Javier Baez homered in a major league stadium Sunday, something he hopes to do a lot of real soon for the Cubs.
Baez's long ball was the highlight of the Chicago contingent playing in Sunday's MLB All-Star Futures Game as part of All-Star festivities in Minnesota. In addition to Baez, fellow Cubs uber-prospect Kris Bryant played in the game, as did White Sox farmhand Micah Johnson.
Baez had the biggest day at the dish of the three, with his two-run homer the only hit from a Chicago prospect. The blast gave the World Team a momentary 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth, though Bryant and Johnson had the last laugh, as the U.S. Team prevailed, 3-2.
"It was great," Baez said after the game. "I was just looking for a fastball, and he threw me a curveball. ... I knew it was going to be in the zone, so I swung at it.
"It feels great. I just want to play in the big leagues and do the same thing."
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Baez passed Bryant, his Iowa Cubs teammate, on the way around the bases, and the third baseman had a message for his fellow infielder.
"As he was rounding the bases, I said, 'You've got to save those for the season. We need those,'" Bryant said. "But it's good to hit a homer on a stage like this, and I'm sure we'll have some stories to tell when we get back to Iowa."
"I need to hit some more during the season," Baez said with a laugh. "I've only got 14, and he's got 30 or 31. So hopefully I keep swinging the bat good and do it during the season."
Bryant struggled at the plate, going 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. That included a fly out to end the bottom of the third when the U.S. had the bases loaded. But it wasn't the results he was worried about.
"It was fun," Bryant said. "None of us really cared about how we did in the game, we're just here for the experience. ... Javy had a good at-bat there, and it was good to see him do that. I'm just happy for everybody involved."
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Johnson, meanwhile, went 0-for-2 in his two plate appearances.
"It was a good experience, that was a lot of fun," Johnson said. "It was fun, I enjoyed it. I didn't get a hit or anything, but I guess I'll save those for when they count, I guess."