JEIMER CANDELARIO
Image of Candy or Baby Ruth
Nickname:   Candy or Baby Ruth Position:   3B
Home: N/A Team:   NATIONALS
Height: 6' 1" Bats:   S
Weight: 220 Throws:   R
DOB: 11/24/1993 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 46  
Birth City: New York, NY
Draft: 2010 - Cubs - Free agent - Out of the D.R.
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2011 DSL DSL-Cubs   72 249 50 84 16 2 5 53 4 4 50 42 .443 .478 .337
2012 NWL BOISE   71 278 34 78 14 0 6 47 2 1 26 55 .345 .396 .281
2013 MWL KANE COUNTY   130 500 71 128 35 1 11 57 1 0 68 88 .346 .396 .256
2014 MWL KANE COUNTY   63 244 32 61 19 3 6 37 0 1 18 45 .300 .426 .250
2014 FSL DAYTONA   62 218 24 42 10 2 5 26 0 3 23 44 .275 .326 .193
2015 SL TENNESSEE   46 158 21 46 10 1 5 25 0 0 22 21 .379 .462 .291
2015 CAR MYRTLE BEACH   82 318 42 86 25 3 5 39 0 1 20 62 .318 .415 .270
2016 PCL IOWA   76 264 44 88 22 3 9 54 0 2 38 53 .417 .542 .333
2016 SL TENNESSEE   56 210 30 46 17 1 4 23 0 0 32 46 .324 .367 .219
2016 NL CUBS   5 11 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 .286 .091 .091
2017 AL CUBS $535.00 11 33 2 5 2 0 1 3 0 0 1 12 .222 .303 .152
2017 AL TIGERS   27 94 16 31 7 0 2 13 0 0 12 18 .406 .468 .330
2017 IL TOLEDO   29 121 13 32 9 1 3 19 1 0 5 32 .297 .430 .264
2017 PCL IOWA   81 286 39 76 27 3 12 52 0 0 41 72 .361 .507 .266
2018 IL TOLEDO   2 8 3 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 .333 .250 .250
2018 AL TIGERS $548.00 144 539 78 121 28 3 19 54 3 2 66 160 .317 .393 .224
2019 IL TOLEDO   39 153 30 49 10 2 9 33 0 0 22 35 .416 .588 .320
2019 AL TIGERS   94 335 33 68 17 2 8 32 3 1 43 99 .306 .337 .203
2020 AL TIGERS $216.00 52 185 30 55 11 3 7 29 1 1 20 49 .503 .369 .297
2021 AL TIGERS   149 557 75 151 42 3 16 67 0 0 65 135 .351 .443 .710
Personal
  • Though Candelario is a US citizen by birth — he was born in New York City — he was raised in the Dominican Republic.

  • In 2010, Jeimer signed with the Cubs (see Transactions below).

  • In 2012, Baseball America rated Jeimer as the 20th-best prospect in the Cubs organization. They moved him up to #8 in the winter before both 2013 and 2014 spring training(s). He fell to #24 in the spring of 2015. But in the offseason before 2016 spring camps opened, they had Candelario at 10th-best prospect in the Cubs farm system. He was at #7 in the spring of 2017.

  • After Candelario tore up the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League in his 2011 pro debut, the Cubs aggressively jumped him to Boise as an 18-year-old. The youngest regular in the NWL, he ranked fourth with 47 RBIs. He was third in the Midwest League in doubles in 2013.

  • Jeimer has a real good attitude. And nothing bothers him.

  • It should come as no surprise that Tennessee Smokies third baseman Jeimer Candelario is a top-ranked prospect in the Chicago Cubs’ farm system.

    The 21-year old has baseball in his blood.

    Candelario was born in New York City, but at the age of 5, his father, Roger, moved his family to the Dominican Republic to open up a baseball training center for Dominican talent. It was an opportunity the younger Candelario wouldn’t let go to waste.

    “My dad and my mom are from there, so it was just moving back for them,” Candelario said. “I was a young kid and didn’t know what to expect. I was there every time and started practicing with him. The kids work with my dad so they can get signed (by a Major League Baseball team). I took advantage of it.”

    It wasn’t long before Major League Baseball teams came knocking on Candelario’s door. And while as an American citizen he could have taken the opportunity to go to college in the United States and get drafted, it never came to that.

