2022 Cubs AZ Instructional League Roster

10/8 UPDATE

The Cubs have added RHP Juan Bello to their AZIL roster. Bello was signed as a 17-year old out of Colombia this past February, and spent the 2022 season pitching for DSL Cubs Red. He finished the season hurling a combined eight innings of no run / no hit ball over his last two starts. He is considered one of the Cubs top pitching prospects in the DSL.

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9/22 UPDATE
:

INF-OF Ezequiel Alvarez, OF Wilmer Bolivar, and OF Leonel Espinoza have been added to the Cubs instructs roster. All three spent the 2022 season on the DSL Cubs Blue 60-day IL, and they are presently rehabbing at the Cubs Nike Performance Center in Mesa.

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9/21 UPDATE
:

RHP Joel Sierra, C David Avitia, and OF Cristian More have been added to the Cubs instructs roster. 

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2022 CUBS ARIZONA INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE ROSTER
(last updated 10-8-2022) 
63 players 

* bats or throws left 
# bats both 

PITCHERS
: 31 
Michael Arias 
Max Bain 
Juan Bello
Brandon Birdsell 
* Jackson Ferris
* Carlos Garcia 
Angel Gonzalez 
Yoendris Gonzalez
* Bailey Horn (until start of AFL season)  
Cade Horton 
Nick Hull 
Grant Kipp 
Zac Leigh (until start of AFL season)
* Luke Little 
Michael McAvene 
Brody McCullough 
Mason McGwire 
Koen Moreno 
Nazier Mule 
* Branden Noriega 
Eligio Paredes 
Kenyi Perez 
Mathew Peters 
Jake Reindl 
Wilber Rodriguez
Luis Rujano 
* Marino Santy 
Frankie Scalzo Jr
Joel Sierra
Freilyn Silverio 
Kevin Valdez 

CATCHERS: 9 
Yoanis Aleksandrov 
David Avitia
* Moises Ballesteros 
* Ethan Hearn 
Haydn McGeary 
Miguel Pabon 
# Malcom Quintero 
Carlos Ramos 
Adan Sanchez 

INFIELDERS: 11
# Ezequiel Alvarez  
Alexis Hernandez 
Cristian Hernandez
Rafael Morel 
Christian Olivo 
Christopher Paciolla 
# Reggie Preciado 
# Pedro Ramirez 
Jefferson Rojas 
* Anderson Suriel 
James Triantos 

OUTFIELDERS: 13 
* Josefrailin Alcantara 
Kevin Alcantara 
Brayan Altuve 
* Parker Chavers 
* KeShun Collier 
Raino Coran 
Leonel Espinoza 
Andy Garriola
Frank Hernandez 
Erbin Jaque 
* Ismael Mena 
* Cristian More
* Yohendrick Pinango 

FIELD COORDINATOR
Ed Blankmeyer 

PITCHING DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
Casey Jacobson 

PITCHING PERFORMANCE COORDINATOR
James Ogden 

ASSISTANT PITCHING DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
Carlos Chantres 

ASSISTANT PITCHING PERFORMANCE COORDINATOR
Mike Mason 

HITTING COORDINATOR
Dustin Kelly 

ASSISTANT HITTING COORDINATOR
Tom Beyers 

CATCHING COORDINATOR
Mark Johnson 

INFIELD COORDINATOR
Ryan Serena 

OUTFIELD & BASERUNNING COORDINATOR:
Doug Dascenzo 

MENTAL SKILLS COORDINATOR
David DaSilva 

COACHES
Collin Andrews 
Jhonny Bethencourt 
Yovanny Cuevas 
Rachel Folden 
Armando Gabino 
Luis Hernandez 
Eric Patterson 
Raymond Pena 
Chris Pieters 
Steven Pollakov 
Doug Willey
Jose Zapata 

Comments

Obviously several of the players on the AZIL roster are participating in Cubs minor league playoffs as we speak, so they will report after playoffs are over (and they will probably get a couple of extra days off in between). 

