Javier Baez Promoted to DaytonaAugust 4, 2012 - Midwest League (MWL) Peoria Chiefs
Baez, who was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month on Friday, was 2-for-4 with his 12th homer on Friday night in his final game as a Chief. In 57 games he hit .333 (71-for-213) with 12 homers, 33 RBI, 10 doubles, five triples, 33 RBI and 41 runs scored. Baez slugged .596 with a .979 OPS and also stole 20 bases in 23 attempts. He completed his stint with the Chiefs by collecting his 22nd multi-hit game in 57 total games played. He had seven 3-hit games and 10 multi-RBI games.
Since he joined the Chiefs on May 28, Baez leads the MWL in slugging percentage, OPS and total bases while ranking second in hits. Baez is third in homers, fourth in RBI, batting average and extra-base hits and fifth in runs scored. The 19-year-old is also fifth in triples and seventh in stolen bases. Baez hit three of his 12 home runs at Peoria Chiefs Stadium where he hit .311 in 30 games with 17 RBI. He hit .388 against lefties and .317 against righties. Baez collected a 16-game hit streak from July 4 - 21 and was named the MWL Hitter of the Week on July 16.
Baez was drafted ninth overall in the 2011 draft out of Arlington Country Day High School in Jacksonville, Florida. As a high school star at Arlington Country Day, Baez hit .771 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 joined 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.
Saunders was drafted by the Cubs in the 32nd round this June out of Marietta College in Ohio. He began his pro career in June with the Mesa Cubs in the Arizona Rookie League and hit .493 with three homers and 17 RBI in 17 games. He had five doubles and 23 runs scored with five stolen bases. Saunders was promoted to High-A Daytona in mid-July and hit .310 with three doubles and four RBI in 12 games. He scored eight runs in the Florida State League with four steals and four walks. In 29 games as a pro, Saunders is hitting .425 with 15 multi-hit games. He went 6-for-6 in his third ever professional game with Mesa on June 23 and also had a 5-for-6 game on July 5. Saunders is 18-for-37 (.486) against left-handed pitching as a pro and has at least one hit in 20 of 29 games started.
The Alliance, Ohio native helped Marietta to the 2012 NCAA Division III National Championship, their second straight, in Appleton, Wisconsin this May. As a senior at Marietta in 2012 he hit .441 and led the nation in hits with 94 and in runs scored with 80. He stole 41 bases in 47 attempts and collected 19 doubles, seven triples, five homers and 48 RBI. As a junior in 2011 he hit .385 in 51 games with three homers, eight doubles, eight triples, 53 RBI, 54 runs scored an 27 steals as Marietta went 47-4 and won the D3 title. At Marietta he played with current Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitcher Mark Williams.
A 22-year old, Saunders was a first team All-American in 2012 at Marietta and the ABCA Mideast Region Player of the Year. Former Chiefs manager Jim Tracy, the current skipper of the Colorado Rockies, played at Marietta in the 1970s.
Saunders will be in uniform for the Chiefs as they host first-place Clinton Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. Saturday's game features entertainment from Birdzerk presented by the Peoria Zoo and a post-game Fireworks Show presented by Spring Green. There will also be a Pitch-In For Charity Tennis Ball Toss presented by Humana post-game. The Peoria Chiefs Stadium Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. Tickets are also available online at www.peoriachiefs.com and by calling 1-866-MYTICKET.
Midwest League Stories from August 4, 2012
- Four Loons Homers Not Enough - Great Lakes Loons
- Whitecaps Walk 10 As Lugnuts Storm Back - West Michigan Whitecaps
- Bees End 12-Week Journey to .500 - Burlington Bees
- Chiefs Fall 8-1 Saturday - Peoria Chiefs
- Cougars Drop Series Opener to Kernels - Kane County Cougars
- Snappers Lose Despite Strong Pitching from Wheeler - Beloit Snappers
- Wisconsin holds off Beloit for narrow victory - Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
- Bees' Three-Run Eighth Dooms Quad Cities, 7-4 - Quad Cities River Bandits
- Meyer sets saves record in 8-7 comeback win - Lansing Lugnuts
- Dragons Score 4 in 9th, Win 6-5 - Dayton Dragons
- Aguila, Hawks Stun Captains - South Bend Silver Hawks
- Silver Hawks Win on Late Homer - Lake County Captains
- Hot Rods-TinCaps Suspended on Saturday - Bowling Green Hot Rods
- TinCaps and Hot Rods Suspended - Fort Wayne TinCaps
- Bees' Pitching Shines in 1-0 Win in Wisconsin - Burlington Bees
- Pair of Cougars Alumni Make MLB Debuts in Same Night - Kane County Cougars
- Javier Baez Promoted to Daytona - Peoria Chiefs
- Loons Win Wild One in Extras - Great Lakes Loons
- LumberKings Drop Finale in Cedar Rapids - Clinton LumberKings
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.