Chiefs Add 2011 1st Round Pick Javier BaezMay 28, 2012 - Midwest League (MWL) Peoria Chiefs
Baez was the Cubs first round pick last June, the ninth overall selection of the MLB draft out of Arlington Country Day High School in Jacksonville, Florida. Born in Puerto Rico in December 1992, the 19-year-old is ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs #2 prospect behind former Chief Brett Jackson. Last season he made his pro debut in the Arizona Rookie League with the Mesa Cubs and collected four hits in three games with two doubles, two steals and two runs scored. Baez finished the season with two appearances for the Boise Hawks in the Northwest League going 1-for-6 with a RBI in the regular season. He had one pinch-hit at bat in the NWL playoffs.
As a high school start at Arlington Country Day, Baez hit .711 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 joins 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.
Hernandez, 19, hit .210 in 43 games for the Chiefs this season with two homers, two doubles, three triples and 12 RBI. He stole two bases and scored 18 runs. Hernandez started slow with a .105 average in April before hitting .2309 in May with five extra-base hits and 12 runs scored. Last season Hernandez hit .333 in Mesa with 16 doubles, five triples and 42 RBI in 51 games. A native of the Dominican Republic, Hernandez signed with the Cubs in July 2009 and is ranked as the Cubs #16 prospect by Baseball America.
The Chiefs homestand continues Monday at 2:00 p.m. with a Memorial Day celebration and Military Appreciation Day. All active military and veterans get in free at the Box Office while all fans get half-price tickets since it is a Monday home game. Tickets are available at the Peoria Chiefs Stadium Box Office, by calling 1-866-MYTICKET or online at www.peoriachiefs.com.
Midwest League Stories from May 28, 2012
- Lugnuts continue hit parade in 14-7 rout - Lansing Lugnuts
- Lugnuts Smash Captains 14-7 - Lake County Captains
- Bandits Blast Kernels 16-6 - Cedar Rapids Kernels
- Hot Rods Double up TinCaps, 14-7 - Fort Wayne TinCaps
- Dragons Homestand Preview for Games Starting Wednesday - Dayton Dragons
- Segovia Homers Twice as Hot Rods Roll - Bowling Green Hot Rods
- Bees' Pitching Falters - Burlington Bees
- Big Innings Get River Bandits 16-6 Win over Kernels - Quad Cities River Bandits
- Snappers Outlast Cougars in 12 - Kane County Cougars
- LumberKings Explode on Memorial Day - Clinton LumberKings
- Loons Lose on Memorial Day, 6-2 - Great Lakes Loons
- Hawks Pull Away Late, Oust Loons 6-2 - South Bend Silver Hawks
- Chiefs Fall on Late Ratters Rally Monday Afternoon - Peoria Chiefs
- Rattlers win third straight in Peoria - Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
- Whitecaps Top Dragons 3-1 in Memorial Day Meeting - Dayton Dragons
- Dragons Add Former Big 12 Pitcher of the Year - Dayton Dragons
- Dan Reynolds joins the Kernels from Tempe; Brian Diemer to Inland Empire - Cedar Rapids Kernels
- Chiefs Add 2011 1st Round Pick Javier Baez - Peoria Chiefs
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