Top Cubs prospect Javier Baez had trouble adjusting to the Southern League when he earned a promotion one month ago. He's making that a distant memory.
Baez homered twice and plated four runs in the Double-A Tennessee Smokies' 10-5 win over the host Huntsville Stars on Thursday evening. The 20-year-old native of Puerto Rico has hit four homers, recorded seven RBIs and scored five times in his past three games.
It was the third multi-homer game of his career and his second of the season. Baez slugged four homers and plated seven runs on June 10 in Class A Advanced Daytona's 9-6 win over the Fort Myers Miracle.
After striking out and grounding out to shortstop in his first two at-bats, Baez slugged a three-run homer to center field off Stars starter Taylor Jungmann with one out in the fifth inning. Then in the eighth, MLB.com's No. 13 prospect victimized Arcenio Leon, adding a solo shot to center field.
Baez hit .274 with 17 homers and 57 RBIs in 76 Florida State League games, but he struggled initially following his move.
He started off 1-for-18 (the lone hit was a homer in his second Double-A game against Huntsville), but Thursday's outing raised his average to .229 -- the highest it has been since his callup.
On Thursday, Tennessee first baseman Justin Bour and right fielder Rubi Silva belted solo homers and Marcos Mateo worked around a hit and two walks while striking out three batters over 1 2/3 innings to earn his first win of the year.
Huntsville's Frankie De La Cruz (1-2) surrendered five runs on four hits and three walks over 1 2/3 frames. He struck out four batters.
Stars right fielder Rene Tosoni homered, doubled and scored three times while leadoff hitter and center fielder Chadwin Stang was 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.