro, Derrick May, Mike Harkey and Lance Dickson. In addition from 1995-2004 the Chiefs saw seven first-round picks of the St. Louis Cardinals including Chris Duncan, Daric Barton and Chris Lambert who all made the Major Leagues. Both Bob Kipper (1982) and Mark Doran (1983) were California Angels first round picks who played in Peoria as well.