Time again to vote for the BCB Cubs Minor League Player of the Month. Once again, it was very difficult to choose just five candidates, as a lot of hitters had good months, especially down in Daytona where the D-Cubs went 21-6 for the month. Poor Greg Rohan just misses the cut for Peoria two months in a row.
Remember, this award is based on performance for the month and not on the player's status as a prospect. You can take into account defense or clutch hitting or any other criteria you want.
The candidates for the month of May are:
1B Bryan LaHair. The former Mariner turned on the power this month as he had eight home runs and 22 RBI. His slash stats for the Iowa Cubs this month were .379/.436/.689. He did everything but hit right-handed, which is what is probably keeping him out of Chicago at this point.
C Steve Clevenger. Clevenger was promoted to Iowa for the middle of the month were he tore up the Pacific Coast League for almost three weeks before returning to Tennessee when Castillo was sent down. Clevenger hit .412/.464/.647 with three home runs and eight RBI in 14 Triple-A games before being demoted. For Tennessee, he hit .310/.382/.448 with five RBI.
INF D.J. LeMahieu. There was a reason that LeMahieu got the call to Chicago, he was red-hot for Double-A Tennessee. For the month of May, LeMahieu hit .416/.438/.581 with one home run and 16 RBI. He scored 21 runs.
OF Evan Crawford. Tough to leave out Matt Cerda, Junior Lake, Justin Bour or really half the Daytona team. But Crawford, whom the Cubs acquired last August for Mike Fontenot, set the pace for the D-Cubs in the month by hitting .361/.430/.472 with six steals. He scored 18 times and had 17 RBI.
1B Richard Jones. The ninth-round pick out of the Citadel in 2009 is finally showing some of the power this month that the Cubs expected out of him. Jones hit five home runs, eleven doubles and 18 RBI this month. His total slash line was .348/.378/.580.
Now, on to today's games:
The Iowa Cubs topped the Nashville Sounds, 7-5.
Jay Jackson had his best start in over a month as he pitched seven innings and allowed only one run on six hits. He walked one and struck out three. It was his first win since April 21.
The I-Cubs had a 7-1 lead heading to the ninth inning, but Marcos Mateo gave up a pair of two-run home runs to make it 7-5 without recording an out. Esmailin Caridad entered the game with a man on and nobody out in the ninth. Caridad walked one batter, but struck out the other three he faced for his fourth save this year.
The I-Cubs smashed three home runs tonight. First baseman Scott Moore got the festival started with a three-run home run in the top of the first inning. It was Moore's fourth home run this year. Moore went 2 for 5 tonight.
The second home run was a third-inning solo home run by third baseman Marquez Smith. Smith now has five home runs this year. Smith also doubled in a 2 for 5 evening. Smith scored twice.
Second baseman Bobby Scales hit the third home run for the I-Cubs; a solo homer in the fifth inning. Scales now has three home runs this season. Scales went 1 for 4 with a walk. He scored twice.
Catcher Welington Castillo was 2 for 4 with a walk. He scored once.
The Tennessee Smokies knocked the Huntsville Stars out of orbit, 7-3.
Starter Chris Rusin improved his record to 2-1 with a solid six inning start. He allowed two runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out one.
First baseman Steve Clevenger cracked a three-run home run in the third inning. It was his fourth home run for Tennessee and his seventh overall. Clevenger was 1 for 4.
The Daytona Cubs were the first team in all of baseball to 40 wins as they cracked the Charlotte Stone Crabs, 10-3.
Jeffrey Lorick started and picked up his fourth win with 5.2 innings, allowing only one run on four hits. Lorick did walk four and did not have a strikeout.
First baseman Justin Bour got the scoring started with a solo home run to lead off the second inning. It was Bour's 14th home run this season. Bour went 2 for 4 on the night.
Right fielder Michael Burgess broke out of an 0 for 17 streak with a three-run home run in the 7th inning. It was his ninth home run this season. Burgess was 1 for 5.
Second baseman Matt Cerda was 3 for 5 with two RBI. Shortstop Logan Watkins went 2 for 4 with a walk. He also scored once. Third baseman Rafael Valdes was 2 for 4. Valdes scored twice and had one RBI.
Center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha picked up where he left off in Daytona, going 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Chiefs lost to the Lansing Lugnuts, 4-3.
Austin Kirk turned in a good start tonight, allowing only one run on one hit over five innings. His only problem was control, as he walked four and struck out three.
Bryce Shafer got the loss when he allowed two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth after he walked the bases loaded with one out. He pitched 1.1 innings and allowed three runs on two hits. The two runs he allowed in the eighth were unearned, although it was his error. Beeler walked three (one intentionally) and struck out two.
DH Richard Jones hit a solo home run in the second inning; his eighth this season. Jones was 1 for 4.
First baseman Ryan Cuneo went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. He scored once. Second baseman Arismendy Alcantara was 2 for 3 with a walk.