Photo: Ryan Young

50 in 50: Javier Baez

Draft : : Top Prospects
David Rawnsley        
Published: Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Javier Baez
SS-3B / Arlington Country Day High School

Bats-Throws:                R-R
Height/Weight:             6-1/205
Hometown:                   Jacksonville, Fla.
College Commitment:  Jacksonville
Birthdate:                     Dec. 1, 1992

 
SCOUTING PROFILE: Baez is one of two potential first-round picks in the 2011 high-school class that was born and raised in Puerto Rico before moving to the United States. The other is Montverde Academy shortstop Francisco Lindor. Baez was raised in Toa Baja, while Lindor moved to Toa Baja from Cagaus in 2004. They played together in the same Toa Baja youth league, though in different age groups, as Lindor is a year younger, until Baez moved to the United States late in 2005. Baez and Lindor have had their paths cross a couple of times since. Both were members of the East team at the 2010 Aflac All-American Game and the two shortstops also played against each other on Feb. 18 in what might have been the most heavily-scouted game of the spring. The contest between Arlington Country Day and Montverde Academy drew an estimated 150 scouts. Baez was solid in that game, going 1-for-3 with a triple and walk, while Lindor wowed scouts with a 3-for-3 performance. Both players made several excellent fielding plays. Baez has continued to play at a fast pace and was hitting .463-13-42 through 25 games. He had been charged with just one error. While Lindor has been an established prospect since his freshman year, Baez’ rise up the prospect charts has been relatively recent. He was essentially an unknown commodity in the scouting community when he joined the East Cobb Braves for the Perfect Game-East Cobb Invitational last June 10-13. Off that performance, he was immediately invited to Perfect Game’s National Showcase the next week, and his tools and competitiveness stood out on a national stage. Baez has a strong, square-shouldered build, but is a loose, agile athlete with plenty of quick-twitch ability. He has outstanding bat speed from the right side with an extended, aggressive swing with plenty of lift that enables him to drive balls up the alleys and over the fence to any part of the field. While Baez’ offensive potential intrigues scouts the most, he has impressive defensive tools, as well, that enable him to play a number of positions. He plays shortstop for his high-school team, but spent last summer primarily at third base due to his thicker build and 6.9-second speed in the 60. The temptation may exist for the team that drafts Baez to install him at third base, given the tremendous offensive contribution he could make at that position, but Baez has solid shortstop actions, good first-step quickness, nice balance on the run and plenty of arm strength. Another position that has intrigued scouts is catcher, and Baez tried his hand at there briefly at the East Coast Professional Showcase last August. He got passing reviews, considering his extreme lack of experience there. Perhaps more than any player in this draft class, Baez plays the game with a combination of Latin flair and competitive fire, which can be viewed positively or negatively, depending on the context each individual scout sees it shown. Baez initially committed to Florida’s Chipola Junior College, and also signed just recently with Jacksonville University in the current NCAA signing period.

 
Projected Draft Position: Second half of first round.
--DAVID RAWNSLEY

 
Perfect Game Events Attended

    2010 National Showcase
    2010 AFLAC All-American Game
    2010 WWBA World Championship

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