The Mesa Solar Sox have announced their roster for this year’s Arizona Fall League. Here are the Cubs prospects that will be competing this autumn:
- Lincoln Holdzkom (RHRP) Acquired in 2006 from the Florida Marlins for RHRP Todd Wellemeyer. Holdzkom is another Hendry Wounded Wing prospect, having had TJ surgery in 2004. He is 6-4 240# with a plus arm – he is an accomplished pianist and is the son of composer/arranger/pianist Christopher Holdzkom. Lincoln was picked in the 7th round of the 2002 draft after having been kicked off the Arizona Western University baseball team because of “insubordination.” He had a very good year in the minors, sporting a 1.76 ERA and holding opposing batters to a .236 batting average. Holdzkom pitched primarily for West Tenn and will likely start this year for Iowa;
- Adam Harben (RHSP) Acquired in 2006 from the Minnesota Twins as the PTBNL for Phil Nevin. Harben was one of the Twins’ many pitching prospects, therefore he was expendable. Adam has plenty of upside, he is 6-5 210# and throws a mid-90s fastball, slider and change. This year for AA New Britian he was 4-9 with a 3.96 ERA. He walked nearly as many as he struck out but gives up few homeruns;
- Carmen Pignatiello (RHRP) Selected in the 20th round of the 2000 draft, Carmen was converted to the bullpen this year and spent most of the year at AA West Tenn. He had a breakout year for the Jaxx, going 3-1 with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP;
- Clay Rapada (LHRP) (Pictured right, above) At 6-5 180# Clay is a lanky southpaw sidewinder who is death to lefthanded batters. Used primarily as a closer at West Tenn, Rapada earned 21 saves and a 0.82 ERA before being promoted to the I-Cubs. He had issues thereafter with a broken fingernail and strained tendon on his pitching hand and didn’t pitch quite as well at Iowa;
- Jake Fox (C) (Pictured right:) Jake tore up the Florida State League for Daytona, hitting .313 16 HR 61 RBI in 66 games before being promoted to West Tenn. Jake cooled off somewhat in Jackson but still finished the year with an impressive .294 21 HR 86 RBI line. After the season he was selected to Baseball America’s High Class A All Star team, joining Rich Hill who was chosen for Iowa;
- Scott Moore (3B) Moore was acquired along with Roberto Novoa from the Detroit Tigers for Kyle Farnsworth. Most of you may already know that he represented the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx at the Southern League All Star Game before being promoted to AAA Iowa and then the Cubs. Scott compiled a .276 22 HR 75 RBI season before being called up to the majors where he earned a .791 OPS; a breakout AFL could earn him John Mabry’s former spot on the Cubs roster, and
- Eric Patterson (2B)(Pictured right:) Cubs fans have to be really excited about E-Pat’s 2006, which eclipsed the previous year when he was named the Cubs’ 2005 minor league player of the year. After stealing 38 bases in 121 games at West Tenn, he was promoted to Iowa where he proceeded to take Des Moines by storm. Eric finished his season at Iowa hitting .358, stealing 8 more bases in 17 games. Patterson must improve his on base percentage and cut down on strikeouts a little (19% of his at bats) if he is to continue his progression toward the major league team.
Noticeably absent from the Mesa Solar Sox (who are skippered by Cubs’ AA manager Pat Listach) is Grant Johnson, who had been named to the team by the Cubs in August.
In other news, VFTB mourns the death of Yankees pitcher Corey Lidle. He was apparently on his way to Nashville, TN as he had reserved a room at the Union Station Hotel. Why he was flying north along the East River remains a mystery.