Cubs Name Javier Baez and Kyle Hendricks Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year
Club opens on Monday, March 31 at Pittsburgh; Home Opener Friday, April 4 vs. Philadelphia; Interleague play features six series vs. The A.L. East, including home-and-home series with the Yankees and trips to Boston and Toronto
CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs today named infielder Javier Baez and right-handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks the organization's Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.
Baez and Hendricks will be honored during an on-field ceremony prior to the Cubs 3:05 p.m. CT contest on September 21 against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field.
Baez, 20, combined to bat .282 (146-for-517) with 34 doubles, four triples, 37 home runs and 111 RBI in 130 games between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee in his second full professional season. His 111 RBI and 75 extra-base hits led minor league baseball while his 37 home runs ranked tied for second. Baez is the first minor league player in 17 seasons to reach 30 doubles, 30 home runs, 100 RBI and 20 stolen bases in the same season since D.T. Cromer did so in 1996 for the Modesto A's (40 doubles, 30 home runs, 130 RBI and 20 stolen bases).
A mid-season Florida State League All-Star, Baez began the year with Daytona and hit .274 (82-for-299) with 19 doubles, four triples, 17 home runs and 57 RBI in 76 contests. He became just the second player in the 94-year history of the Florida State League to hit four home runs in a game when he turned the trick, June 10 vs. Fort Myers, joining former Cubs farmhand Ryan Harvey, who did so July 28, 2006 vs. Clearwater.
Baez was promoted to Tennessee, July 6, and in his first action at the Double-A level, hit .294 (64-for-218) with 15 doubles, 20 home runs and 54 RBI in 54 games, helping the club to a post-season berth. Although he played in less than half of the 138-game Southern League schedule, his 20 home runs ranked fourth in the league.
Chicago's first round selection (ninth overall) in the 2011 draft, Baez has batted .286 (237-for-828) with 49 doubles, 10 triples, 53 home runs and 158 RBI in 215 career minor league contests. He owns a .904 OPS thanks to a .342 on-base percentage and a .562 slugging mark. Rated the organization's top prospect heading into the 2013 season by Baseball America, Baez has recorded a .934 fielding percentage (67 E/1,011 TC) in 203 games at shortstop.
Hendricks, 23, combined to go 13-4 with a 2.00 ERA (37 ER/166.1 IP) and a complete-game shutout in 27 starts between Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. He struck out 128 batters and walked just 34 in 166.1 innings pitched, good for a 3.76 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Hendricks surrendered just five home runs while limiting the opponent to a .229 batting average. His 2.00 ERA was seventh-best among full-season minor league pitchers while his 166.1 innings ranked ninth.
Hendricks was 10-3 with a 1.85 ERA (26 ER/126.1 IP) in 21 starts to begin the season with Tennessee, earning Southern League mid-season All-Star honors. He struck out 101 and walked just 26, averaging 7.2 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched. Hendricks recorded a 0.84 ERA (4 ER/43.0 IP) in his final seven starts with the Smokies, June 26-August 1, earning a promotion to Iowa.
Hendricks went 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA (11 ER/40.0 IP) in six starts for Iowa to close out the campaign, holding opponents to a .235 batting average, walking eight and striking out 27. He allowed one unearned run in 7.0 innings and earned the victory, August 8 vs. Fresno, in his first career Triple-A outing.
Acquired by the Cubs from Texas along with infielder Christian Villanueva for pitcher Ryan Dempster, July 31, 2012, Hendricks is 21-14 with a 2.42 ERA (94 ER/349.2 IP), three complete games and one shutout in 73 career minor league games, including 52 starts. Originally selected by Texas in the eighth round of the 2011 draft, Hendricks has surrendered just 16 home runs in 349.2 innings pitched, striking out 289 compared to 58 walks.