Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Trey McNutt (Photo by Ezra Shaw, Getty Images)
Arizona Fall League Roster Review: Mesa Solar Sox
Major League Baseball announced the preliminary rosters for the Arizona Fall League this week. Let's review the key prospects on each team, beginning with the Mesa Solar Sox.
Mesa is stocked with players from the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations. Here are important players to watch. You can find the complete roster here.
MESA SOLAR SOX ROSTER REVIEW
Jeff Beliveau, LHP, Cubs: Holding lefties to a .154 mark in Double-A this year. The 24-year-old southpaw out of Florida Atlantic has an 89/19 K/BB in 72 relief innings with a 1.38 ERA, and could find a slot in the Cubs bullpen in 2012.
Chris Carpenter, RHP, Cubs: Bedeviled with control problems (22 walks in 29 Triple-A innings), but has plus stuff. Like Beliveau, he could find a role in the Chicago pen and a strong AFL showing will increase his chances. Age 25.
Terry Doyle, RHP, White Sox: 3.05 ERA between High-A and Double-A, with a 116/32 K/BB in 165 innings, 156 hits combined. Throws strikes with average stuff, has exceeded expectations for a 38th round pick (Boston College, 2008). Age 25.
Trey McNutt, RHP, Cubs: Entered season as top prospect but has scuffled in Double-A, 4.35 ERA with 63/34 K/BB in 91 innings, 114 hits, struggling with blister problems. Needs to right the ship here and regroup for next year. Age 22.
Chorye Spoone, RHP, Orioles: Curveball artist with injury history, but some scouts consider him a sleeper. 3.99 ERA with 62/39 K/BB in 86 innings in Double-A, but has pitched better when used in the bullpen, likely his major league role. Turns 26 this month.
Brian Dozier, SS, Twins: Hitting .314/.381/.498 in 287 at-bats in Double-A, hit .322/.423/.472 in 180 at-bats in High-A before his promotion. Has also stolen 24 bases. Defense is solid enough and his bat looks very good right now, a significant sleeper prospect who should see Minnesota next year. Age 24.
Junior Lake, SS, Cubs: Hit .315/.336/.498 in High-A (203 at-bats), then .253/.303/.382 in Double-A (225 at-bats). Struggles with strike zone judgment but has good tools, 36 steals this year and power potential. 33 errors at shortstop, but just 21 years old.
Joe Mahoney, 1B, Orioles: Hitting .283/.343/.492 with 10 homers, 25 walks, 82 strikeouts in 297 at-bats in Double-A. Big guy with plus left-side power, but strikes out a lot and is already 24 years old. Needs to make noise here to stay on the radar given age and position.
Tyler Saladino, SS, White Sox: Hitting .270/.363/.500 with 16 homers, 49 walks, 86 strikeouts in 378 at-bats in High-A. Impressive power for a shortstop and could stick at the position. Another sleeper who could take a big step forward here. Age 22.
Xavier Avery, OF, Orioles: Hitting .262/.324/.349 with 35 steals, 45 walks, 149 strikeouts in 538 at-bats in Double-A. Fast, good tools, but still very raw as a hitter. Still has time to improve at age 21.
Robbie Grossman, OF, Pirates: Hitting .299/.424/.459 with 103 walks, 107 strikeouts, 24 steals in 479 at-bats in High-A. Breakout player with moderate power, very high walk rate, and good speed. Turns 22 this month.
Aaron Hicks, OF, Twins: Hitting .234/.347/.355 with 75 walks, 17 steals, 109 strikeouts in 431 at-bats in High-A. Still has impressive tools and will take walks, but power hasn't developed and he has not turned into the player scouts expected. Turns 22 next month.
Brandon Short, OF, White Sox: Another toolsy outfielder, hitting .264/.321/.409 with 13 homers, 21 steals, 36 walks, 120 strikeouts in 511 at-bats in Double-A. Held back by pitch recognition problems, turns 23 this month.