Javier Baez

Javier Baez future WAR

Tuesday, Cubs top prospect Javier Baez will join the Major League club. Folks who follow the Cubs have long sung Baez’s praises as one of Cubs prospects that will bring the Cubs that elusive World Series title. Talent evaluators swoon over Baez’s elite bat speed and big boy power, especially from a premium defensive position (which he’ll likely move off of).

With all this helium for Baez, I wanted to take a look at what we can expect from him, in terms of WAR, as a 21 year old getting his first taste of big league action. I’ve taken a few historical examples of very young players making their debuts in the middle infield. I’ve added in for recent comparison the first seasons for Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Mike Trout.

 

Year Age Games WAR WAR/Game
Asdrubal Cabrera 2007 21 45 1.6 .036
Jose Reyes 2003 20 69 2.3 .033
Edgar Renteria 2009 19 106 3.2 .030
Roberto Alomar 1988 20 143 4.3 .030
Luis Castillo 1996 20 41 1.2 .029
Elvis Andrus 2009 20 145 3.6 .025
Mike Caruso 1998 21 133 2.7 .020
Ozzie Guillen 1985 21 150 2.2 .015
Starlin Castro 2010 20 125 1.6 .013
Delino DeShields 1990 21 129 1.3 .010
Bryce Harper 2012 19 139 5.1 .037
Manny Machado 2012 19 51 1.6 .031
Mike Trout 2011 19 40 0.7 .018

The Cubs have 46 games left in the 2014 season. It’s reasonable to assume that Baez will get plenty of playing time. So let’s assume he starts in 42 games over the rest of the season. He would have to post a 1.6 WAR or better to top this list of middle infielders and 1.7 WAR to top Harper’s .037 WAR/Game in 2012. For comparison to Trout over his 2 MVP first 2 full seasons, he had .668 WAR/Game and Barry Bonds had .054 WAR/Game over his entire 22 year career. Just some perspective there for you.

I’m taking a poll of what people expect from Javier Baez and I’ll be posting a follow up after I collect all the data. The poll is open until Thursday night so be sure and vote. Be sure and sign up for the email newsletter so you can get the poll results in your inbox.

 

Photo Credit: Jake Roth – USA Today Sports

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