Results tagged ‘ Arizona Fall League ’

10/29 Baez injures thumb

Cubs top prospect Javier Baez most likely is done for the Arizona Fall League season after he injured his right thumb. Baez was playing for the Mesa Solar Sox. Jason McLeod, Cubs player development director, said Baez was being examined on Monday, and that the shortstop most likely will not complete the AFL season.

On Monday, Baez said on his Twitter account: “I will be alright soon, feeling better. Will be back ASAP”

Baez, 19, was batting .211 in 14 games with the Solar Sox, and led the league with 16 RBIs, and was tied for the league lead with four home runs. He has started 10 of those games at shortstop, four at third base. The Cubs’ No. 1 Draft pick in 2011, Baez batted .333 in 57 games with Class A Peoria and .188 in 23 games with Class A Daytona this season, his first in pro ball.

The injury was not expected to keep Baez from being ready for Spring Training.

— Carrie Muskat

10/25 AFL update

Cubs prospect Kevin Rhoderick served up a three-run home run with one out in the ninth as Scottsdale rallied to beat the Mesa Solar Sox, 4-3, in Arizona Fall League play Wednesday. Matt Szczur and Rubi Silva both started, and each had one hit for Mesa. On Thursday, Mesa plays host to Peoria at HoHoKam Park, first pitch 12:35 p.m. MT.

— Carrie Muskat

10/17 AFL update

Cubs top prospect Javier Baez had two hits and one RBI but it wasn’t enough as the Mesa Solar Sox lost 4-2 on Tuesday to Peoria in Arizona Fall League play. Matt Szczur and Rubi Silva both started, and were hitless. Baez, who is tied for the AFL lead in RBIs, started at third for the second time in AFL play. Kevin Rhoderick gave up one hit and struck out two in one inning of relief, and Nick Struck threw one hitless inning in relief. On Wednesday, Mesa travels to Scottsdale for a game. First pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. MT.

— Carrie Muskat

10/16 AFL update

Cubs prospect Matt Szczur was 3-for-4 with a double and one RBI and Javier Baez drove in a run but it wasn’t enough as the Mesa Solar Sox lost 9-2 to Peoria on Monday in Arizona Fall League play. The Solar Sox travel to Peoria, AZ, on Tuesday for a game at 12:35 p.m. MT.

— Carrie Muskat

10/13 AFL update

Cubs prospect Matt Szczur was 2-for-5 with one RBI in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 12-5 win Friday over Surprise in Arizona Fall League action. The Solar Sox play host to Phoenix on Saturday at HoHoKam Park, starting at 12:35 p.m. MT.

Go to for more AFL action.

— Carrie Muskat

10/12 AZ Fall League update

The Mesa Solar Sox edged Surprise, 6-5, on Thursday in Arizona Fall League play. Javier Baez, the Cubs’ top prospect who started at shortstop, hit a RBI double and now is 4-for-13 (.308) in three games. Dae-Eun Rhee gave up two runs on six hits and struck out two over two innings. Matt Szczur also started for Mesa, and was 1-for-4 with one RBI and scored a run. He’s 2-for-10 with one RBIs in three games. Tony Zych picked up the win in relief. He’s thrown 1 1/3 hitless innings in two games in relief, striking out two.

Go to for updates.

— Carrie Muskat

10/10 Keep an eye on Baez

At 19, Javier Baez is the second youngest player in the Arizona Fall League, and making a huge jump, competing against players who have been in Double-A or Triple-A.

“He’s a guy who, mentally, we felt was ready for the Fall League, ready to be pushed like that, ready to be challenged like that,” said Jason McLeod, head of scouting and player development for the Cubs.

On Tuesday night, Baez looked ready. The Cubs’ top prospect went 2-for-3 for the Mesa Solar Sox, hitting a solo home run in the second inning into the upper tiers of the batter’s eye in straightaway center at Salt River Fields, and added a tie-breaking two-run double in the sixth. The homer was impressive, even in the dry Arizona air.

Told that he’s one of the youngest in the AFL — only the Rangers’ Luis Sardinas is younger — Baez just shrugs.

“I’ve heard that,” Baez said. “If you do good here, you have to keep working hard. They just tell me to do my job every time, play hard, do everything right.”

He flashed some of his defensive skills as well with a diving stop of a ball, and nearly threw the runner out. Replay might have backed up Baez. What’s impressed McLeod and others are the shortstop’s instincts for the game.

“When you watch him play defense and watch him on the bases, he plays like a veteran who has been in the Major Leagues for a long time and at a very young age,” McLeod said. “That was the most pleasant surprise for me and it’s really fun to watch him on defense. It’s like he sees things before it happens.”

It wasn’t a perfect night. Baez did strike out twice. But he was perfectly positioned on defense, backing up on plays in the infield.

“He’s got tons of talent and it’s not just hitting, it’s his overall game,” said Tom Beyers, Cubs Minor League hitting coordinator. “One of his biggest strengths is aptitude. I was very impressed with how he took instruction and applied it right away in a ballgame. Some guys, that process takes longer than others. His is pretty quick, and the knowledge he has of how the game is played, he always seems to be a step ahead.”

— Carrie Muskat

10/9 Baez has good start

Cubs prospect Javier Baez is the second youngest player in the Arizona Fall League, and he showed he’s ready Tuesday night, hitting a solo home run to straight away center in the second inning of the Mesa Solar Sox’s game against the Salt River Rafters. It was an impressive shot into the upper tier of the batter’s eye. Baez, 19, hit 16 home runs this past season at Class A Peoria and Class A Daytona combined. His homer Tuesday was the first in the AFL, which kicked off its 20th season. Baez showed he’s human in his second at-bat in the fourth when he struck out on three pitches. He then hit a tie-breaking two-run double with one out in the sixth.

— Carrie Muskat 

8/29 AZ Fall League roster

Javier Baez, Matt Szczur and Rubi Silva are among the Cubs prospects who will play in the Arizona Fall League. Baez was the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in 2011. The trio will be joined on the Mesa Solar Sox by pitchers Dae-Eun Rhee, Nick Struck, Tony Zych, and Zach Rosscup. Kevin Rhoderick will be on the taxi squad.

The Arizona Fall League celebrates its 20th anniversary season in 2012. Opening Day is Oct. 9. The six-team league, owned and operated by MLB, plays six days per week (Monday-Saturday) in six Cactus League stadiums in the Phoenix area, including the Cubs’ facility in Mesa, Hohokam Stadium.

— Carrie Muskat

11/17 AFL update

Junior Lake hit a two-run double in the fifth to help spark the Mesa Solar Sox to a 6-2 win over Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League finale on Thursday. Lake finished with a .296 average, while Josh Vitters had two hits and finished .360. DJ LeMahieu ended the AFL season with a .302 average. The AFL championship game will be played Saturday when Salt River faces Surprise. Next up for the Cubs prospects is a short break, then time to prepare for Spring Training.

— Carrie Muskat