12/5 Baez to stay at short for now

Javier Baez, the Cubs’ first-round pick in the June 2011 First-Year Player Draft, is creating a lot of buzz as he gets closer to the big leagues. However, he’s a shortstop, and the Cubs already have a talented shortstop in Starlin Castro. Do the Cubs move Baez? Not now, Theo Epstein said.

“At some point, creating options and creating versatility is a good thing,” Epstein said Thursday. “In Javy’s case, he’s got a tremendous combination of instincts and athleticism which makes us think he’ll be a natural at playing other positions.”

Epstein said amateur scouting reports say Baez could play every position, including catcher.

“I think it’ll be an easy transition for him if and when that time comes,” Epstein said. “He hasn’t even reached Triple-A yet. There’s plenty of time to do it. You don’t want to take shortstop away from a kid. Once you move off shortstop, it’s really hard to move back.

“There may be a time in the future when he moves on a permanent basis, and there may be time when we move just to give him versatility,” he said. “In Spring Training, he’ll play plenty of shortstop and that might be a time to move him around as well.”

Baez, 21, was named the Cubs’ Minor League player of the year after batting .282 with 37 home runs and 111 RBIs at Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee.

– Carrie Muskat

3 Comments

Very happy to hear of this decision also.

Not so fast with assumiing Castro is or will be the ss of the future. We fans will not tolerate another lame season from Starlin as he gave us in 2013, not if we expect to be a contender. Theo can`t say it, but I do not doubt for a New York minute that his thinking coincides with that of myself; i.e. Baez may very well be the Cubs` ss of the future.

Agreed. And starlin also had a terrible second half of 2012 so it’s more than just a bad year. They said Baez has instincts to play the position. That’s something Star just doesn’t have. Keep Baez there.

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