    At just 16, Candelario was already being courted by multiple teams, including the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. But it was the Cubs who closed the deal and brought Candelario back to the United States in 2011.

    “I never looked at getting drafted, because I’d lived in the Dominican Republic for so long,” Candelario said. “I just tried to be the best player I could be and put myself in the best position to get signed. I signed in September. I was excited to be with a new group of people. My dad always worked hard for me to get me ready. I really appreciate the time he spent with me. I learned a lot.

    “In baseball, you’re going to be in some tough times,” Jeimer said. “You’re going to struggle. You have to learn how to handle it because that’s going to happen. I learned a lot about myself. I had to learn that I can’t be perfect every time.

    “I couldn’t let negative stuff get in my head,” Candelario said. “I had to stay positive. I had to focus and practice hard. I worked a lot this offseason and now it’s helped me this year. My preparation is better and my focus is better. I’m young and I still have a lot to learn. I’m trying to get better at everything.” (Adam Greene - Aug. 2015)

  • Jeimer Candelario and Johnny Cueto live about five minutes from each other in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, and they play softball together. Softball? Cueto doesn't pitch in the games.

    "He likes hitting," said Candelario.

  • Candelario finished 2017 spring training as a Chicago Cub, but realizes he is one of several valued players with the World Champion who could be in play at the trade deadline as the Cubs look to add for the stretch drive.

    “You always see the rumors,” Jeimer said. “But I don’t concentrate too much on that. They’re going to make the decision. I don’t make that decision. My job is to be better every day and be a good teammate.”

    As long as it might last.

    “I’m here with the Chicago Cubs,” he said. “You never know where you’re going to play in the big leagues. But I’m focusing right now to be better every day. And whatever decision the Cubs make, I will do it."

    Jeimer counts patience among his best virtues.

    “Always stay patient,” said Candelario, who also knows his way to a lasting stay in the majors might wind up coming in a trade. The Cubs could put some of their young bats on the block to acquire pitchers they don’t have at the top of the system.

    “Right now I’ve just been concentrating on being the best—right now—that I can be, and everything’s going to take care (of itself),” he said. “I can’t take anything for granted. I have to work hard.” (Help from Gordon Wittenmyer - 5/26/2017)

  • 2018 season: As could be expected, Candelario went through a few ups and downs in his first full season in the big leagues. In 2018, Candelario had months like April, when he hit a robust .284/.354/.529. But he also had months like June when he it .172/.304/.344, or July when he hit .182/.217/.260. Overall, Candelario hit .224/.317/.393 with 19 home runs and 54 RBI through 144 games.

    A switch-hitter, Candelario hit for power from both sides of the plate this season, but was more consistent as a righthanded hitter. As a left-handed hitter, Candelario batted just .199/.303/.358 with 13 homers, compared to .291/.356/.486 with six homers from the right side. It should be interesting to see if his splits will begin to even out as his career progresses. His batting average was a bit lower than some were expecting this season.

  • Nov 13, 2020: Candelario began the year in a battle for his spot on the Tigers' roster. He ended up becoming Tiger of the Year. The switch-hitting corner infielder was voted to the honor by members of the Detroit chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

    Candelario becomes the fourth consecutive first-time winner of the award, which had been dominated largely by Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander from 2008-16. Matthew Boyd won the award in 2019, Nicholas Castellanos in '18 and Justin Upton in '17.

  • 2020 Season: Voted by the Detroit chapter of the BBWAA as the Tiger of the year, Jeimer Candelario was clearly the best Detroit Tigers player.

    If there is one player who is one of the most debated Detroit Tigers in the last few seasons, Jeimer Candelario is probably on the top of the list. Admittedly, among our contributors here at Motor City Bengals to start the season the first time back in March, the position battle that was the most stomach-turning to talk about was who was going to be the starting third baseman between him and Dawel Lugo.

    His fielding stats at third base has put him among one of the best. And he had a good eye, walking around a 10% clip for his career. Consistency at the plate seemed to elude Jeimer, but in 2020, he seemly put it all together.

