By Bruce Levine
Mesa, Ariz. (CBS) — The inevitable finally became a reality for superstar-in-the-making Javier Baez, as the Cubs sent the shortstop to minor league camp on Saturday to prepare for his first season of Triple-A baseball.
Baez, who hit five home runs in Cactus League play, was asked how long until he can make the jump to Clark and Addison.
“It all depends on how I feel when I play and how I do,” he said. “I will just go there (Iowa ) and play the game like I have been doing it. I just want to play hard every day.”
Baez must show he can handle shortstop or any defensive position before he is deemed ready to take a big league job. He admitted that some of his throwing errors in the past were due to perspiration and a sense of panic when he did sweat on the his hand.
“A lot of times my hand did sweat,” he said. “So it was like I was scared to throw it to first base. (Baez was referring to the fact when sweat or any substance get on a baseball it will tail or sail.) This year I have handled it pretty good.”
Baez will try to establish himself at Triple-A. He could move to second base in May or June to get ready for a major league promotion if he does well in Iowa. He also became educated on the process of starting the major league free agency clock and how teams look at that before promoting players too soon.
“I talked to a couple of players,” he said. “I sat with Bonifacio and Castillo and they explained it to me.”
“This is experience was even better than last year,” Baez added. “Hopefully next year I will be here ( majors) rather than there (minors).”