MESA, Ariz- When the Arizona Fall League started, the Chicago Cubs sent eight prospects to participate. Four pitchers and four position players.
The players range from Triple-A Iowa Cubs with Alex Mills, to Double-A Tennessee Smokies with Albert Alzolay, Jake Stinnett, Ian Rice, David Bote, and Charcer Burks and Jason Vosler. Rounding out the roster of the Mesa Solar Sox is Pedro Araujo of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans the Single-A affiliate.
Bote started off the AFL with a bang, slugging three home runs, driving in six RBI’s and earning Player of the Week honors. He finished his time in the league with four home runs, 14 RBI and led the Solar Sox with 23 hits while batting .333 (23-for-69).
Other offensive numbers from the Cubs contingent includes Rice, who’s batting .297 (11-for-37) with seven RBI. Burke is batting .232 (13-for-56) with five RBI and two stolen bases. Rounding them out is Vosler, who’s batting .231 (15-for-65) with two home runs and 12 RBI.
On the pitching side, the four prospects are led by starter Alec Mills. Mills has started five games in the AFL and has a 1-3 record and is second with 19 innings pitched on the Solar Sox. His 18 strikeouts are third on the team to go along with his 4.26 ERA.
Araujo has been used as a closer and is 2-for-2 in save opportunities for the Solar Sox to go along with his 13 strikeouts in his 9.1 innings pitched.
Stinnett has been used in situational situations and is one of the reasons he has a 0-0 record, but don’t let that fool you on his potential. His ERA of 2.06 is third best on the Solar Sox and his 12 strikeouts in just 8.2 innings show he can power pitch his way through inherited jams.
Finally, Alzolay, has a 0-1 record with appearing in seven games. His 13 strikeouts in just 11.2 innings shows promise of a big-time arm. Though he has struggled with an ERA of 6.17, the potential is there and he could develop into a good setup reliever.
As we have seen with the Cubs youth movement, the future is bright for all these prospects, but it is uncertain if they can crack the major League roster with young talent already established.