The Cubs announced on Thursday that Javier Baez and Arodys Vizcaino will not participate in the upcoming Arizona Fall League. Baez is in Chicago, where he and Kyle Hendricks, will be recognized prior to Saturday’s game against the Braves as the team’s Minor League Players of the Year.
Javier Baez had a monster season at the plate while making progress on and off the field. Baez hit .282/.341/.578 in 130 games between Daytona and Tennessee with 34 doubles, four triples, 37 home runs, 111 RBI and a .920 OPS. Baez went 4-for-19 with two home runs, four RBI, four runs scored and two walks in the Smokies’ five playoff games.
The Cubs also announced the RHP Arodys Vizcaino will not pitch in the Arizona Fall League. Vizcaino was one of four pitchers the Cubs sent to this year’s AFL. Vizcaino will pitch in the Instructional League instead so the Cubs can monitor his innings and his rehab from Tommy John surgery a little better.
Jed Hoyer indicated that Albert Almora could be bumped from the taxi squad to take Javier Baez’s full time spot on the Mesa Solar Sox’s roster. Hoyer said that the AFL was more important for Almora, Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant than Baez. Baez did not miss any developmental time this season where Almora and Soler lost time due to injury and Bryant missed time after the draft. As has been reported, the Cubs are viewing the AFL as a way to get Almora, Soler and Bryant to catch-up with the valuable time they missed this year.
The Cubs could add another player to Mesa’s roster. Right now, the Cubs will have six prospects participating in the AFL: OF Jorge Soler, OF Albert Almora, 3B Kris Bryant, RHP Matt Loosen, RHP Dallas Beeler and RHP Armando Rivero
As for Baez gaining experience at second and third base this fall, the Cubs said he would be moved around during big league camp in Spring Training before beginning the season as Iowa’s shortstop.