The twelve DSL guys who got called up for AZ Instructs are: LHSP Carlos Garcia (spent 2022 season on Restricted List but he is one of the Cubs top DSL pitching prospects), RHSP Yoendris Gonzalez, RHSP Eligio Paredes, RHRP Wilber Rodriguez (polished closer prospect), RHSP Freilyn Silverio, C Yoanis Aleksandrov (signed out of Rumania last March), C-1B Carlos Ramos, C-3B Adan Sanchez, SS Alexis Hernandez (Cristian's little brother), 2B Jefferson Rojas, RF Josefrailin Alcantara, and OF Erbin Jaque (Jaque is supposedly the best defensive OF and the fastest player at DSL Cubs, and J. Alcantara has a plus-arm, plus speed, and plus-power). 

With the exception of Aleksandrov, the DSL players invited to Instructs (plus RHP Kevin Valdez, who was called up to the ACL in late July) are considered to be the Cubs top dozen 2022 DSL prospects, and they will almost certainly be in the U. S. (EXST and ACL) next season.     

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In reply to by bradsbeard

BRADSBEARD: I don't know why Jose Escobar isn't at Instructs. If I find out I will let you know. 

As to adding Escobar (or anyone else) to the instructs roster later, the players who get added later are usually injury rehab guys who are ready to play or pitch in games after the conclusion of the minor league season, and sometimes guys prepping to play in the AFL will get some reps in instructs games prior to the start of the AFL.

Cubs 2022 draft picks RHP Cade Horton (1st round), LHP Jackson Ferris (2nd round), RHP Nazier Mule (4th round), RHP Brandon Birdsell (5th round), RHP Mason McGwire (8th round), LHP Branden Noriega (11th round), and RHP Luis Rujano (13th round) will be making their pro debuts at instructs.    

Not attending instructs are RHP Connor Noland (9th round) and RHP Garrett Brown (18th round), who will report to Minor League Camp next March and will make their pro debuts in 2023, RHP (ex-C) Shane Marshall (14th round) will be converted to a full-time pitcher at EXST next sping, and RHP Will Frisch (6th round - March 2022 TJS)) and RHP JP Wheat (16th round) were placed on the ACL Cubs 60-day IL immediately after signing and will (hopefully) make their pro debuts sometime in 2023

The 17 year olds at instructs are OF Josefrailin Alcantara, SS Alexis Hernandez, RHP Nazier Mule (draft pick), 2B Jefferson Rojas, and C-3B Adan Sanchez, and J. Rojas (turned 17 in April) and A. Sanchez (turned 17 in May) are THE youngest (not to mention the two best DSL Cubs position player prospects at instructs).    

AZ Phil:

Doesn't each team for the AFL get 6 players plus a taxi squad player and one of the 7 total can be from below AA? 
If this is accurate, any chance PCA gets an invite to AFL as the below AA guy?

They've announced 4 bullpen arms, BDavis, Mash and M. Amaya so this is already a mute point but I thought I'd ask. Cubs are going to rush PCA. But it would have been fun to see him hit against some AA/AAA arms!

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In reply to by Childersb3

Childersb3: Each of the five MLB clubs that provide players to a given AFL team must assign four pitchers (one of whom is expected to be able to be a starting pitcher) and three position players (one outfielder, one 2B, 3B, or SS, and one 1B or catcher), such that a total of five SP, 15 RP, five outfielders, five 2B, SS, or 3B, three catchers, and two first basemen are assigned to each AFL team.

However, clubs can "horse trade" when the assignments are made, so (for exampls) the Cubs could send both a catcher and a first baseman to the Mesa Solar Sox in exchange for the Marlins not sending a catcher or a first-baseman but instead the Marlins send two infielders (2B, SS, or 3B) and the Cubs don't send any.

Same goes for the pitchers. The pitchers sent to the Solar Sox by the Cubs can all be relievers if one of the other four clubs sends two pitchers capable of being used as a starter,

Each of the five MLB clubs can send one additional position player to the AFL team's taxi squad. This usually is because more than three of the clubs want to send a catcher and there are only three catcher slots on the regular roster. The taxi squad could also be used for an extra infielder, outfielder, or first baseman when the roster is full. 

