The last roster to take shape every spring is the one for the Cubs’ rookie league team in Mesa. Earlier this week Arizona Phil of the Cub Reporter put out who all was in extended spring training. That list also included players that were rehabbing or nursing minor injuries from the four full season affiliates. Once you sort out the injured from the players who have not been assigned an affiliate and then move the guys who could be in Myrtle Beach in June, you are left with about 35-40 prospects for the Mesa roster which begins play in mid June.
Let’s take a look at each position group.
|Jose Alcila||Elian Almanzar||Michael Arias|
|Rony Baez||Yovanny Cabrera||Yohan Crispin|
|Wilfri Figuereo||Angel Gonzalez||Dominic Hambley|
|Angel Hernandez||Anthony Mendez||Gleiber Morales|
|Anthony Martinez||Gregori Montano||Kenyi Perez|
|Starlyn Pichardo||Cristian Rojas||Oliver Roque|
|Erian Rodriguez||Jose Romero||Tomy Sanchez|
|Marino Santy||Joel Sierra||Alfredo Zarraga|
I will be very surprised if Dominic Hambley begins the year in Mesa. I will be even more surprised if he doesn’t pitch in Myrtle Beach. He’s a big kid who is known for his work ethic and mid 90s arsenal. Hopefully that translates into an early season promotion to Myrtle Beach.
Depending on how this spring goes, we could also see Koen Moreno join Hambley in Myrtle Beach.
One of the players I am going to be looking at the most in Mesa on the mound is Erian Rodriguez, the Cubs 13th round draft pick out of high school last year. He has a live arm that could be fun to follow.
|Moises Ballesteros||Dilan Granadillo||Wally Soto|
|Edgar Gamargo||Ronnier Quintero||Bryan Serra|
As for catchers, I can’t wait to see the results of Moises Ballesteros on a daily basis. I just love everything about this kid including his attitude, his gorgeous swing, and his ability to hit for power as well as average.
|Cristian Hernandez||Rafael Morel||Pedro Ramirez|
|Joanfran Rojas||Christian Olivo||Alejandro Rivero|
When it comes to Cristian Hernandez, I won’t be surprised to see him start in Mesa but I will be surprised if he finishes the year in Mesa. Along with Pedro Ramirez, the duo should have the middle of the infield covered as well as the ability to spray the ball all over the ballpark. I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a double-play tandem at any level in quite a while. Then again, Hernandez has an outside shot of making his way to Myrtle Beach over the next six weeks. As for Alejandro Rivero, his experience in the Pioneer League last summer could land him in Myrtle as well. He might be my sleeper pick of the summer.
|Brayan Altuve||Frank Hernandez||Anderson Surriel|
|Raino Coran||Cristian More|
There are a couple of interesting names in the outfield. Anderson Suriel tore it up in the second half of last year in the Dominican as did Raino Coran, who is a Jorge Soler physical clone. I’m interested to see how both do stateside as they play against more advanced competition.
We’re still about six weeks away from finding out the legitimate roster of the complex league team. This collection of names gives us a pretty good idea who can possibly be on it, but some of them will end up going to Myrtle Beach over the course of the next month and a half. I’m pretty pumped to see who does what and just how good these kids will do this year considering how well last year’s rookie league squad played.