Candelario was born in the United states but moved to 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.
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 His fielding stats at third base has put him among one of the best Stats back it up
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.
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.