Players assigned to the AFL team's taxi squad can only play twice a week (it used to be Wednesday and Saturday, but now it can be any two days). Also, a player assigned to the AFL team's taxi squad can be elevated to the regular roster to replace an injured player, and the replacement player doesn't have to be a player from the same organization. However, usually an MLB organization will replace an injured player with a different player (but same position) from that organization.

There also used to be a restriction on the number of players from below AA that can be assigned (one per each MLB club) and how many players from a country that has a winter ball league like Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Australia, etc, can be assigned (one player per each MLB club), but those restrictions were eliminated three or four years ago. So an MLB club could assign seven guys from the DSL if that's what they want to do (although of course nobody does that). 

Same goes for the prohibition on assigning players with more than a year of MLB Service Time. Now there is no restriction at all. A club could even send five major leaguers if it so desires, although nobody does that because it would defeat the purpose of the AFL. 

The only restrictions still in place are that a player must be under the control of an MLB organization (no free agents allowed, so a player who is eligible to be an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA after the World Series can't be assigned unless and until the player signs a minor league successor contract), and a player on an MLB IL cannot be assigned until he is reinstated from the IL. You may remember that Kyle Schwarber played a couple of games in the AFL in 2016 before he joined the Cubs for the World Series. In order to do that, Schwarber had to be reinstated from the Cubs MLB 60-day IL before he was assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox. 

So to answer your question, even if the Cubs assign 1B Matt Mervis, C Miguel Amaya, and OF Brennon Davis to the Mesa Solar Sox, Pete Crow-Armstrong (or any other Cubs major league or minor league position player) could be assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox taxi squad and play in two games per week. 

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

I remember talking to someone who managed in the AFL a few years ago and he said he was driven crazy by the player development directors from each of the five MLB organizations constantly bugging him about how to use his players. He said it was like having five George Steinbrenners calling every day. 

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In reply to by Childersb3

Childers-- Begging your pardon in advance, but I'm gonna say it anyway-- moot point, not mute point. Stupid pet peeve of mine. Again, sorry!

 Matt Mervis homered yesterday, making it 33 for the year over three levels.  The last left-handed hitting proppect with over 30 homers, .300 avg. and 100+ RBIs that I can recall was Karl Pagel.  Their stats are very similar.  Looking over Karl's stats and Cubs history, he was a 1st round pick of the Cubs in 1976 and I remember his monster season in 1979 and waiting for him to be the next big thing come spring training in 1980.  Alas, he was given one AB in 1979 and was shipped to Cleveland for a non-discrpt career.  His minor league stats look like he could have fit in with today's emphasis of three outcome baseball:  power, Ks and walks.  I guess he was in the wrong era to be successful in the majors.

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In reply to by crunch

I remember Mike Pagel as a backup NFL QB. Never made the connection with the Cubs minor league prospect that suddenly wasn't any more. 
 

Back in the 70's and early 80's, it seems like we would hear about some position player coming up through the minors who was going to be a real contributor -- Gene Hiser, Pat Bourque, Pete LaCock, Karl Pagel. They all just seemed to evaporate and disappear. Very few position players came up through the Cubs minor league system and stuck for any period of time. The best we ever could do was someone like Carmen Fanzone, who was best known for having one 2 homer game early on AND being able to play a pro quality trumpet. 

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

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36 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (four slots are open)  

Last updated 12-2-2022
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 20
Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
Kyle Hendricks
Codi Heuer 
* Brandon Hughes
Ryan Jensen
Caleb Kilian 
Mark Leiter Jr
Ethan Roberts 
Manuel Rodriguez
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Keegan Thompson
Erich Uelmen 
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

CATCHERS: 3 
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes
P. J. Higgins 

INFIELDERS: 7
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
* Alfonso Rivas
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 6
Kevin Alcantara 
Alexander Canario
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez

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Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents