The seven players overall will help shape the 2006 Mesa Solar Sox roster, which also houses prospects from the Dodgers, Mets, Astros and Twins organizations. The team will be managed by Pat Listach.
Of the three position players, Fox, Moore and Patterson are all widely considered the best prospects at their positions in the Cubs’ farm system. All were named to their respective league all-star teams this season.
The 24-year-old Fox, a third-round pick from Michigan in 2003, is having his best season ever at the plate. He has a career-high 21 home runs and 82 RBIs in 110 games between Class-A Daytona and Double-A West Tennessee. In fact, he is the RBI leader in the Cub farm system as of Wednesday.
Fox was hitting .313 in 66 games at Daytona before earning what many felt was an overdue promotion to Double-A in June. He’s since hit .269 in 44 games for the Jaxx and on Monday night garnered a start in right field.
“He played right field and is going to play a little left and first base,” said Listach, the American League Rookie of the Year in 1992 and now in his first year as West Tenn manager. “He’s got to get his at-bats. He’s got over 20 home runs so you have to be impressed by the power numbers.”
Then there’s Moore, who might also finish up with his strongest year yet. The 22-year-old was a unanimous choice for Southern League All-Star Game MVP honors a month ago after going 3-for-4 with two towering home runs to right field.
The lefty hitting Moore, traded to the Cubs from Detroit over a year ago in the deal that sent Kyle Farnsworth to the Tigers, has 20 homers and 69 RBIs in 122 games at Double-A this season. He trails only Joey Votto and Craig Brazell for the most home runs in the Southern League.
“Scotty’s going to be a good major league ballplayer,” insists Listach. “He’s got a great work ethic and has improved tremendously on defense. I think he’s the best third baseman in this league. I’m a big fan of Scott Moore. He’s a professional and does his work the way he’s supposed to.”
For his part, Patterson was promoted to Triple-A Iowa over the weekend after batting .263 in 121 games for West Tenn. He had 39 extra-base hits and has stolen 40 bases in 52 attempts, second only to Jaxx teammate Chris Walker’s 41 stolen bases for the most in the system.
Since joining Iowa, Patterson has three straight multi-hit games and has gone 8-for-15 overall. Defensively, he committed 14 errors at second base for a .976 fielding percentage at West Tenn.
“He’s had a good year from start to finish,” Cubs Director of Player Development Oneri Fleita said of Patterson. “Now, we’re getting him ready to go to the Fall League and hopefully he can continue this out and finish up a really strong year.
“We’ve had a lot of moves with Buck Coats going to the big leagues and Ryan Theriot also going up, so we’ve had to make some moves to get some guys in some spots where we can keep these teams with enough players. It all happened for a good reason. These guys deserved it, and hopefully they’ll get some good experience at these levels,” Fleita said.