Wrigleyville Nation was on hand at Saturday’s Arizona Fall League championship game in Scottsdale, where Cubs prospect Kris Bryant collected some hardware after winning the AFL MVP award. Bryant’s team, the Mesa Solar Sox, lost 2-0 to the Surprise Saguaros, but the point of the AFL is player development not winning championships. Bryant, recently named the Cubs #2 prospect by Baseball America, won the award with a slash line of .364/.457/.727 during the six-week fall season, leading the league in home runs with 6. Bryant is the first AFL player to win MVP in his first professional season since the inception of the award in 2002. Bryant is pictured below with Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini, who won the AFL sportsmanship award.
Other Cubs prospects on the Mesa roster included outfielders Albert Almora and Jorge Soler, also top 5 prospects, and pitchers Dallas Beeler, Matt Loosen, and Armando Rivera. Bryant, Almora, and Soler were named AFL top 20 prospects by MLB.com. Beeler emerged as a pitcher to watch in Spring Training. Though he doesn’t quite have the same stuff, Beeler reminds me of Roy Halladay. Beeler was named to the Cubs 40-man roster today, a reflection of his emergence in the AFL.