Exciting times for Cubs in Arizona Fall League
The only thing better about the Arizona Fall League for the Cubs and their fans would be if the new spring-training facility would be ready to host the Mesa Solar Sox. The new place won’t be open yet, but many of the Cubs’ top prospects will be playing for Mesa beginning Oct. 8.
The team’s last three No. 1 draft picks – Kris Bryant, Albert Almora and Javier Baez -- will join the Solar Sox. Jorge Soler, last year’s big signing out of Cuba, also will head to Arizona. They’ll be joined by pitchers Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino.
The Arizona Fall League is a showcase for top minor-league talent. The Cubs will use it to make up for long time because of injuries. Almora, last year’s No. 1 draft pick, had the beginning and end of his season for the Kane County Cougars cut short because of injury. He’s currently on the shelf with a groin injury. He will be a "taxi-squad" member of the Mesa team, being activated on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Soler, who opened at Class A Daytona, has dealt with a stress fracture in his left tibia.
Vizcaino, obtained in 2012 from Atlanta in a trade, has been on the 60-day DL for the major-league club all year as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Beeler has been out with a finger injury at Class AA Tennessee.
Baez has torn it up between Daytona and Tennessee. He has combined for 35 homers, 105 RBI and a .930 OPS. For Tennessee in Monday’s 6-0 win over Mobile, Baez hit his 18th homer for the Double-A club as it clinched the second-half title in the Southern League. Baez is 39-for-100 with 7 homers and 27 RBI in August. Also in that game, Loosen got the victory with 7 innings of 3-hit ball.
Bryant, taken with the second overall pick this year, has a line of .368/.400/.684 for an OPS of 1.084 at Daytona. He has combined for 7 homers between short-season Boise (A) and Daytona.