The Best of 2014: No 5, Baez hits the game-winning homer in his MLB debut

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(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Every baseball season is filled with memorable moments, and this year’s Cubs campaign was no exception. Cornerstone players had bounceback seasons, newer additions stepped up, and top prospects made their big league debuts. To wrap up the year, we asked you to pick your top 10 moments of 2014. From now until the end of the year, we’ll be unveiling one moment per day.

No 10: Rizzo’s late-season walk-off homer
No 9: Hendricks makes an easy transition to the bigs
No 8: Castro, Rizzo named All-Stars
No 7: Maddux gets inducted into the Hall of Fame
No 6: Wrigley Field celebrates its 100th birthday

Javier Baez hits the game-winning home run in the 12th inning of his major league debut—Aug. 5 @ Colorado

Heading into the 2014 season, Cubs fans were champing at the bit to get a first look at top prospect Javier Baez, who hit 37 minor league home runs and was named the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2013.

Even though his first five big league at-bats were nothing spectacular—the then-21-year-old went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts—Cubs fans in attendance at Coors Field got what they came for when Baez stepped up to lead off the 12th inning of a 5-5 game.

The young slugger took the first pitch he saw from southpaw Boone Logan to deep right-center field to give the Cubs a 6-5 lead and an eventual win.

“I’ve faced him before, and he threw me all curveballs,” Baez said of Logan, whom he saw in the minors when the left-hander was on a rehab assignment. “He has a good curveball. I wasn’t sitting on the curveball. I was sitting on the fastball, and he threw it, first pitch.”

While Baez showed great promise, he mostly struggled in his first major league action in 2014. Still, he managed to demonstrate the power potential that has had scouts raving for years and created an unforgettable Cubs memory.

2 Comments

sakly, this auspicious first appearance was followed by an abysmal 53 games in which the young fellow struck out in about half of his plate appearances hitting .169 with 5 homers and 20 RBIs.If he is not traded as part of a package to fill any holes which arise after ST.He will no doubt spend next season at least in the minors learning the strike zone and the importance of making contact. Visions of him as the everyday second baseman are wildly premature.

Speaking of wildly premature, writing off a player with the power that Baez showed is just that. Considering the fact that throughout his pro baseball career Baez has consistently struggled after a promotion initially, only to adjust and dominate the pitching at that level. Especially now that they have a top notch hitting coach I see no reason not to expect that the necessary changes in his swing, approach etc. will be made so Baez can assume the role of the Chicago Cubs starting second baseman.

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