    Stats back it up. With increases in his barrel rate, (10.3%), exit velocity, (90.2%), xBA (.277) and hard-hit contact (47.1%), and even a small decrease in strikeout rate (23.8%) all while going from third base to first base, Candelario was able to put up numbers consistency all while starting the season 0-for-17.

    He was writing an opus in August with a slash line of .356/.389/.622 and an OPS of 1.012. (32-for-90). In September, he was having some back issues towards the end of the month but he did walk more (14 walks in September to just 4 in August). The biggest gains were how he mashed fastballs to the tune of a .356 batting average, up from a .212 in 2019 and a .303 batting average to off-speed pitches with a much-improved exit velocity of 93.9, compared to 87.1 the season before.

    It is worth noting like several other Tigers, he did struggle against breaking balls. I am not trying to nitpick but it is worth nothing. Overall, the improvement from the previous few seasons is a good story to discuss. For all the bad baseball we have seen in Detroit recently, Jeimer did provide to be one of the highlights in this strange, Twilight Zone feel to the shortened season. (Roger Castillo - Nov. 14, 2020)

  • 2021 Season: He finished the regular season with a slash line of .271/.351/.443.

    He led the league in doubles with 42, and he also smacked 16 home runs and three triples.

     The 27-year-old registered a 122 OPS+, 119 wRC+, and bWAR of 3.7.

    He finished the year on a tear, too. He posted an OPS of .904 from September 1 on.

    Overall, over the past seasons, he’s batting .278 with an OPS of .814 and OPS+ of 125.  (Sam Leweck October 27, 2021)

  • Nov 9, 2021: Candelario repeats as the Tiger of the Year, becoming the first player to earn the honor in back-to-back seasons since Miguel Cabrera.

  • 2022 Season: Candelario experienced an extreme regression and struggled to create damage against four-seam fastballs. He hit .217 with 19 doubles, 13 home runs, a 6.0% walk rate and a 23.3% strikeout rate in 124 games, along with a .272 on-base percentage and a .633 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

  • Dec 13, 2022: Candelario reuniting with Martinez: In the seven years since Jeimer Candelario was called up to the Cubs for his Major League debut, the conversations he shared with then-bench coach Dave Martinez still stand out to him. This coming season, they will have more of those chats -- Martinez as manager of the Nationals and Candelario as a veteran infielder in his lineup. 

    “When I got to the big leagues, he gave me a lot of confidence, he talked a lot with me,” Candelario said in an introductory Zoom. “Being there now in Washington, him being the leader and the manager of the team, it just brings me more confidence. Go there and have some fun, like he always said, and dominate.” Candelario, 29, signed a one-year deal with the Nationals on Nov. 29. After five-plus seasons in Detroit, he was non-tendered by the Tigers on Nov. 17, creating the opportunity for a reunion.

    “He's an unbelievable kid,” Martinez said last week at the Winter Meetings. “He's got great character. He's a leader in the clubhouse. For me, when we talked about getting him, it kind of was a no-brainer.”

    The Nationals and Candelario are hoping for a turnaround in Washington, D.C., following a down 2022 performance during which Candelario hit .217 with 13 homers, 50 RBIs and 19 doubles. This, one year removed from batting .271 with 16 home runs, an American League-high-tying 42 doubles and 67 RBIs.

    “He’s a young player that we think is going to have a bounce-back season,” general manager Mike Rizzo said last week at the Winter Meetings. “He showed that for a couple of seasons in a row before last year that he was a player whose needle was pointing north. We’ve taken flyers on players with some past success and a down year, and we think this guy is a good bounce-back player.”

    The switch-hitting Candelario wants to tap into what made him so successful in connecting for extra-base hits in 2021. He ranked No. 3 among all third basemen in fWAR and bWAR from ‘20-21, behind only José Ramírez and Manny Machado.

    “I have to be consistent with the strike zone,” Candelario said. “I know I can hit. I’ve got to be able to be a gap-to-gap guy and the doubles and the home runs are going to come. I’ve just got to be able to control the strike zone, control my movement, see the ball well and just put the barrel on the ball, and a lot of good things are going to happen. For me, I’ve just got to keep it simple and try to help my team win -- and that for me is really special.”

