The young players representing the Cubs on the Mesa Solar Sox roster in the Arizona Fall League have not wasted any time over the first four games of the season.
Albert Almora did not play on Friday night, but he did not give away any at bats in his first two games. Almora has played both centerfield and right field, so far, and is 6-for-10 with one double, one triple, one home run, six RBI and five runs scored. Almora tripled in three runs in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game.
Kris Bryant launched his second home run in three games on Friday night. Bryant was the Solar Sox’s designated hitter and went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. After three games, Bryant is 7-for-14 with one double, two home runs, seven RBI, one walk and four runs scored.
Jorge Soler returned to the starting lineup on Friday and went 1-for-5 with two runs scored. Soler scored on a RBI single by Kris Bryant in the first inning. Soler is 3-for-16 with two doubles, four RBI and four runs scored in three games.
Wes Darvill started at the hot corner on Friday and went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks. Darvill is 2-for-4 with one home run, two RBI and two walks in two games.
On the pitching front, Armando Rivero has been very impressive in two appearances. Rivero struck out the side in order in his first outing, then worked around a leadoff double in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game without allowing a run to score. Rivero has allowed one hit, no walks and three strikeouts in two innings.
Dallas Beeler got the start on Friday night in Surprise and gave up one run on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts in three innings. Beeler picked off two batters from first base, threw 48 pitches, 30 for strikes and picked up the win.
Lendy Castillo made his second appearance in the AFL on Friday night. Castillo struggled with his command again and allowed one run on one hit with two walks, a wild pitch and no strikeouts in one inning of work. So far, Castillo has allowed four runs, one earned, on four hits with two walks, one strikeout and one wild pitch in two appearances (two innings).
Matt Loosen has made only one appearance so far in the AFL and allowed two unearned runs on two hits with one walk and one strikeout in two innings.
With the Cubs’ prospects impressing over the first week of action in the AFL, MiLB.com named the Cubs’ organizational All-Star team and several of the top young players in the system were named among the best in their respective leagues.
MiLB.com Organizational All-Stars
MiLB.com named the Cubs’ minor league All-Star team earlier in the week. The team is named based on overall performance in the minors for the 2013 season not the player’s status as a prospect.
The Cubs big league team had yet another rough year but the system as a whole had a solid season. Brandon Hyde, the team’s Director of Player Development, told MiLB.com, “We had a good year organizationally. Not only did we have three teams in the playoffs over here but we were in the Venezuelan Summer League playoffs and the Dominican Summer League playoffs too.”
Kris Bryant, Mike Olt and C.J. Edwards did not have enough time in the Cubs’ system to be eligible for the All-Star team.
Cubs 2013 Organization All-Stars
- Rafael Lopez – C
- Dustin Geiger – 1B
- Wes Darvill – 2B
- Javier Baez – SS
- Christian Villanueva – 3B
- Brian Bogusevic – OF
- Rubi Silva – OF
- John Andreoli – OF
- Arismendy Alcantara – Utility
- Kyle Hendricks – RHP
- Eric Jokisch – LHP
- Brian Schlitter – Reliever
Dan Vogelbach and Matt Szczur also had excellent seasons, as the report pointed out.
Florida State League Top 20 Prospects
Baseball America’s rankings of each league in the minors continued this week. After landing nine prospects among a possible 40 in the Northwest League and Midwest League, three of the top players in the Cubs’ system made BA’s list of the top 20 prospects in the Florida State League.
Even with finishing the season in the Southern League, Javier Baez ranked third in the Florida State League behind Byron Buxton (Twins) and Miguel Sano (Twins). Jorge Soler cracked the top 10 and came in as the eighth best prospect in the FSL despite not playing in the final two months of the season.
Pierce Johnson, as previously mentioned, quietly had a very good season. Baseball America ranked Johnson as the tenth best prospect in the Midwest League, then listed him at number 15 in the Florida State League.
Southern League Top 20 Prospects
To no surprise, Javier Baez was ranked among the top prospects in the Southern League as well. Baez came in at number three behind Yasiel Puig and the Diamondbacks’ Archie Bradley. Baez’s double play partner with the Smokies, Arismendy Alcantara, slipped in the top ten at number nine.
Twelve different Cubs’ prospects have been ranked among the top 20 in their respective leagues.