By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five members of the 2015 Jacksonville Suns ball club will participate in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, announced by Major League Baseball on Tuesday afternoon.
Pitchers Jake Esch, Raudel Lazo, and Trevor Williams, along with infielders J.T. Riddle and Elliot Soto will all play for the Mesa Solar Sox, a club made up of prospects from the Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs, Los Angels Angels of Anaheim, Oakland Athletics, and Tampa Bay Rays.
The Solar Sox will be managed by Mike Mordecai, with hitting coach Greg Sparks, pitching coaches Ron Villone and Matt Wise, plus coach Patrick Anderson rounding out his staff. The Solar Sox will play their home games at Sloan Park in Mesa, the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs.
Esch, who is currently with Triple-A New Orleans, was a Southern League Midseason All-Star for Jacksonville where he was 6-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 15 starts. With the Zephyrs in four starts he is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA.
Williams is also with Triple-A New Orleans, but with Jacksonville he went 7-8 with a 4.00 ERA in 22 appearances and 21 starts. With New Orleans in two starts he is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA.
Lazo continues to work in Jacksonville’s bullpen, where the southpaw is 3-2 with a 2.15 ERA in 18 relief appearances. This was the first healthy season for Lazo since 2012 after elbow surgeries limited his time on the mound in 2013 and 2014.
Riddle is currently on Jacksonville’s disabled list, but in 44 games played with the Suns is hitting .289 with five homers and 20 RBI. Riddle also starred for High-A Jupiter this season, where he was a Florida State League Midseason All-Star, hitting .270 with nine RBI.
Soto is hitting .256 with 23 RBI in his time split between the Tennessee Smokies and the Suns this season. Soto was traded from the Cubs to the Marlins along with right-handed pitcher Ivan Pineyro in exchange for major league veteran Dan Haren at the trade deadline. In his 28 games with the Suns, Soto is hitting .196 with five runs batted in.
These five current or former Suns will be joined on the Solar Sox by Marlins outfield prospect Austin Dean, who is hitting .264 with five homers and 48 RBI in 129 games played for High-A Jupiter.
Arizona Fall League games will begin on Tuesday October 13, and last through November 21 when the Arizona Fall League Championship Game will be played at Scottsdale Stadium at 1:08 p.m.
The Suns and Smokies will square off in their series finale Tuesday night from Smokies Stadium with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET. Suns will send out right-hander Austin Brice (5-9, 4.86 ERA) while the Smokies will counter with lefty Jeffry Antigua (5-4, 4.50 ERA).
Suns fans can also listen to Tuesday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 600 AM & 100.3 FM “The Answer” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET.
The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.