Results tagged ‘ Albert Almora ’

Arizona Fall League recap: 10/23/13

Both Kris Bryant and Wes Darvill got starts Wednesday night, while Albert Almora came in as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning for Mesa. Bryant and Darvill each recorded hits, but it wasn’t enough, as the Solar Sox fell to Scottsdale 2-1 in 10 innings. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.

Kris Bryant, DH – Batting third for Mesa, Bryant got off to a fast start, ripping a one-out double to left that advanced Taylor Lindsey (Angels) to third in the top of the first inning. Both runners were left stranded. That was Bryant’s only hit of the day. He finished 1-for-5.

Wes Darvill, RF – Darvill opened up the scoring in the top of the sixth, driving in Steven Souza Jr. (Nationals) from third. Almora was brought in as a defensive replacement for Darvill in the bottom of the ninth. Darvill finished 1-for-4.

Cubs prospect Dallas Beeler is scheduled to make his third start of the fall on Thursday. The right-hander will go up against Scottsdale’s Phil Irwin (Pirates). Beeler is 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA over six AFL innings. Jorge Soler is expected to bat sixth and play right field for the Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 CST.

Arizona Fall League recap: 10/22/13

Cubs prospects drove in both runs in a 4-2 Solar Sox loss to Surprise Tuesday night. The defeat drops Mesa to 8-3-1 on the season. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.

Albert Almora, CF – In Almora’s third at-bat, he reached on a fielding error, but after a pair of singles, the outfielder was left stranded on third. Almora put Mesa ahead in the seventh with a single, scoring Adrian Nieto (Nationals) from second. He finished the day 1-for-5 to drop his average to .379.

Kris Bryant, 3B – With runners on first and second in the top of the first inning, Bryant hit a line drive to center, scoring Brian Goodwin (Nationals) and giving the Sox an early lead. He singled again in the sixth inning to finish 2-for-4. Bryant leads the AFL in batting average (.438), home runs (4), RBI (13) and slugging percentage (.906).

Mesa heads out to Scottsdale Wednesday, where Matt Purke (Nationals) will take the mound for the Solar Sox opposite Hansel Robles (Mets). First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 CST.

Arizona Fall League recap: 10/18/13-10/19/13

As a team, Mesa struggled this weekend, falling 11-9 on Friday and 8-2 on Saturday. Despite not getting the best results, a few Cubs had some stellar games. Albert Almora and Kris Bryant are at or near the top of nearly every offensive category. Here are the highlights from this weekend’s action.

Friday, Oct. 18

Albert Almora, CF – In the bottom of the seventh inning, Mesa’s leadoff hitter ripped his fourth double of the fall, though Adrian Nieto (Nationals) was thrown out at home on the play. Almora went 1-for-6 Friday night.

Dallas Beeler, RHSP – Beeler had a rough second AFL start, going three innings and giving up three earned runs. His only strikeout was against Tyler Naquin (Indians), who led off the game. He faced four batters in the second inning, and got Garin Cecchini (Red Sox) to ground into a double play to end the frame. But Beeler just couldn’t stay out of trouble in the first and the third. His final line read: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. He owns a 6.00 ERA through two starts.

Kris Bryant, 3B – With men on first and second and one out in bottom of the third, Bryant ripped a ground-rule double to left-center field, scoring Taylor Lindsey (Angels). Jorge Soler drove him in two batters later. With Lindsey on second in his next at-bat, Bryant ripped a homer to left field. But the 2013 first-round pick wasn’t done there. In the fifth inning, he hit a solo shot to right-center field for his fourth homer of the fall. Bryant was 3-for-5.

Armando Rivero, RHP – Rivero came on in the ninth and gave up one earned run on two hits and a walk. He was credited for the loss.

Jorge Soler, RF – Soler singled in the bottom of the third to left field, scoring Bryant and moving Matt Skole (Nationals) to second. He singled again in the fourth, finishing the night 2-for-5.

Saturday, Oct. 19

Lendy Castillo, RHP – Castillo surrendered one hit in a scoreless sixth inning.

Wes Darvill, 3B – Darvill went hitless in four at-bats.

Matt Loosen RHP – Loosen fanned James Ramsey (Cardinals) and Mike Freeman (Diamondbacks), pitching a 1-2-3 fifth inning for Mesa.

Jorge Soler, RF – Soler recorded one of Mesa’s three hits in Saturday’s loss. He led off the seventh with a single, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on a Jett Bandy (Angels) double. He was 1-for-4 at the plate.

Mesa hosts Surprise Monday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 1:35 CST. Sammy Solis (Nationals) takes the mound for the Sox, opposite Miguel Pena (Red Sox). Bryant is expected to hit fourth and play third base for Mesa.

