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Top prospects Happ and Covey dominated in the Arizona Fall League finale


The Arizona Fall League concluded its 2016 run on Saturday with a 6-1 championship win by the Mesa Solar Sox over the Surprise Saguaros. The Solar Sox featured prospects from the Cubs, Indians, Marlins, Athletics, and Blue Jays’ farm systems, while the Saguaros displayed top talent from the Red Sox, Royals, Twins, Pirates, and Rangers’ rosters.

Leading the charge in the Solar Sox’ championship win was Cubs’ top prospect Ian Happ, who fueled the team’s offensive drive with a base hit, double, and two home runs in four at-bats. Happ was ranked No. 1 within the Cubs’ farm system in 2016 and made the jump to Double-A Tennessee in mid-June after slashing .296/.410/.475 through 293 PA with High-A Myrtle Beach.

Happ’s efforts at the plate were boosted by a knockout performance from Athletics’ right-hander Dylan Covey. Covey carried a perfect game through four innings and finished his last start of the year with a hit, a run, a walk, and three strikeouts over five innings. He was backed by four scoreless innings and another six strikeouts from fellow A’s right-hander Frankie Montas and Cubs’ righty James Farris in the Solar Sox’ win.

While Happ and Covey were the clear standouts of the afternoon, league MVP honors went to 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres before the championship game kicked off. Ranked No. 2 in the Yankees’ system, Torres turned heads in the AFL, leading all batters with a .403 average, .513 on-base percentage and 1.15 OPS. He became the youngest AFL player to receive the Edge Pro Batting Title Award and his smooth transition to second base helped solidify an MVP run over two months with the Scottsdale Scorpions.

White Sox slugger Jiménez sidelined with bruised foot

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CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez has a sprained right foot, likely sidelining the slugger for a pivotal season-ending series against the crosstown Cubs.

The White Sox had dropped a season-high five in a row heading into the weekend set, falling out of first place in the AL Central. They are hoping to get back on track heading into their playoff appearance since 2008, but the health of Jimenez is a concern.

Jimenez, who is batting .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs, was injured sliding across home in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 5-4 loss at Cleveland on Thursday. Manager Rick Renteria said the 23-year-old left fielder will need “to be off his feet” for a few days.

“There’s inflammation in there and they want to calm it down” Renteria said. “We’ll know more in a few days.”

The White Sox trailed the first-place Twins by a game heading into the series with the Cubs. They are just one ahead of the third-place Indians. The AL postseason begins on Tuesday.