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Cubs invite Baez, Bryant, Almora to camp

1/24/2014

Top prospects Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Albert Almora are among 24 non-roster players invited to spring training by the Chicago Cubs, the team announced Friday.

Baez, a shortstop who is expected to open the season at Triple-A Iowa, is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in baseball by MLB.com. He hit 37 home runs between Class A and Double-A last season.

Bryant, a third baseman taken second overall in June's draft, is No. 9 on the MLB ranking. He is expected to open the season at Double-A after hitting .336 with nine home runs combined at three different stops in the minors last season.

Almora, the Cubs' No. 1 pick of 2012 who is ranked 18th by MLB.com, had his season cut short due to injury at Class A Kane County. He had a strong Arizona Fall league and is expected to begin the season at High-A ball.

Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs' minor league pitcher of the year in 2013, also received an invite to spring training. After dominating at Double-A Tennessee with a 10-3 record and a 1.85 ERA, he excelled at Triple-A Iowa late last season, posting a 2.48 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in six starts.

Here are the rest of the non-roster players who have been invited to camp:

Pitchers: RHPs Marcus Hatley, Carlos Pimentel, Armando Rivero and Brian Schlitter; LHP Tommy Hottovy, Eric Jokisch, Jonathan Sanchez and Tsuyoshi Wada.

Infielders: Ryan Roberts, Chris Valaika and Jeudy Valdez.

Outfielders: Chris Coghlan, Aaron Cunningham, Ryan Kalish, Mitch Maier, Darnell McDonald and Casper Wells.

Catchers: John Baker, Rafael Lopez and Eli Whiteside.

Position players report to camp Feb. 18, and the first full-squad workout is Feb. 19.