Arizona Fall League recap: 10/17/13

The Mesa Solar Sox ran their record to 7-0 in the Arizona Fall League Thursday behind four scoreless innings from Nationals prospect Matt Purke. The only Cub to see action was outfielder Albert Almora, who continues to impress after an injury-plagued 2013 season with Kane County. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.

Albert Almora, CF – Almora is hitting a cool .500 thus far in the prestigious fall league. The Cubs No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com, led off the third inning with a single to left field but was caught stealing by catcher Austin Hedges (Padres) one batter later. Almora finished the day 1-for-4.

The Sox are on the road to face Surprise in a Friday afternoon tilt. Cubs prospect Dallas Beeler will take the mound for Mesa opposite Will Lamb (Rangers). Almora, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler are all in the starting lineup.

Arizona Fall League recap: 10/15/13

Mesa is still unbeaten, after taking down Scottsdale 7-4 Tuesday. Albert Almora continued his successful fall season, while Jorge Soler and Armando Rivero got into the action as well. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s game.

Albert Almora, CF – After a few days of rest, Almora led off for the Solar Sox. The 2012 first-round pick drew a walk to start the bottom of the third and scored two batters later on a C.J. Cron (Angels) homer. The team batted around in the third. With men on second and third and two outs, Almora hit a ground-rule double to left-center field, scoring David Freitas (Athletics) and Dixon Machado (Tigers). Then in the bottom of the fifth with nobody on base, he recorded another double to right to finish the game 2-for-4 with a walk.

Armando Rivero, RHP – Rivero entered the game in the eighth inning and gave up a bloop double and a single to the first two batters he faced. Jarrett Parker (Giants) followed with a sacrifice fly. That was all the damage Scottsdale could do, however. RIvero’s final line read: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER.

Jorge Soler, DH – Soler singled in the bottom of the fourth and finished the day 1-for-5.

Mesa heads out to Peoria Wednesday, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:35 CST. Tommy Collier (Tigers) will take the mound for the Solar Sox while right-hander Matt Heidenreich (Astros) goes for the Javelinas. Kris Bryant will be batting fourth and playing third, and Wes Darvill will bat ninth and play second base for Mesa.

Arizona Fall League recap: 10/10/13

Mesa continued its offensive onslaught Thursday night, topping Salt River 8-1. Only outfielder Albert Almora and reliever Armando Rivero entered the game for the Cubs, but both made the most of their playing time. Here are the Cubs highlights from yesterday’s action:

Albert Almora, RF:  Almora slid over to right field to make room for Washington’s Brian Goodwin (No. 65 prospect overall, according to MLB.com) and batted first for the Sox. He began the night with a groundout and a flyout before leading off the fifth inning with a single to left. An error on a pickoff attempt got the 19-year-old to third, where he’d later score on a Goodwin fielder’s choice. With the bases loaded in the ninth, Almora tripled to center, scoring Matt Skole (Nationals), Max Muncy (Athletics) and David Freitas (Athletics). Goodwin drove him in later that inning. In all, Almora finished 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs.

Armando Rivero, RHP: Rivero entered the game in the ninth inning and gave up a leadoff double before recording a popout and a double-play to end the game. In two innings pitched this season, the right-hander has a 0.00 ERA with three strikeouts.

Arizona Fall League recap: 10/9/13

It took exactly two games for Cubs farmhands—a group that was already the talk of the Arizona Fall League—to get Arizona and North Side fans buzzing. All four Cubs position players saw action in the Solar Sox’s 13-3 win over Glendale, and all four made an impact. Their combined final line read: 8-for-14, 3 HR, 3 2B, 2 BB, 11 RBI, 8 R. Here’s what each player did yesterday.

Albert Almora, CF — Almora saw his first AFL action Wednesday, and got right to it, leading off the bottom of the first with a home run to left on the first pitch he saw. In the bottom of the second with runners on first and third, the 2012 first-round pick ripped a double to right, scoring Adrian Nieto (Nationals) and Dixon Machado (Tigers). He then led off the fourth with a sharp single to left field and would score three batters later on a Jorge Soler double. Almora again led off the fifth inning with a single to left, but would be stranded. He finished the day 4-for-5 with one home run and three RBI.

Kris Bryant, 3B — Batting fifth in the lineup, Bryant smashed a three-run homer in the bottom of the first, scoring Devon Travis (Tigers) and Zach Borenstein (Angels). Bryant singled to center in the bottom of the third and drew a walk in the fourth. The 2013 first-round pick did commit a fielding error in the top of the third, but no runs scored as a result. He finished the day 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI.

