Prospect Almora among 18 Cubs NRIs

Prospect Almora among 18 Cubs NRIs

The Cubs have invited 18 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training, a group that includes two of their top five prospects.

Right-hander Duane Underwood and outfielder Albert Almora headline the list of non-roster invitees, announced Friday. The Cubs invited 10 pitchers, three infielders, three outfielders and two catchers, bringing their Spring Training roster to 58 players.

Underwood, the club's No. 4 prospect, went 6-3 with a 2.58 ERA in 14 starts for Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach last season. The 21-year-old right-hander was taken in the second round of the 2012 Draft.

Almora, 21, hit .272 with a .727 OPS, six home runs and 46 RBIs in 106 games for Double-A Tennessee last year. The outfielder was picked sixth overall in the 2012 Draft and is currently the Cubs' No. 5 prospect.

Along with Underwood, the Cubs also invited the following nine pitchers to big league camp: right-handers Stephen Fife, Brandon Gomes, Jean Machi, Felix Pena, Jonathan Pettibone, Armando Rivero and Drew Rucinski; as well as left-handers Luis Cruz and Jack Leathersich.

The Cubs also invited catchers Taylor Davis and Tim Federowicz; infielders Jesus Guzman, Munenori Kawasaki and Kristopher Negron; and outfielders John Andreoli and Juan Perez.

Pitchers and catchers are expected to report to Spring Training on Feb. 19, with their first workout scheduled for Feb. 20 at the Under Armour Performance Center in Mesa, Ariz. Position players are expected to report to camp on Feb. 23 and take part in their first full-squad workout on Feb. 24.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.