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Cubs top prospect Javier Baez to be demoted after home run binge

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Javier Baez
Baez had a powerful spring before his scheduled demotion. (USATSI)

Just as has been the plan throughout the spring, the Cubs will relegate top prospect Javier Baez to minor-league camp Monday, reports the Chicago Tribune. The heavily hyped shortstop went out with a bang, though.

In an exhibition game against Japan's World Baseball Classic team on Friday, Baez hit a walk-off, two-run homer. It was his second home run of the game. Then on Saturday, he did this:

Yes, four home runs in two games, including a streak in which he homered on three consecutive pitches.

He's making an impression on his teammates, too.

"It's unbelievable -- two homers yesterday, two more today -- and bombs. I'm very impressed," Alfonso Soriano said (via MLB.com). "He's got a lot of power. Very good defense, too. I'm very impressed, because he's only 20 years old. I hope we see him soon in the big leagues. [With] what he's showing at spring training, it looks like he's very close."

Not only that, but before Friday's walk-off bomb, Baez knew he was going to end the game. He told catcher Welington Castillo, who followed him in the batting order, as much.

“I said, ‘You're not hitting,'” Baez said (via Muskat Ramblings).

Baez enters his last big-league spring game Sunday hitting .324/.343/.706 with one double, four homers, eight RBI and six runs in 35 plate appearances, but that doesn't include his two-homer game against Japan. He tore up Low-A ball last season but struggled in his brief stint in High-A. Expect him to begin either there or Double-A this season.

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