Results tagged ‘ Mesa Solar Sox ’

Arizona Fall League recap: 10/29/13

Despite a three-run eighth inning, Mesa put itself into too deep a hole Tuesday, falling to Salt River 7-3. Cubs prospect Kris Bryant registered his sixth home run of the fall, and Matt Loosen pitched two solid innings in relief to headline the North Siders’ efforts. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.

Albert Almora, CF – Almora led off the game with a single to center. He also drew a walk in the fifth inning to finish the game 1-for-4.

Kris Bryant, 3B – Bryant recorded the Sox’s first run on a leadoff homer in the eighth inning. The third baseman was 1-for-5 on the afternoon. He leads the AFL with six home runs.

Lendy Castillo, RHP – Castillo came on in the sixth, and struck out the first batter he faced, Jacob Wilson (Cardinals, No. 20 organizational prospect, according to But he followed that with three walks and a double. His final line read: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 3 BB.

Matt Loosen, RHP – Loosen replaced starter Matt Purke (Nationals) in the fourth and made an immediate impact, striking out his first two hitters faced, Dustin Garneau (Rockies) and James Ramsey (Cardinals, No. 10 organizational prospect). He then induced a ground out to end the inning. After giving up a one-out base hit in the fifth, Loosen forced Kyle Parker (Rockies, No. 9 organizational prospect) to fly out and fanned Richie Shaffer (Rays, No. 9 organizational prospect) to end the inning. His final line read: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 3 K, 0 BB.

Jorge Soler, RF – Soler went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Mesa heads to Scottsdale to take on the Scorpions Wednesday afternoon. Cubs prospect Dallas Beeler is scheduled to pitch. He has a 2-0 record with a 5.40 ERA this fall. Opposite the right-hander will be Phil Irwin (Pirates). First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 CST.

Arizona Fall League recap: 10/28/13

Much of the hype from Monday’s contest between Mesa and Salt River surrounded Rafters starter Aaron Sanchez. The Blue Jays’ top prospect (No. 20 overall, according to surrendered just one hit over 4.1 innings against the Solar Sox, leaving Mesa on the wrong side of a 3-2 decision. Though the Sox mustered only five hits in the game, Cubs prospects Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler were responsible for two of them, and Bryant drove in both runs. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s action.

Kris Bryant, DH – Batting third for Mesa, Bryant earned a walk in the bottom of the fourth inning. He reached second when Soler walked, but they were both left stranded. With Mesa trailing 3-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth, Bryant smashed a two-run homer, his fifth of the fall, to score David Freitas (Athletics). He finished the day 1-for-3 with a walk.

Jorge Soler, RF – Batting fifth for Mesa, Soler walked in the bottom of the fourth inning. With the Solar Sox trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth, the Cuba native led off with a single to left. Cubs farmhand Albert Almora came in to pinch run, but he was left stranded at first to end the game. Soler finished 1-for-3 with a walk.

Mesa heads to Salt River Tuesday to take on the Rafters. Matt Purke (Nationals) is scheduled to start, opposite Grayson Garvin (Rays). First pitch is scheduled for 8:35 CST.

Almora, Bryant and Soler were also selected to the AFL’s midseason Fall Stars Game, which will be played on Saturday.

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: 10/21/13

Mesa got back to its winning ways, taking down Surprise 9-6 Monday afternoon. Cubs prospect Kris Bryant fared well at the bat, though Armando Rivero didn’t have the same level of success. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s action.

Kris Bryant, 3B – Batting fourth in the order and leading off the second inning, Bryant drew a four-pitch walk to head the frame. A single put him on second and a groundout moved Bryant to third before Devon Travis (Tigers) drove him in on a single to the left side of the infield. Again in the fifth, the 21-year-old drew a four-pitch walk. He got to second when Tyler Collins (Tigers) reached on an error and got to third on a walk before being driven in by Travis on a sacrifice fly. With one out in the sixth, Bryant recorded his third double of the season, this one to left field, moving Taylor Lindsey (Angels) from first to third. He finished 1-for-2 with two walks.

Armando Rivero, RHP – Rivero came into the game in the seventh and surrendered back-to-back singled to start off the inning. He got Joe Wendle (Indians) to strike out before inducing another walk to load the bases. A Garin Cecchini (Red Sox) single scored two and another single subsequently loaded the bases. But Rivero forced Henry Urrutia (Orioles) into an unassisted double play to end the inning. His final line read: IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, K.

Tommy Collier (Tigers) takes the ball for the Solar Sox Tuesday, as they take on southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez (Orioles, No. 84 prospect in baseball, according to and Surprise. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 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: 10/16/13

The Cubs’ bats were relatively quiet, but the Solar Sox still racked up another victory Wednesday afternoon. Kris Bryant went hitless for the first time in the AFL (he did draw a walk), while reliever Lendy Castillo picked up the slack on the mound. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.

Lendy Castillo, RHP – Entering the game with a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth, Castillo surrendered a leadoff double and then a bloop single to put runners on first and second with nobody out. That’s when the reliever went to work. He forced Aaron Altherr (Phillies) into a double-play and then struck out Jonathan Mayer (Astros) to end the game. Castillo recorded his first save of the fall. His final line read: IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 K.

