De La Cruz leads Cubs heading to AFL

De La Cruz leads Cubs heading to AFL

CHICAGO -- Right-hander Oscar De La Cruz, ranked No. 1 on's list of top 30 Cubs prospects, will play for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, which starts on Oct. 10.

De La Cruz, 22, who was 4-2 with a 3.58 ERA in 10 starts at Class A Myrtle Beach, will be joined on the Solar Sox roster by pitchers Pedro Araujo, Alec Mills and Jake Stinnett; catcher Ian Rice; infielders David Bote and Jason Vosler; and outfielder Charcer Burks. Mills is ranked 20th on the list of Cubs prospects, and Burks is 22nd.

Araujo, 24, was 5-1 with a 1.90 ERA in 42 games at Myrtle Beach, striking out 79 over 61 2/3 innings. Mills, 25, who was slowed by an ankle injury this year, has made three starts at Triple-A Iowa.

2017 Arizona Fall League rosters
Click on the AFL team name to see complete roster.
AFL club MLB clubs
Glendale CLE, CWS, LA, PHI, PIT
Salt River ARI, BAL, COL, MIA, MIL
Surprise KC, MIN, STL, TB, TEX
Scottsdale CIN, LAA, NYM, NYY, SF

Stinnett, 25, a second-round Draft pick in 2014, has pitched at Myrtle Beach and also Double-A Tennessee, and has given up three earned runs over 19 2/3 innings in 12 games.

Bote, 24, who has primarily played second base, was batting .270 at Tennessee with 14 home runs, 28 doubles, three triples and 57 RBIs in 121 games. Vosler, 23, was batting .250 in 123 games at Tennessee with 21 homers, 18 doubles and 81 RBIs. Burks, 22, was batting .264 in 117 games at Tennessee with 10 homers, 19 doubles, three triples and 16 stolen bases.

Tennessee hitting coach Jacob Cruz will be on the Mesa Solar Sox coaching staff.

The Arizona Fall League is a "finishing school" for prospects who are close to the Majors. Generally speaking, if a team sends a player to the AFL, it's an indication that the club thinks he has the chance to contribute in the big leagues in the near future.

The league is composed of six teams, with five organizations represented on each. Every MLB team is required to send at least six players from its organization.

The AFL will conclude with a championship game on Nov. 18 at Scottsdale Stadium.

The Solar Sox are comprised of prospects from the Astros, Athletics, Nationals, Tigers and Cubs, and will play their games at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.