- Doug Padilla, Chicago White Sox beat reporter
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CHICAGO – Top Chicago Cubs infield prospect Javier Baez showed appreciation to his most ardent supporters not long after a thumb injury essentially ended his Arizona Fall League season.
Baez injured his left thumb Saturday and the Cubs are checking to see if the tip of that thumb is fractured. Regardless of the severity of the injury, he is expected to start the 2013 season on time.
Baez took to his personal Twitter account to acknowledge fans and fellow players that wished him well in his recovery.
The 19-year old was the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft and showed promise this past summer in his first season in professional baseball. He batted .333 in 57 games with Single-A Peoria, earning him a promotion to Single-A Daytona where he struggled with the adjustment and batted .188 in 23 games.
Indications are that he is expected to return to Daytona to begin the 2013 season with a spot at Double-A Tennessee waiting at some point if he produces.
A natural shortstop, Baez could end up making his eventual Cubs debut at third base but isn’t expected to be in Chicago for two to three years. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro just signed a seven-year contract extension in August.
Baez had been playing both shortstop and third base in Arizona. He was batting just .211 in 14 games, but did have 16 RBIs and four home runs, including a mammoth shot to center field early in the AFL schedule.