Wes Darvill, 2B – Darvill hit ninth Wednesday and lead off the third inning with a single to right. He finished 1-for-4.

The Sox host Peoria Thursday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:35 CST. Matt Purke (Nationals) will take the ball for Mesa, opposite Johnny Barbato (Padres). Albert Almora is expected to lead off and play center field.

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: 10/8/13


Top prospect Kris Bryant got off to a fast start in the AFL. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The Mesa Solar Sox—a team comprised of prospects from the Cubs, Angles, A’s, Nationals and Tigers—opened up the Arizona Fall League season with an 11-inning, 8-8 tie Tuesday afternoon against Glendale. Trailing 7-3 in the top of the eighth inning, the Solar Sox rallied for five runs, behind RBI doubles from Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler. The Desert Dogs would get a run back in the bottom of the ninth to force extras. Here’s what the Cubs prospects did yesterday afternoon:

  • 3B Kris Bryant went 3-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored. With Angels prospects C.J. Cron on second and Taylor Lindsey on first with nobody out in the second inning, Bryant ripped a single up the middle, scoring Cron. Bryant drove in Cron again with an eighth-inning double, cutting the deficit to three.
  • RF Jorge Soler finished 1-for-6 with an RBI. The Solar Sox regained the lead in the eighth thanks to a Soler double to left field that scored Oakland catcher David Freitas from second.
  • RHP Matt Loosen entered the game in the third and went two innings, surrendering two unearned runs, striking out one and walking one. He was credited with a blown save.
  • RHP Lendy Castillo surrendered three unearned runs in the sixth inning, striking out one.
  • RHP Armando Rivero pitched a scoreless eighth inning, striking out the side, including the game’s top prospect, Twins outfielder Byron Buxton. Rivero was credited for a hold.

The Sox will host Glendale this afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 1:35 CST. Cubs prospect Albert Almora will lead off and play center field, Soler will DH and bat fourth, and Bryant will play third base and bat fifth.

Cubs announce Arizona Fall League players


Kris Bryant, the Cubs top pick in the 2013 draft, will take part in the Arizona Fall League. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Though the minor league season coincides with the MLB schedule, it’s an after-season minor league showcase that generally gets scouting departments and prospect followers especially excited.

Since 1992, the Arizona Fall League has taken top prospects from each organization and pitted them against one another in a one-month season. Generally, the seven prospects selected from each team have just finished Triple-A or Double-A and are widely thought of as knocking on the major league door.

This season, the Cubs’ prospects will be representing the Mesa Solar Sox, along with prospects from the Angels, Athletics, Nationals and Tigers. While each of those teams have their own respective stars, many of the most exciting names on the Solar Sox roster are members of the Cubs organization. Five of the Cubs’ top six prospects (according to are headed to Mesa, and four of those rank in the top 40 in all of baseball.

Below is a breakdown of the eight prospects (Albert Almora will serve as a member of the taxi squad, playing solely on Wednesdays and Saturdays), as well as how they’ve fared in 2013.

Albert Almora, OF – The 2012 first-round pick has been solid when healthy for Class-A Kane County this year, accumulating a .329/.376/.466 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 249 at-bats. The Cubs’ No. 2 prospect (No. 23 in MLB) will only play occasionally, as he’s dealing with groin issues.

Javier Baez, SS – The 2013 season has been a breakout one for the already highly regarded Baez. The Cubs’ top prospect (No. 9 in MLB) has successfully made the jump from High-A to Double-A, totaling 35 homers, 33 doubles, 20 stolen bases and 105 driven in between the two levels.

Dallas Beeler, RHP – Beeler got off to a fast start for Double-A Tennessee, going 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA by mid-May. But a tendon tear in his middle finger landed the 6-foot-5 prospect on the DL. The AFL will give him a chance to log more innings before 2013 winds down.

Kris Bryant, 3B – The organization’s No. 4 prospect (No. 37 in MLB) had a rough first week, but has impressed ever since. The No. 2 pick in this year’s draft has totaled a .349/.395/.670 line with seven homers and 27 RBI in 109 at-bats while splitting time between rookie ball, Short-Season Boise and High-A Daytona.

Matt Loosen, RHP – Loosen struggled in Double-A at the outset of the season and was sent down. But a strong two-month stint in High-A, where he tossed a no-hitter, brought the 24-year-old back to the Smokies. This year, the right-hander is 7-5 with a 4.34 ERA and has struck out 8.6 batters per nine.

Armando Rivero, RHP – Rivero signed a $3.1 million bonus with the Cubs in March 2013 after coming over from Cuba. In 27.2 innings, the reliever has entered 18 games and posted a 4.23 ERA for Kane County, Daytona and Tennessee. He has also struck out 14 batters per nine innings in his first season in the U.S.

Jorge Soler, OF – Soler is another elite prospect who has dealt with a handful of injuries in 2013. Though a stress fracture in his shin shut down the No. 3 prospect in the organization (No. 27 in MLB), he finished a half season in Daytona with a .281/.343/.467 line, eight home runs and 35 RBI.

Arodys Vizcaino, RHP – Tommy John surgery in March 2012 has kept the former elite prospect from pitching since 2011 in Atlanta. Vizcaino, the centerpiece of the 2012 Paul Maholm deal, will hopefully get some work in Arizona, as many project him to be with the major league club in 2014.


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