  • Candelario provides defensive versatility the Nationals covet. He has played third base for the majority of his career and expressed interest in playing the hot corner in an everyday role. Candelario will compete with Carter Kieboom, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, for the starting job in Spring Training. He also has experience at first base and noted his willingness to help wherever needed.  “The best player will play third, and we’ll make other arrangements for the other players,” Rizzo said. 

    Wherever Candelario plays, it will be alongside a pair of 22-year-olds in shortstop C.J. Abrams and second baseman Luis García. Candelario was their age when he reached the Majors, and he will be looked to as the veteran voice Martinez lauded. 

    “Leadership starts doing the little things the right way -- it’s leading by example, doing the stuff that I’m supposed to do,” Candelario said. “We have a lot of young guys. Me going there to the Nationals, I have to put myself in a great position to help the young guys – and help the young guys the right way. I have to bring the energy, I have to bring the mindset [of], ‘We’re winning, we’re winning.’ We need to do the right things to win, and that’s what we’re going to do.” (J Camerato - MLB.com - Dec 13, 2022)


    TRANSACTIONS



  • 2010: Jeimer signed with the Cubs for $500,000 as a 16-year-old, out of the D.R., via scouts Jose Serra and Marino Encarnacion.

  • July 31, 2017: The Cubs acquired lefty reliever Justin Wlson and backup catcher Alex Avila for the pennant stretch.

    The Cubs dipped into their farm system, sending top prospect Jeimer Candelario, Class A shortstop Isaac Paredes, and a player to be named later or cash to the Tigers

  • Jan 15, 2021: Candelario and the Tigers avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year deal for $2.8 million.

  • Marcg 23, 2022: The Tigers and Candelario avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $5.8 million.

  • Nov 18, 2022: Jeimer chose free agency.

  • Nov. 29, 2022: The Nationals signed Jeimer.
Batting
  • Candelario is an impressive switch-hitter with strong hands for at least average power from a loose swing and impressive bat speed from both sides of the plate. He has strong hands. He could provide 20-homer power. And he brings much-needed energy to a team.

    He's more advanced from the left side. His swings from both sides of the plate are impressive, however. (Spring, 2018)

  • Jeimer has an advanced approach for his age. He is patient, recognizes pitches well and uses the whole field. He is going to hit for a good batting average and get on base at a high rate. He has the impressive plate discipline to manage his at-bats.

  • Candelario does a good job of controlling the strike zone and puts the ball in play consistently. (Spring, 2017)

  • He has a fluid swing from both sides of the plate.

  • Jeimer has is willing to use the entire field. But he strikes out too often.

    Candelario stays balanced in the box with a little knee tuck to get his swing started, then he stays in the strike zone well with his line-drive swing plane.

  • The key to Jeimer developing is understanding what pitchers are trying to do to get him out.

  • Candelario ended 2014 repeating low Class A, though he did help Kane County win the Midwest League title with nine hits and nine walks in a 7-0 playoff run. His offensive approach regressed from patient to passive, as he took too many early count fastballs and was constantly behind. He may have been struggling with what the coaches were wanting from him.

    "This year (2015) he had a chance to relax and play and let his talent take over,” Cubs farm director Jaron Madison said. “He has a great swing from both sides of the plate and he can drive the ball to all fields from both sides of the plate. It was just a confidence thing with him.”

    He hit for more power after being sent down from High Class A, and scouts like his swing (particularly from the left side) and power potential from both sides of the plate. Club officials respected that he took accountability or his problems; he simply has to find a way to be more aggressive. (Spring, 2015)

  • Sept 21, 2019: Jeimer knows the numbers. He can see them every time he comes to the plate and looks up at the giant left-field scoreboard. He doesn’t need to be reminded of his hitting struggles. He just wants to think about what he can do to get out of them.

    “I don't want to worry about numbers now, because it is what it is,” said. “I just want to be able to finish strong and go to my house and get a little break there, and then think about stuff that I can do to get better and go from there.”

    Candelario is batting .198 (63-for-318) this season with a .623 OPS. He’s one of seven Major League hitters with at least 300 plate appearances this season who is batting under .200, but the only one of the group who isn’t in double digits for home runs. His second-half numbers from last year aren’t much different, making this essentially a year-and-a-half-long skid.

