KODAK, Tenn. - The Chicago Cubs have selected four members of the 2013 Tennessee Smokies to play in the Arizona Fall League following the 2013 season. INF Javier Baez, RHP Dallas Beeler, RHP Matt Loosen and RHP Armando Rivero will join Smokies trainer Scott Barringer and Cubs prospects Albert Almora, Kris Bryant and Arodys Vizcaino as part of the Mesa Solar Sox squad. The six-team league is comprised of top prospects from every MLB organization.
Since his call up from Hi-A Daytona on July 6, Baez has been a dominant force not only in the Smokies lineup but in the Southern League as well. In his first at-bat with the Smokies, Baez hit a home run on his first swing. Since then, he's hit 17 more home runs giving him a total of 18 in Double-A this season through 48 games. Between Hi-A and Double-A in 2013, Baez has hit 35 home runs and driven in 105 runs.
Beeler was very good to begin the year but an injury suffered in May that cost him the rest of the regular season. In nine starts, Beeler had a 4-2 record with a 3.13 ERA. He logged 54.2 innings and struck out 35 batters. Beeler will look to log some extra innings in the AFL to continue his 2013 campaign.
Loosen has had a real up-and-down season between Double-A and Hi-A this year. He had a tough go of it with the Smokies at the beginning of the year and was then sent down to Daytona to keep working. With the D-Cubs, Loosen threw a nine-inning no-hitter and which led him to be named Chicago Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July. Overall between the two levels, Loosen is 7-5 with a 4.34 ERA.
Rivero, a recent defector from Cuba, signed a contract with the Cubs in March 2013. Rivero has worked his way through the Cubs minor league system this season, pitching at three different levels. He was called up to the Smokies on Aug. 14 and made his first appearance on Aug. 16 where he pitched two innings of relief with four strikeouts. In four games with the Smokies, he is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA. River has struck out 10 through six innings and only issued one walk.
Barringer is in his first season with the Smokies after spending time in the Arizona Diamondbacks system in 2011 and 2012.