Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago confirmed early on Monday that Chicago Cubs shortstop prospect Javier Baez will be called up and will make his major league debut at second base on Tuesday night in Colorado. This signifies the beginning of a new era in Cubs baseball and should provide fans some excitement over the rest of the season.
Cubs fans aren't the only people who are convinced of Baez's potential moving forward. The very popular baseball stat site FanGraphs also appears convinced that the Cubs middle infielder will be a star in the very near future.
FanGraphs puts together "Oliver Five-Year Projections" for prospects based on a number of factors. Among the factors used in the Oliver projection are the past three seasons of player data, aging, regression and the major league transition among others. It is generally regarded as the most accurate predictor of a minor leaguer's numbers once he reaches the pros.
The Oliver projection for Baez on FanGraphs is rather generous and predicts he will put up some gaudy power numbers. It is important to remember that these projections essentially mean that Baez has the potential to put up these numbers, so he should be close to them. However, it does not guarantee he will fill out his stat line as completely as the Oliver projection says he will.
Here are the numbers that FanGraphs projects Baez to produce over the next five seasons, including this season (combined between the minors and majors).
Clearly, projections aren't going to do anything to squelch Cubs fans' optimism for Baez. If he can come close to those projections and other top prospects can step up in the ways they're supposed to, the Cubs have a very bright future ahead of them.