The Chicago Cubs added four players to their 40-man roster on Friday: infielders Junior Lake and Josh Vitters from Double-A Tennessee, left-handed pitcher Jeff Beliveau from Tennessee and outfielder Matt Szczur from Single-A Daytona.
They also outrighted right-handed pitchers Esmailin Caridad and Kyle Smit and outfielder Lou Montanez off of the 40-man roster, which now stands at 34 players. Players on the 40-man roster are protected from the Dec. 8 Rule 5 draft.
Lake, a 21-year-old shortstop, had a strong 2011 Arizona Fall League season, batting .296 (34-for-115) with eight doubles, three triples, five home runs and 18 stolen bases in 28 games. Beliveau, 24, was named the Cubs 2011 Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Szczur, 22, is listed as the third-best prospect in the Cubs system by “Baseball America” while Vitters, 22, is ranked ninth by the publication.