The Chicago Cubs’ Minor League rosters will be rolling in soon, and the Peoria Chiefs (A-ball) are the first to drop.

There are eight infielders on the roster, including shortstop Marco Hernandez, second baseman Zeke DeVoss, middle infielders Kenny Socorro and Wes Darvill, infielder Brad Zapenas and first baseman Paul Hoilman.

The four outfielders for now include Taiwan Easterling, Pin-Chieh Chen, Reggie Golden and Eduardo Gonzalez. There are two catchers on the roster, Rafael Lopez and Taylor Davis.

The roster includes 14 pitchers (though only 13 are listed in the initial release): Kyler Burke, Willengton Cruz, P.J. Francescon, Michaen Jensen, Luis Liria, Jeff Lorick, Andrew McKirihan, Austin Reed, Jose Rosario, Bryce Shafer, Yao-Lin Wang, Scott Weismann and Ben Wells.

Hopefully you recognize the big time prospects there – Hernandez, DeVoss, Golden and Wells are probably the biggest – but there are a number of players to watch. Austin Reed has long been well-thought-of, Kyler Burke is continuing his conversion to the mound, and Michael Jensen was an overslot signing in the Draft last year. Andrew McKirihan could be a fast-moving lefty reliever, and Taiwan Easterling is a hugely athletic outfielder (who actually saw a little time in the upper levels last year, as the Cubs worked to get him games). Jose Rosario is a legit prospect, as well.

It isn’t wholly surprising that we don’t see guys like Gerardo Concepcion, Dillon Maples, Javier Baez and Dan Vogelbach on the roster, but each could see time there this year. Minor League rosters are obviously dynamic, and we’ll see guys in and out of Peoria all season.

  • Norm

    Was really hoping for Javier Baez to start there…

    • MikeW

      So was I. Was hoping to see a lot of him this spring at O’Brien Field. Guess that won’t be happening.

    • Brett

      Yeah, but it’s understandable. I have a feeling the new regime will be much, much slower in promotions than the previously very aggressive crew.

  • Smitty

    Help me out, I’m drawing a blank. Is Peoria low A or High A ball?

    • Brett

      Daytona is High A, Peoria is full-season A (I just call it A-ball), and Boise is short-season A (I call that one Low A).

      • Smitty

        Thanks Brett!

  • Luke

    In addition to Baez, I think the most surprising omissions were Gioskar Amaya and Dustin Geiger.

    I agree with Brett, though, that this roster in particular could fluctuate quite a bit early in the season. It is entirely possible that some guys are being left in Arizona to nurse minor injuries or work on something in particular for now, but will be bumped up to Peoria in a few weeks.

    That’s a nice looking pitching staff, though.

    • Rynorooter

      Both Amaya and Geiger are injured and will stay back to heal up.

  • AB

    I read somewhere Geiger is injured.

    Really excited to see what Wells and Hernandez do.

  • Mike

    So where can we expect Baez, Vogelbach, Concepcion and Maples to start the year?

    • Jay Anderson Jr

      Vogelbach will start out in Chicago on the MLB Squad. Conception probably in Iowa…….

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        Oh, I forgot, Hendry got fired.

    • Mrp

      Extended Spring Training and then Boise.

  • ty

    Easterling may be the most athletic young cub-worth a ticket to watch. Wes Darvill in his 4th season and still only 20 yrs old–so smooth at any infield position and plus growth potential. Mental makeup on how to play the game is top notch.

  • Dumpgobbler

    So excited to see Wells progress. Read a lot of Brad Penny type comparisons. Could make the biggest jump in our system in terms of rankings.

  • Jesse

    Thank you so much for covering this Brett. I live in Peoria and though I am a die hard Cub fan, I rarely make it over to the ballpark. Following your blog and keeping tabs on the youngsters will make going to the park far more interesting!

  • Luke

    Daytona has put out a press release containing at least part of their tentative Opening Day roster. Szczur returns to Florida. Torreyes and Gibbs will be joining him. Jokisch, Del Valle and Kirk lead a fairly deep group of lefties on the mound.

    Also apparently being assigned to Daytona are Hayden Simpson and Ty’Relle Harris, both looking to rebound from injuries in 2011. Simpson, of course, is coming off elbow damage and an illness that drained his velocity. Harris had both legs broken in a hit and run while he was playing for Tennessee last season. I’m not sure how his recovery has been going, but it looks like our Floridian contingent will be among the first to find out.

    • CubFan Paul

      Didn’t Torreyes end 2011 in High A? Or was that Cincy’s low/mid A? It would be awesome if he hit his way to AA by July

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