    The Tigers moved Candelario from third to first base for this final month to allow Dawel Lugo a chance to show what he can do at third. Candelario’s offensive struggles were already a concern for him at the hot corner. With the hitting standards higher at first base, Miguel Cabrera potentially looking to get back to first for some games next year if he can improve his balky right knee, and a veteran addition possible there to boost an anemic offense, a Candelario rebound becomes even more important.

    Manager Ron Gardenhire said a player usually needs about 1,500 at-bats before a team can make a fair judgment on whether he’s going to be able to hit. Candelario is currently just shy of 1,000.

    “I think winter ball would be a good thing for him,” Gardenhire said. “He has to find his swing. He hasn’t been driving the ball.”

    That’s in Candelario’s plan. He is already trying to regain the power in his swing, working with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon on gathering momentum again before he fires at a ball. He wants to ingrain it into muscle memory by next season.

    “I just want to be able to see the ball and hit it, not worry about too much,” he said.

    That’s where winter ball comes in. Candelario didn’t play last winter to allow himself to heal up, and he seemed to miss the extra swings. He wants to get back there this winter, having played two years ago for Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League.

    “Winter ball is very good for us,” Candelario said. “You see Fernando Tatis Jr., last year he played winter ball and you see what he did. For young guys, you want to play.” (J Beck - MLB.com - Sept 21, 2019)

  • 2020 Improvements: Candelario has answered plenty of questions about his wrists amidst his hitting struggles over the last season and a half. But as he prepared for a position and roster fight at third base while trying to recapture his swing, he spent this critical offseason focusing on his legs.

    “Everybody needs to use the legs to hit,” Candelario said early in 2020 spring training. “You see Francisco Lindor, you see all those guys, they’re really good at using the legs to hit the ball, not the body. So I learned how to balance everything solid on my lower half. That helped me to be consistent. I continue to work on that in the cage so I can bring that to the big leagues.”

    Candelario hit .244 (21-for-86) with nine doubles, two triples, one home run, 14 RBIs, and a .770 OPS for Toros del Este, the eventual Dominican League and Caribbean Series champions. He did not play in the Caribbean Series, giving him time to rest up for Spring Training. But the winter stint allowed him to get his swing and timing down in time to compete for a job in camp.  (Jason Beck - Feb. 19, 2020)

  • Sept 14, 2020: Candelario was named the AL Player of the Week. It’s the first career Player of the Week Award for Jeimer.

    Candelario went 11-for-26 (.423) with three homers, four doubles, four walks, nine RBIs and a 1.423 OPS over eight games last week. He’s the first Tiger to win the AL Player of the Week Award since Nick Castellanos in 2018.

Fielding
  • Jeimer signed with the Cubs as a third baseman, but he has had to work very hard to stay there and avoid a move across the diamond to first base.

    With his blocky body and slow feet, Candelario worked hard to improve from a 40 to a 55 grade on defense at third base.

    Candelario's pre-pitch anticipation and consistency on the routine play have improved at third base, where he’s a solid-average defender despite modest range. His above-average arm has become more accurate as he’s cleaned up his footwork.

  • Candelario has the soft hands, smooth actions, and arm strength to play the hot corner.

    Candelario is a grinder defensively as well, with modest first-step quickness and below-average speed. He has average arm strength and decent range at third base with solid actions.

    At the end of the day, he's a third baseman. He has made huge strides defensively there. (Spring, 2016)

  • Jeimer has the agility to handle slow rollers, throwing runners out at first base.
  • In 2019 and 2020, Jeimer played both first base and third base for the Tigers. In 2021, it was third base only. (Baseball-Reference.com - May 2022)
Running
  • Jeimer does not run fast. He has below-average speed for a 40 grade, at best.
Career Injury Report
  • May 14-25, 2018: Jeimer was on the DL with left wrist tendonitis.

  • June 2-26, 2019: Jeimer was on the IL with left shoulder inflammation.

  • Aug 6-Sept 3, 2019: Jeimer was on the IL with left thumb sprain.

  • Sept 25-Oct 2, 2020: The Tigers placed Jeimer on the 10-day injured list with a low back strain.

  • Oct 12-15, 2021: Jeimer was on the IL.

  • June 7-20, 2022: The Detroit Tigers placed third baseman Jeimer Candelario on the 10-day injured list due to a dislocated left shoulder.