Congratulations to Bryan LaHair, whom you voted as the BCB Minor League Player of the Month for June. I guess ten home runs in a month is pretty impressive.
Now for the pitchers. Less to chose from here as the Cubs minor league pitchers did not have a good month in June. So here are the candidates, one from each of the top five teams.
Once again, this is intended to be a vote on their performance and not on their prospect status, but you can vote for whomever you want.
Iowa Cubs RHP Blake Parker: The I-Cubs pitching has struggled, which makes sense since if any of the starters were pitching well, they'd be in Chicago. But Parker has been very good in relief for Iowa since getting promoted in mid-May. June was his best month as in 11 appearances, he threw 16 innings and had a 2.25 ERA. Parker struck out 15 batters in June. He needs to work on his control as he walked nine.
Tennessee Smokies LHP Brooks Raley: Raley got off to a tough start and his ERA at the end of April was 7.64. But he pitched very impressively in June as he made five starts and went 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA. In the 31.1 innings he pitched, Raley struck out 19 and walked only seven. He held opposing hitters to a .235 batting average.
Daytona Cubs LHP Jeff Beliveau: BCBers have been following Beliveau's strikeout totals for a while now and they've always been pretty impressive. Although he only pitched 14 innings of relief in June, he struck out 19 batters and didn't walk anyone. Beliveau was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .176 batting average.
Peoria Chefs RHP Larry Suarez: "The next Zambrano" has been around so long (since 2006!) that it's hard to believe that he's still only 21. Suarez is probably never going to live up to the comparisons to his fellow Venezuelan (with whom he shares a strong physical resemblance to as well) but his strong month of June in Peoria got him promoted to High-A Daytona for the first time in his career earlier this week. For June, Suarez did not allow an earned run over 11 innings and he struck out 18 while walking five.
Boise Hawks RHP Yao-Lin Wang: The Taiwanese Wang wasn't as heralded as Korean (and Boise teammate) Jin-Young Kim, but Wang did receive a $260k bonus to sign in 2009 and has been impressive in his first stateside pitching. He reportedly throws in the low-90s and in his first three starts for Boise, he went 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA. In 14 innings, he struck out 14 and walked only four.
Recaps after the jump:
The Iowa Cubs were grounded by the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Astros) 3-2.
Nick Struck wasn't bad in his PCL debut, but he picked up the loss anyway. Struck allowed two runs on six hits over 5.1 innings. He walked four and he struck out four.
Bryan LaHair hit a two-run pinch hit home run in the top of the ninth to account for all of Iowa's scoring. It was his Pacific Coast League leading 24th home run.
Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez and left fielder Ty Wright were both 2 for 4 with a double.
The Smokies were burned by the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays), 3-1.
Dallas Beeler turned in a quality start, but took the loss anyway. He went seven innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, including one home run. Beeler walked two and struck out four.
The Smokies only had two hits tonight. One of them was a solo home run by left fielder Rebel Ridling in the seventh inning. Ridling was 1 for 4.
The Daytona Cubs were driven down by the Tampa Yankees, 7-1.
Starter Dae-Eun Rhee pitched five innings and allowed six hits on six runs. One of the six runs was unearned. Rhee walked four and fanned six.
Like the Smokies, the D-Cubs only managed two hits tonight.
The Peoria Chiefs turned the Beloit Snappers (Twins) on their backs, 3-2.
Great start by Eric Jokisch tonight. He pitched six shutout innings and surrendered only three hits. He walked nobody and struck out four.
Yohan Gonzalez coughed up the lead in the top of the seventh inning, but got the win when the Chiefs scored two in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead. Gonzalez allowed two runs on two hits, including a solo home run, over two innings of work. One of the two runs was unearned. Gonzalez did not walk anyone and struck out three.
Brett Ebinger pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first save. He struck out one.
First baseman Ryan Cuneo was 3 for 4. Second baseman Arismendy Alcantara was 2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Boise Hawks outlasted the Yakima Bears (Diamondbacks), 3-2 in 12 innings.
Luis Liria started and pitched six innings. He allowed only one run on three hits. He walked three and struck out four.
Kyler Burke had his best pitching appearance yet. He allowed a solo home run in the eighth inning to blow the lead, but that was the only run he allowed over four innings. Burke allowed only two total hits. He did not walk anyone and struck out two.
Colin Richardson got his first win of the season with two scoreless innings of relief. He pitched out of some jams as he allowed two hits and walked one. Richardson struck out one.
Left fielder Ben Klafczynski singled home center fielder Pin-Chieh Chen with the winning run in the twelfth inning. Klafczynski was 1 for 6 and Chen was 0 for 3 with three walks.
Right fielder Reggie Golden was 3 for 5 with a stolen base.
Hayden Simpson got knocked around for five runs on five hits and two walks over 2.1 innings. He did not strike anyone out.