Wes Darvill, 3B — Darvill entered the game as a defensive substitute in the seventh and recorded a two-run home run in the eighth, scoring Soler, who reached on a fielder’s choice. It was his only at-bat of the day.

Jorge Soler, DH — Shifting from the outfield on Tuesday to designated hitter on Wednesday, the Cuba native’s big at-bat came in the fourth inning when he hit a three-run double that scored Almora, Travis and Borenstein. Soler finished 1-for-5 with a walk and three RBI.

Mesa heads to Salt River Thursday night, where they will see the Blue Jays’ top prospect in right-hander Aaron Sanchez (No. 20 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com). Washington’s Matt Purke will take the mound for Mesa, with first pitch scheduled for 7:35 central time. Lineups have not yet been posted.

Arizona Fall League opens Tuesday

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Albert Almora will represent the Cubs as a member of the Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. (Photo by Jason Wise)

The Arizona Fall League is upon us. Though many will be tuned into the MLB playoffs for the next few weeks, the AFL is the crystal ball of baseball, giving fans a glimpse of the game’s future stars.

Twenty-five of MLB’s top 100 prospects (according to MLB.com) will be participating in Arizona action, headlined by individuals like the Twins’ Byron Buxton and Pittsburgh’s Jameson Taillon. Even with those two budding stars, no organization has received more hype for the depth it’s bringing to the league than the Cubs. Three of the AFL’s top 10 prospects are from Chicago’s organization: Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant.

Each member of that trio has received his fair share of hype, but a few other Cubs prospects who had solid 2013 campaigns are hoping to give the Mesa Solar Sox a boost as well.

Albert Almora, OF — The 2012 first-round pick and No. 21 prospect in baseball impressed when healthy this season. He hit .329/.376/.466 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 61 games for Class-A Kane County. But he also missed the first month of the season, recovering from a broken hamate bone, and then was out of action from August-on, dealing with groin issues.

Dallas Beeler, RHP — Beeler got off to a fast start in 2013 with Double-A Tennessee, going 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA in 54.2 innings. But in late May, the right-hander tore a tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand, shelving him for the season. The 24-year-old, 6-foot-5 starter is believed to be healthy and will pitch in Arizona to make up for a lost season.

Kris Bryant, 3B — Bryant was as advertised at the plate this year for the Cubs affiliates. The 2013 first-round pick (and No. 35 prospect in baseball) hit a combined .336/.390/.688 with nine homers and 14 doubles over 36 games with the instructional squad, Short-Season Boise and Daytona. Many eyes will be trained on the 21-year-old this fall.

Lendy Castillo, RHP — Not many players who have a full major league season under their belt play in the AFL. A 2011 Rule 5 pick, the Cubs were forced to put the reliever on their major league roster during the 2012 season or forfeit him back to Philadelphia, his original organization. Castillo spent the majority of 2013 with Kane County before a late-July promotion to Daytona. His 39 walks in 84.1 innings definitely contributed to his lofty 5.87 ERA, but he also fanned 8.1 batters per nine innings and 9.4 per nine in his 20-inning stint with the D-Cubs.

Wes Darvill, IF — The 22-year-old Canadian played all over the diamond for both Kane County and Daytona this season, seeing time at second base, third base, shortstop and left field. Darvill spent the first month of the season with the Cougars before a promotion to the D-Cubs. He hit a combined .267/.339/.380 in 94 games and finished second on the Daytona squad with five triples (seven on the season).

Matt Loosen, RHP — Loosen dominated hitters at High-A Daytona, going 5-2 with 56 strikeouts and a 1.83 ERA in 54.0 innings (including a no-hitter). But he struggled to find that same success in Tennessee. The 24-year-old righty was 3-3 with a 6.14 ERA, though he still managed to fan 60 batters in 66.0 innings. He showed promise late into the season, giving up one earned run in his last three starts combined and striking out 18 batters in 16.1 innings.

Armando Rivero, RHP — Rivero is a bit of a mystery for the Cubs. Signed out of Cuba prior to this season, the 25-year-old right-hander threw just 30.1 innings of full-season minor league ball. In all, he totaled a 4.15 ERA at Kane County, Daytona and Tennessee, and struck out 45. Rivero’s outings could be some of the more closely monitored by the Cubs during play in Arizona.

Jorge Soler, OF — Shin and leg issues kept the 21-year-old Cuban out of action after the High-A Florida State League All-Star Game, but Soler still managed to make an impact. In 55 games, the corner outfielder hit .281/.343/.467 with eight homers and 13 doubles in 210 at-bats. Baseball’s No. 25 prospect will hopefully rack up some innings and plate appearances to get back on track for 2014.

