Josh Vitters heads to Peoria

PEORIA, IL- The Peoria Chiefs in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs announced today that the organization's top-rated prospect, third basemen Josh Vitters, has been moved to Peoria from Extended Spring Training in Arizona.

In addition, outfielder Leon Johnson will be added to the roster while infielder Jonathan Mota was promoted to Daytona and outfielder Drew Rundle returned to Extended Spring Training. Both Vitters and Johnson are expected to meet the Chiefs in Midland, MI and be in uniform for Friday night's game against the Great Lakes Loons.

Vitters, rated the number one prospect in the Cubs organization by Baseball America, was selected out of high school as the third overall pick in last year's draft. Last season, between Mesa and Boise, he hit just .118 (6-for-51) after an extended layoff between his high school season and being drafted. In his final high school season, Vitters hit .390 with nine home runs and earned first-team All-America honors. His brother, Christian, is also in the Midwest League as an infielder for the Kane County Cougars.

Johnson joined the Chiefs roster on July 18th of last season in South Bend and homered in his first game with the club. Johnson finished the year hitting .198 with one home run and 11 RBI and also stole 10 bases in 13 tries. He also took over the starting center field position and hit lead off in 25 of his 33 games played with Peoria. Johnson was a 10th round draft pick by the Cubs in 2007 out of BYU. He was drafted three different times from 2003-2006 by the Tampa Bay Rays organization but chose to return to school each time. His brother, Elliott, made the Tampa Bay squad out of spring training and has appeared in five MLB games so far this season at four different positions.

In eight games so far in 2008, Mota is hitting .227 with a pair of doubles and has played five different positions for the Chiefs (LF, 2B, 3B, SS, P). Mota was promoted last July to Daytona, where he finished the 2007 season hitting .231 with one home run and 17 RBI in 38 games with the Cubs.

Rundle had started and played center field all 14 games for the Chiefs and was hitting .152 with one home run and two RBI and also stole five bases in six attempts. Rundle also had 13 strike outs in 46 at bats. Rundle was selected by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2006 draft out of Bend High School in Oregon where he hit .404 with 17 RBI in his final season and was named First Team All-League and honorable mention All-State.

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