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2013 Arizona Fall League Preview: Mesa Solar Sox

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Taking a look at the Mesa Solar Sox, featuring players from the Angels, A's, Cubs, Nationals and Tigers.

Jorge Soler
Jorge Soler

With the kickoff of the Arizona Fall League, I wanted to examine each team's roster, starting with the Solar Sox. Mesa will open their season facing off against the Glendale Desert Dogs on Opening Day next Tuesday. Lets take a look at who will be representing each team.

Los Angeles Angels

C Jett Bandy
1B CJ Cron
2B Taylor Lindsey
LF Zach Borenstein

RHP Cam Bedrosian
RHP RJ Alvarez
RHP Mike Morin
LHP Michael Roth

The headliners of this group is LF Zach Borenstein. Borenstein was the California League MVP posting a .337/.403/.631 line but just missed Baseball America's annual top 20 league rankings. 1B CJ Cron posted his second consecutive season with 50+ extra base hits and 30+ doubles. He hit .274 while clobbering lefties with a .328/.392/.526 line in 116 AB's in Double-A. 21 year old RHP Cam Bedrosian showed signs of life with a move to the bullpen this year. He struck out 78 in 63 innings with 29 walks and 59 hits. His 4.57 ERA is misleading as he had an unsustainable .342 BABIP and he only stranded 63.4% of runners. His 3.22 FIP is more indicative of his performance.

Oakland A's

C David Frietas
1B Max Muncy
SS Addison Russell

RHP Ryan Dull
LHP Omar Duran
RHP Seth Frankoff
LHP Jeff Urlaub

SS Addison Russell possibly raised his stock more than any other position player this year. He quieted concerns about being able to stick at SS while hitting .275 in A+ as a 19 year old. He also had 17 home runs and 56 extra base hits with 21 stolen bases. 23 year old LHP Omar Duran has been damn near un-hittable at times in his career, just wild as hell. This year he made 37 relief appearances spanning 58.1 innings where he struck out 91 with 43 walks and just 39 hits with a 4.17 ERA. The 6'3, 209 lb Dominican held lefties to a .483 OPS this year and has a career 3.30 ERA. 1B Max Muncy had a breakout year hitting .273 with a .857 OPS, 25 home runs, 100 RBI, 89 runs and 88 walks to 102 strike outs. He tailed off after being promoted to AA with only a .753 OPS.

Chicago Cubs

3B Kris Bryant
2B Wes Darvill
CF Albert Almora
RF Jorge Soler

RHP Dallas Beeler
RHP Lendy Castillo
RHP Matt Loosen
RHP Armando Rivero

The Cubs are sending some of their premier offensive players to Arizona this year, including 2nd overall pick 3B Kris Bryant. The 6'5 215 lb slugger hit .336/.390/.688 with 9 home runs and 25 extra base hits in just 128 at bats after being drafted. Bryant could move very fast as a 22 year old next year, possibly starting as far up as AA. RF Jorge Soler missed significant time with a broken leg this year and is looking to make up for lost at bats. He managed 236 trips to the plate in 55 games and batted .281/.343/.467 with 8 home runs, 13 doubles and 35 RBI. RHP Dallas Beeler went down in May with a torn finger ligament that sidelined him for the remainder of the year. He had been doing great as a 6'5 ground ball specialist, with 3.67 ground outs to every fly out and a 91-94 mph sinker.

Washington Nationals

C Adrian Nieto
3B Matt Skole
CF Brian Goodwin
RF Steven Souza

RHP Robert Benincasa
RHP Richie Mirowski
LHP Matt Purke
LHP Sammy Solis

Washington is sending a pair of promising portsiders from Potomac out west. LHP's Matt Purke and Sammy Solis both missed time with injury, and both turned in seasons with an ERA under 4.00. Purke struck out 8.2 per 9 with 2.5 BB/9, 9.2 H/9 and a 3.80 ERA between 6 starts at Hagerstown and 12 at Potomac. He showed a sharp reverse platoon split - lefties tagged him to a .330 average and .902 OPS while right handers only batted .241 with a .631 OPS. 3B Matt Skole was primed for a breakout year after hitting .291 with 27 home runs and a .986 OPS between Low A and A+. He played 2 games before needing Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing elbow, missing almost the entirety of the 2013 season.

Detroit Tigers

SS Dixon Machado
2B Devon Travis
LF Tyler Collins

RHP Tommy Collier
LHP Kenny Faulk
LHP Blaine Hardy
RHP Corey Knebel

2B Devon Travis blew away everyone's expectations in his first full season. He hit .351 across both A ball levels with 16 home runs, 93 runs scored, 76 RBI and a .936 OPS. He finished on a power binge, knocking 5 home runs in his last 7 games of the season. LF Tyler Collins struggled at times to make contact, hitting just .240 but showed impressive power with 21 home runs and 29 doubles. He demolished same side pitchers with a .953 OPS against lefties while struggling against right handers with a .219 average and .676 OPS. RHP Corey Knebel laid waste to Midwest league hitters after being drafted in the supplemental first round. His mid 90's heat and plus hook led him to a 0.87 ERA in 31 innings with 14 hits, 41 K and 10 walks.