(Candy; Baby Ruth)
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lb.
Third baseman Jeimer Candelario has seen action in the majors starting in 2016, primarily with the Detroit Tigers.
Candelario began his career in 2011 when he was signed for the Chicago Cubs by scouts Jose Serra and Marino Encanacion. Although born in the United States, he grew up in the Dominican Republic, and therefore did not have to go through the amateur draft. He hit .337/.443/.478 in 72 games for the DSL Cubs in debut. His average declined each season through 2014, and his OBP and slugging percentage stagnated or declined as well. Still, going into 2013, he was ranked the #8 prospect in the Cubs chain by Baseball America and in 2014, he was again rated #8. At 19, in 2013, he had 35 doubles and 11 home runs in 130 games; the next year, he had 29 doubles and 11 dingers. In 2015, he rebounded to hit .277/.339/.431 with 10 home runs, 35 doubles and 64 RBI in 128 games between the Myrtle Beach Pelicans and Tennessee Smokies, earning Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star and MiLB.com Organization All-Star honors. After the campaign, he played for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .329/.371/.610 with 5 home runs and 15 RBI in 21 games to be named to the All Prospect Team and a Rising Star. Going into 2016, BA ranked him the #10 prospect in the Cubs system. He began the year at Double A, making the Southern League All-Star team. On June 8th, he was promoted to Triple A for the first time; after hitting .333/.452/.600 in 25 games with the Iowa Cubs, he was called up to the majors.
He made his big league debut on June 3, 2016 against the New York Mets. Facing All-Star Noah Syndergaard, he struck out in his first and second at-bats, but managed a single in his third, then struck out again versus Logan Verrett in his final at bat. He only played 5 games for the Cubs, going 1 for 11 (.091). With Iowa, he finished the season at .333 with 9 homers and 54 RBI in 76 games, giving him a minor league batting line of .286/.380/.469 in 131 games, with 39 doubles, 13 homers and 77 RBI. With most other organizations, he would have been considered a top-line prospect, but the Cubs were teeming with promising young players and he was a bit lost in the shuffle as 2017 started. He played 11 games, hitting .156, but was mainly with Iowa, where he hit .266 with 12 homers and 52 RBI in 81 games. On July 30th, he was one of two prospects (Isaac Paredes being the other) traded by the Cubs to the Detroit Tigers in return for catcher Alex Avila and reliever Justin Wilson.
Jeimer's Detroit start was promising, ripping American League pitching to a .330/.406/.468 line with 9 extra base hits in 94 at bats. He was staked to the third base job in 2018, with Nicholas Castellanos moving to the outfield, and had a tepid first full season, batting .224/.317/.393 with 19 home runs and 78 runs scored in 144 games. The roof caved in on him in 2019, as he was sent back down to the AAA Toledo Mud Hens on June 2nd, after hitting just .178 over the first two months of the season with Detroit. He was back at the end of the month, but made a second trip to the bushes in early August, with his BA still below the Mendoza Line at .197, before returning to the Bengals in September. Overall, he hit .203/.306/.337 in 94 games. He was outstanding with Toledo, however, where he hit .320 with 10 doubles and 9 homers in 39 games, but he was unable to translate that into success at the higher level. He then seemed to find his swing again in 2020, although the games cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic prevented him from putting up impressive counting stats. In his 52 games, however, in spite of starting the year in a nasty 0-for-19 slump, he hit a solid .297 with 11 doubles and 7 homers, scoring 30 runs and driving 29. His OPS+ was an excellent 135 - the highest of his career, as he played mostly first base. He led his team in doubles and tied for the lead in runs scored with Victor Reyes, while finishing second in RBIs behind veteran Miguel Cabrera. He was named the Tigers' Player of the Year.