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Isaac Paredes' Bat Pushes Him To Double-A

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If there was any doubt that shortstop Isaac Paredes was ready for a promotion, it was erased almost immediately.

The 19-year-old picked up at Double-A Erie right where he left off at high Class A Lakeland. In his first 10 games he went 11-for-29 (.379) with a home run.

But look past the batting average, and it’s easy to see why the Tigers felt Paredes was ready for a new challenge.

Acquired from the Cubs along with Jeimer Candelario last July for reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila, Paredes has quickly established himself as the prospect with the highest ceiling in the system.

"He’s continuing to show advancement with his bat,” vice president of player development Dave Littlefield said. "And I think one of the highlights of his overall game is that there’s a lot more there with the bat. He’s got a real good feel to hit, he sees the ball early and he gets the fat part of the bat on the ball a lot.”

In the month prior to his promotion to Erie, Paredes paced the Florida State League in hitting. With 12 home runs for Lakeland, he became the first teenager to reach double-digit home runs since Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Dominguez in 2009.

It’s not just Paredes' bat speed or fluid swing that have the Tigers excited for the future. They believe his plate discipline should translate to higher levels.

In June and July, Paredes hit .307/.365/.550 in 39 games for Lakeland with 13 walks and 15 strikeouts.

"To move a 19-year-old from A-ball to Double-A, there aren’t many of them,” Littlefield said. "You want to feel confident the guy is going to be able to handle it emotionally, defensively, offensively and have some success.”

Thus far, Paredes has excelled, but there is work to be done still.

Paredes, whom the Cubs singed out of Mexico in 2015, showed up to spring training a little bulky. If he’s going to stay at shortstop, he must shed some pounds and become more flexible. He plays second base and third base, too.

"He’s got some work to do, but he knows it,” Littlefield said. "We think his bat, with the quality of his actions and how he plays defensively, he can be an above-average major league player.”

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