At long last, we prospect nerds get to start anticipating specific players in the Arizona Fall League, which starts next week. The rosters have been announced!
The Cubs play as part of the Mesa Solar Sox, and the seven Cubs prospects joining the team:
Caleb Kilian, 24, RHP – The starting pitching prospect the Cubs got in the Kris Bryant deal, but whose season ended early because of the COVID outbreak at Tennessee. Now he gets more innings, and more of a chance to put himself on the radar for 2022.
Ryan Jensen, 23, RHP – Similarly, got only a handful of outings at Tennessee before their season got derailed. Just 80.0 IP total so far this year, so this is a chance for him to get more innings ahead of 2022.
Danis Correa, 22, RHP – An electric reliever who only barely pitched at High-A, and is probably one of those guys you fear losing in the Rule 5 Draft to a rebuilding club. So the Cubs give him an extra look.
Brendon Little, 25, LHP – The former Cubs first rounder who made his way to Triple-A Iowa, but has such a limited track record of success that the Cubs no doubt want another look before the Rule 5 Draft.
Nelson Velazquez, 22, OF – Huge breakout this year between High-A and Double-A, but since he’s Rule 5-eligible, the Cubs want more at bats against high-level pitching. He’s gonna be a tough call, but I bet he gets added to the 40-man to protect him.
Luis Vazquez, 21, SS – Injuries really mucked up his year, so you want more at bats for him. He’s got a big-league-caliber glove already, so you might worry about a team picking him in the Rule 5 to stash him. The bat has potential.
Andy Weber, 24, SS – Similar story to Vazquez, as a quality infield prospect who might be big-league-ready with the glove, but who just didn’t get much of a season because of injuries.
Much more on the Cubs prospects who’ll be playing tomorrow from Bryan.
For now, no Kohl Franklin listed, which is a surprise, because there were rumors that it was going to happen for him after a lost season. You want him to get whatever competitive innings he can get. Maybe he’ll wind up on the taxi squad, or a later addition in the season. Also no Brailyn Marquez, though Jed Hoyer seemed today to suggest that the Cubs aren’t necessarily keen to ramp him back up for game action this year, and instead want to focus on training, and then a normal spring ramp-up.
The league begins play October 13, and runs through its championship on November 20. Remember, the AFL will feature all of the experimental minor league rules this year.