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Alexander Canario, Kevin Alcántara among 8 Cubs heading to the Arizona Fall League

The AFL is a showcase for some of MLB’s top prospects.

\ Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

With all the coverage of the Cubs’ playoff push recently, this has kind of fallen under the radar, and I thought you’d like to know details.

Alexander Canario, who’s been on the Cubs’ MLB roster most of September without getting much playing time, will be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. Other Cubs prospects heading to the AFL: Outfielder Kevin Alcántara, infielder James Triantos, lefthander Adam Laskey and righthanders Nick Hull, Tyler Santana, Chris Kachmar and José Romero.

Canario came to the Cubs (along with Caleb Kilian) from the Giants in the Kris Bryant trade. He missed a lot of this season because of a horrifying injury suffered in winter ball last offseason, but returned to bat .273/.356/.488 with 15 doubles and nine home runs in 53 games for High-A South Bend and Triple-A Iowa before being called up to the Cubs.

Alcántara came to the Cubs in the Anthony Rizzo deal. He’s 21 and batted .284/.345/.466 (111-for-391) for South Bend and Double-A Tennessee with 26 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 102 games.

Triantos was the Cubs’ second-round pick in 2021 out of high school in Virginia. This year, playing mostly second base (and a bit of third base and center field), he hit .287/.364/.391 (91-for-317) with 15 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 16 stolen bases.

Laskey was the Cubs’ 19th round pick in 2019 out of Duke. Like most collegiate players from that era, he missed all of 2020. This year, split between South Bend and Tennessee, he posted a 4.33 ERA and 1.481 WHIP in 38 relief appearances, with 62 strikeouts in 54 innings.

Hull was the Cubs’ seventh-round pick in 2022 from Grand Canyon University. He split this year between Low-A Myrtle Beach and South Bend and compiled a 4.11 ERA and 1.163 WHIP in 23 appearances (16 starts) with 88 strikeouts in 92 innings.

Santana signed with the Cubs out of Jacksonville University as an undrafted free agent in 2021. This year, he made 30 appearances (nine starts) for South Bend and posted a 4.07 ERA and 1.390 WHIP.

Kachmar was the Cubs’ 28th round pick in 2019 out of Lipscomb University in Tennessee. He, too, missed all of 2020 and is now 27. At Tennessee this year he posted a 5.08 ERA and 1.419 WHIP, with 69 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 62 innings.

Romero is 22 and from Venezuela. This year for Myrtle Beach, he posted a 2.77 ERA and 1.192 WHIP, with 68 strikeouts in 48⅔ innings.

Cubs prospects will play alongside prospects from the Yankees, Athletics, Orioles and Astros on the Solar Sox. Here’s the full breakdown of MLB teams and their AFL affiliates:

Arizona Fall League play begins Monday, October 2. The Mesa team, with Cubs prospects, will play at the Cubs’ spring facility, Sloan Park. Most games are in the evening. There will be a league Home Run Derby November 4, the Fall Stars Game November 5, and the AFL Championship Game will take place Saturday, November 11 at Scottsdale Stadium, with a play-in game for one of the title game spots the day before.

Here’s the complete AFL schedule:

I highly recommend attending an AFL game if you’re in the Phoenix area and have some time available. The weather’s usually great and only a few hundred people attend, so you can hear everything. Tickets are $12 ($10 for 55-and-over) and kids under 12 are free. You can buy AFL tickets here.