GENEVA, IL – Rosters for the prestigious Arizona Fall League were announced this afternoon, and the list includes many former Cougars. Two Cougars from this year’s team, outfielder Albert Almora and pitcher Armando Rivero, were named to the Mesa Solar Sox roster. Almora, the Cubs’ first round draft pick in 2012, had his season cut short due to a groin injury. The 19-year old batted .329 in 61 games at Kane County. Rivero, a Cuban signee by the Cubs pitched in 11 games before receiving a promotion to Class-A Advanced Daytona. The right-handed pitcher is currently with Double-A Tennessee. The Cubs are sending other prospects such as Javier Baez and Jorge Soler, who both played in the Midwest League last season.
Numerous former Cougars and current Kansas City Royals prospects are represented on the Peoria Javelinas roster, including last season’s Cougars Player and Pitcher of the Year. Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio and pitcher Angel Baez are featured along with Malcom Culver (’12), Orlando Calixte (’11-’12), Jason Adam (’11), Cheslor Cuthbert (’11) and Lane Adams (’11-’12).
Former Cougars manager Russ Morman, who led the Cougars to the Midwest League Championship in 2001, will manage the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Now in its 22nd season, the AFL kicks off its season on Tuesday, October 8 and runs through Saturday, November 16. Long regarded as a stepping stone for baseball’s top minor league talent, the AFL has included countless former Cougars and current big leaguers such as Adrian Gonzalez, Andrew Bailey and Andre Ethier. Another former Cougar who participated in the AFL last season, catcher Max Stassi, made his major league debut last week with Houston.