Yesterday the Chicago Cubs promoted infielder Jeimer Candelario to the major league roster. He’s been crushing Triple-A pitching all spring (more on that in a moment) and is clearly ready to contribute if the Cubs can get him into the lineup. He was promoted as the 26th-man for yesterday’s double-header but word is that he’ll stay with the major league team rather than return to the Iowa Cubs.
Candelario was signed by the Cubs as a free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2010. He’s been a steady producer at all levels and posted a solid 2016 season in the Pacific Coast League, hitting .333/.417/.542 in 264 at-bats for the I-Cubs.
Candelario ranked eighth on the pre-season 2017 Chicago Cubs Top 20 prospects list with the following commentary:
8) Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Grade B-: Age 23, hit .283/.376/.464 between Double-A and Triple-A with 13 homers, 39 doubles, 70 walks, 99 strikeouts in 474 at-bats; looks blocked in Chicago but would make great trade bait as a switch-hitter with OBP ability, power potential, and above-average defense at third base; ready for a trial now but where? ETA: 2017.
2017 has been quite successful: .340/.443/.649 in Des Moines with 12 doubles, four homers, and 16 walks in 97 at-bats. There’s literally nothing left to prove down there.
Candelario is a switch-hitter, listed 6-1, 210, born November 24, 1993. Other than a lack of running speed, he offers solid tools including above-average power, a strong arm, and an excellent feel for the strike zone. His defense at third base has improved a great deal over the last three seasons and he can play the position at the major league level. He also has some experience at first base, but doesn’t run well enough to be attractive as an outfielder.
He’s ready for a full trial now but is blocked from regular playing time at the moment by Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Barring injuries or unforeseen circumstances with other players, expect Candelario to be a hot commodity on the trade market later this summer. If he stays with the Cubs, he’ll be an excellent bat off the bench.