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Cubs sending power surge to Arizona

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs are going to be sending a power-packed outfit to the Arizona Fall League.

Each of the Cubs' last three first-round draft picks will be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox: third baseman Kris Bryant (2013), center fielder Albert Almora (2012) and shortstop Javier Baez (2011). They also said outfielder Jorge Soler, a big signing out of Cuba last year, will head to the AFL.

The Cubs also will send right-handed pitchers Dallas Beeler, Armando Rivera, Matt Loosen and Arodys Vizcaino.

"Each one individually made a lot of sense," said general manager Jed Hoyer at Dodger Stadium, where the Cubs beat the Dodgers 3-2 Tuesday night. "It should be a really good roster we send. Individually, it all helps their development."

Several of these players, including Almora, Soler, Beeler and Vizcaino, have battled injuries this year, so time in the Fall League will be valuable.

Because of roster considerations of their own and with the Mesa club, the Cubs will want to look at Baez and Bryant at other positions. Baez is a shortstop at Double-A (Kodak) Tennessee, and Bryant is a third baseman at Class A Daytona.

The Cubs already have Starlin Castro at shortstop at the big-league level.

"The more versatility our guys have, the better," Hoyer said. "I think you will see some guys move around the diamond. That doesn't mean we're thinking about moving (players) off the primary position. It just means that they can help us more up here, really help the major league club more in the future if they can move around."

It's also possible Bryant will see time in the outfield in the AFL, Hoyer said.

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