ESPN’s Law ranks Cubs prospects among game’s elite

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Cubs prospect Kris Bryant has emerged as a top 15 prospect in baseball, according to Keith Law. (Photo courtesy of the University of San Diego)

ESPN Insider Keith Law knows his way around the minor league ranks. Since the 2012 season ended, Law has been very complimentary of the Cubs system, going so far as to rank the Cubs the sixth-best farm system in baseball back in February. And based on his recent midseason Top 50 MLB prospect rankings (subscription required), that number is likely to improve.

Recent first-round draft pick Kris Bryant, 2012 Cuban signee Jorge Soler, 2012 first-round pick Albert Almora and 2011 first-round pick Javy Baez are all in Law’s top 27. While this is Bryant’s first appearance on Law’s list, the three others have all improved their rank. It’s also worth noting infielder Arismendy Alcantara was one of eight players in the honorable mention section. Here’s what Law had to say about the quartet.

15. Kris Bryant, OF | Chicago Cubs (age 21)
Current level: Short-season Class A (Boise)
Preseason ranking: Ineligible

Signed to the biggest bonus in this year’s draft (as predicted in this space), Bryant has huge raw power from the right side, a rare and valuable commodity in and of itself, and profiles as a middle-of-the-order bat whether he’s at third base or in right field. He’s yet to play a game as of this writing.

20. Jorge Soler, OF | Chicago Cubs (age 21)
Current level: High Class A (Daytona)
Preseason ranking: 42

Soler would have been in the Futures Game and likely in Double-A were it not for a stress fracture that has him on the shelf until at least early August and possibly until instructional league, although he could pick up some needed at-bats in the Arizona Fall League.

He remains a high-ceiling player, with a quick bat, easy power and running speed, but losing a half-season of reps doesn’t help.

25. Albert Almora, OF | Chicago Cubs (age 19)
Current level: Low Class A (Kane County)
Preseason ranking: 33

The irony of one of the game’s most prominent sabermetrically inclined front offices overseeing a farm system of guys who walk once a month deserves more attention than it’s gotten. I wonder if Bryant, who walked a ton in college this spring, will become an unrepentant hacker the moment he gets to Daytona.

Almora doesn’t walk much, but he has great feel for the bat, making a lot of hard contact, and plays plus defense in center.

27. Javier Baez, SS | Chicago Cubs (age 19)
Current level: Double-A (Tennessee)
Preseason ranking: 31

The player with the best bat speed in the minors should be higher on this list, in theory, but Baez operates under the strong belief — not entirely unfounded — that he can hit anything within a foot of the strike zone, which results in low walk rates and a tendency to give away at-bats when he doesn’t get a pitch he can crush right away.

He continues to play solid defense at shortstop and the power is insane, but it would be nice if someone in this farm system would walk more than twice a month.

Cubs scattered throughout BP’s new prospect list

Javier Baez has already enjoyed a four-home run day earlier this season. (Photo by Aldrin Capulong/Daytona Cubs)

The names might look familiar, but their placement among the top prospects only continues to rise. Earlier this week, Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks unveiled his Midseason Top 50 Prospects (subscription required). In his list, he included a trio of Cubs players in center fielder Albert Almora, shortstop Javier Baez and corner outfielder Jorge Soler. All three of the highly touted young players have enjoyed solid seasons of minor league ball this year, and as a result, have jumped in the ranks since Park’s preseason list. Below are the excerpts regarding the Cubs’ big three. It’s also worth noting that Parks mentioned on Twitter that 2013 first-round pick Kris Bryant would have likely made the list had he already signed with the club.

No. 15—CF Albert Almora

Placement on Preseason 101: 18

Current MiLB Level/Affiliate: Low-A Kane County

Prospect Trajectory: Up; Almora is a legit five-tool talent who comes with an incredible feel for the game; has top tier potential.

Major League ETA: 2015

No. 17—SS Javier Baez

Placement on Preseason 101: 20

Current MiLB Level/Affiliate: High-A Daytona

Prospect Trajectory: Up; has the offensive upside to become of the top prospects in the game; high risk and chance for regression at Double-A level.

Major League ETA: 2015

No. 31—OF Jorge Soler

Placement on Preseason 101: 36

Current MiLB Level/Affiliate: High-A Daytona

Prospect Trajectory: Up; Soler’s power is legit, and as he matures at the plate, he will continue to tap into the tool in game action; lacks elite upside, but could jump up the list if the power plays. People love power.

Major League ETA: 2015

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