Named last month as the top prospect in San Diego’s farm system by Baseball America entering the 2012 season, Rizzo began the 2011 campaign by hitting .365 (73-for-200) with 16 home runs and 63 RBI in his first 52 Triple-A games to earn his first call-up to the big leagues, making his debut on June 9. Rizzo had a .444 on-base percentage, a .715 slugging percentage and a 1.159 OPS at the time of his promotion. He spent six weeks in the big leagues before returning to Triple-A on July 21. Rizzo was recalled to the majors September 4 and combined to bat .141 (18-for-128) with eight doubles, one triple, one homer and nine RBI in 49 big league games last year.
Rizzo was originally selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft out of high school. He was limited to 21 minor league games in 2008 after being diagnosed with Limited Stage Classical Hodgkins Lymphoma in late April. He returned a season later to lead all Red Sox minor leaguers with a .368 on-base percentage and ranked third in the system with a .297 batting average between Single-A Greenville and Single-A Salem.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Rizzo was named the Red Sox Offensive co-Player of the Year in 2010 after leading their system with 25 home runs between Salem and Double-A Portland. He finished second in the organization with 100 RBI, and batted .260 (138-for-531) with 42 doubles, 61 walks and 92 runs scored. He was Portland’s Most Valuable Player and tied for the team lead with 20 home runs in only 107 games.
Rizzo was acquired by the Padres as part of the five-player deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox on December 6, 2010. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he has batted .296 (425-for-1,436) with 119 doubles, 64 home runs and 281 RBI in 375 career minor league games covering five seasons.
Cates, 22, was selected by San Diego in the third round of the 2010 Draft and made his professional debut last season, going 4-10 with a 4.73 ERA (62 ER/118.0 IP) in 25 starts for Single-A Fort Wayne. He allowed only four home runs with 111 strikeouts in 118.0 innings pitched. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Cates is a native of Conway, AR and attended Northeast Texas Community College.
Cashner, 25, is 2-6 with a 4.29 ERA (31 ER/65.0 IP) in 60 major league outings (one start) the last two years with the Cubs. Chicago’s first round pick in the 2008 Draft, Cashner made his big league debut in 2010, making 53 relief appearances, and was limited to only seven outings (one start) in 2011 due to a right shoulder strain.
Na, 20, combined to bat .268 (72-for-269) with 10 doubles, no home runs and 22 RBI in 83 games between four different teams in the club’s minor league system last year. The Seoul, South Korea native was originally signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on August 12, 2009.