Results tagged ‘ Mesa Solar Sox ’

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 MLB.com) 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

Bryant

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

Bryant

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 MLB.com) 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.

Mesa’s fall league ends in a loss

Though the Arizona Fall League is mostly about improving on an individual basis and competing against some of baseball’s elite, young talent, it’s also nice to win a few games. Unfortunately for Cubs prospects on the Mesa Solar Sox’s roster, wins came few and far between during the AFL season.

Mesa dropped its season finale 8-3 to Phoenix Thursday afternoon, giving the Solar Sox a league-worst 10-20 record.

Matt Szczur went 0-for-4 in the leadoff spot, with an RBI groundout in the third inning. Logan Watkins finished 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Nick Struck pitched the fourth and fifth innings, surrendering only one hit, a solo home run, and striking out a batter.

Despite missing the last two weeks of the season, Javier Baez finished in a tie for third in home runs (4) and finished sixth in RBI (16). Szczur finished tied for fourth with nine stolen bases, just one less than base-stealing phenom Billy Hamilton (Reds). He also drew 14 walks, good for a tie for seventh in the league. And despite playing in just nine games, Watkins’ on-base percentage was .375, thanks in part to his eight walks.

On the rubber, Tony Zych fared the best of any Cubs pitcher. His 3.86 ERA in 14.0 innings would have been even lower had he not surrendered two earned runs in his final outing. While he struck out only four batters during the season, he walked only two.

Kevin Rhoderick was also solid in the hitter-friendly league. He posted a 4.82 ERA in 9.1 innings and managed to strike out 14 batters—sixth on the team—despite pitching fewer innings than all but two Mesa pitchers.

How the Solar Sox fared during the Arizona Fall League:

Mesa continues skid, falls to Scottsdale

Mesa just couldn’t get the bats going as the Solar Sox fell to Scottsdale 8-2 Wednesday. Scottsdale held the Sox scoreless until the ninth inning.

Trailing 8-0 in the ninth, Rubi Silva led off the inning with a single to right and advanced to third on a Jiovanni Mier (Astros) double to left. Fellow Cubs prospect Logan Watkins scored Silva on a ground out to second. Silva finished the game 1-for-3, while Watkins was 1-for-4 with a single in the seventh.

For the first time this fall, Cubs pitcher Tony Zych surrendered more than one run in an outing. The righty gave up a single to the first batter batter of the fifth inning, Slade Heathcott (Yankees), who advanced to third on a pair of pitches that got by catcher Gorman Erickson (Dodgers). Ronny Rodriguez (Indians) singled and scored Heathcott. After a David Adams (Yankees) walk and a Chris Dominguez (Giants) single, the bases were loaded. Zych got Adalberto Santos (Pirates) to ground into a double play, but a run still crossed the plate. Zych then got Ricky Oropesa (Giants) to ground out to end the inning.

Mesa’s fall league season wraps up Thursday when the team faces Phoenix, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time.

How the Cubs have fared:

Mesa comes up short vs. Surprise

The Surprise bats were just too much for Mesa in a 10-8 loss Tuesday afternoon. While no Cubs pitchers threw, the Solar Sox’s lineup included a trio of contributing Cubs farmhands.

In the fourth inning, Rubi Silva singled to center and scored from third three batters later on Rafael Ynoa’s two-run single. Ynoa, who represents the Dodgers, advanced to third on an error. Cubs center fielder Matt Szczur drove him home on a single past the pitcher. He would score later in the inning on a wild pitch.

In the fifth, Silva drove in George Springer (Astros) on an RBI single to right. The outfielder finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Szczur went 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base.

Logan Watkins was 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.

Mesa heads to Scottsdale Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 local time.

How the Cubs have fared:

Watkins can’t help Mesa overcome deficit

Mesa had its four-game winning streak snapped Monday afternoon as the Solar Sox fell 8-4 to Salt River at home.

Logan Watkins reached on a walk and scored from first on a three-run double by Nick Castellanos (Tigers). Watkins was 0-for-2 on the day with three walks, boosting his on-base percentage to .444 in the six games he’s played in the AFL. He did commit an error at second.

Nick Struck pitched in the top of the sixth and surrendered two runs, one earned, on a hit and a walk. He struck out one. In the bottom of the sixth, he was ejected from the game.

Tony Zych pitched the ninth, giving up a leadoff double to Anthony Rendon (Nationals). Rendon moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Carlos Sanchez (White Sox) sacrifice fly for the only run of the inning.

Mesa hosts Surprise on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:35 local time.

How the Cubs have fared:

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