Mar 16, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielderJorge Soler
(68) stands in the dugout prior to a spring training game against the Kansas City Royals at HoHoKam stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports
If you live in Arizona, you’re in luck.
The annual pilgrimage of the top talent in baseball to the deserts of Arizona is rapidly approaching. Cubs fans will have the opportunity to see the top talent in the organization, including Javier Baez, Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant – the number two overall pick in this June’s draft.
“It’s really exciting for us,” said Chicago Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod. “Javier has had a great year, and he didn’t get to play as much last year in the AFL because of the injury. Kris is ready to be pushed. Soler was going to go [to make up for lost time]. Albert missed time, so he’ll go to the instructional league and then the taxi squad, which will be good for him.”
Baez has put together one of the most impressive seasons by a Chicago Cubs’ prospect in recent memory, hitting .287 with 35 home runs and 105 runs batted in between Daytona and Tennessee. His split actually favors his time in Double-A, which is a promising sign for Chicago management. His on-base percentage rose by 22 points, his slugging percentage increased and his OPS added some 150 points, as well.
Albert Almora has been equally impressive for Class-A Kane County of the Midwest League. The 6’2″, 180 pound center fielder hit .329 in 61 games, collecting three home runs and 23 RBIs. He notched 30 strikeouts in 249 at-bats, but added 17 walks during the same stretch.
Kris Bryant hasn’t missed a beat since joining the organization following this year’s MLB June Draft. That’s putting it mildly.
Bryant was batting .354 in 18 games, with four home runs, eight doubles and 14 RBIs with short-season Boise. He was later promoted to Class A Daytona, where he has hit .368 in 10 games, with three home runs, three doubles and nine RBIs.
The talent that is flourishing throughout the Chicago Cubs’ organization gives fans a reason to continue to support a club that is a season-high 21 games under .500 entering play Tuesday night. Jorge Soler is another piece that is placing himself in a prime spot moving forward.
He has hit .281 with eight home runs with 35 RBIs and 13 doubles this season with Daytona, and despite a late injury, he will join his fellow top prospects in Arizona in the fall.
It’s good for them to spend time with each other, push each other in the fall, then hopefully push each other in the spring,” McLeod said. “It’s exciting to have these four guys going together. It’ll be great if we can get to see them all playing together on the same field.”