Cubs Minor League Wrap: September 1

Rafael Dolis threw an inning for the Smokies tonight. Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE


It's time to vote for the BCB Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for August! There were some really tough choices this month as Dan Vogelbach and his nine home runs didn't make the final cut. When you see who did get the nomination from Boise, I think you'll understand why.

Later this week when the season is over, we'll have a vote for the Cubs Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year.

The candidates are:

Iowa Cubs third baseman Greg Rohan: Rohan has hit everywhere he's been this season and Iowa is his third stop. For the month, Rohan hit .290 with four home runs and an impressive 24 RBI in only 27 games. Rohan had an OBP for the month of .330 and a slugging percentage of .449.

Tennessee Smokies second baseman Logan Watkins: Since the calendar turned to June, Watkins has been beating up on Southern League pitching. Watkins batting average actually dropped in August, as he only hit .271. But he had his second-best OBP month at .426. Most impressively, Watkins doubled his home run total for the year by hitting four in August, including a walk-off home run in extra innings on August 28. Watkins scored an amazing 28 runs in 29 games.

Daytona Cubs third baseman Christian Villanueva: August was Villanueva's first month in the Cubs system and he certainly made a great first impression as he homered in his first two at-bats for Daytona. He finished the month with four home runs and a triple-slash line of .263/.356/.487. The reports on his defense have always been excellent.

Peoria Chiefs second baseman Zeke DeVoss: DeVoss has been an OBP machine all year, but he took it to a new level in August as he got on base at a .446 clip. DeVoss hit .323 in August with two home runs and six steals. He scored twenty times in August.

Boise Hawks shortstop Stephen Bruno: Bruno is a short infielder who just knows how to hit. He finished the month hitting .404/.496/.578. That's right, he almost reached base in half of his plate appearances in August and had a 21 game hitting streak to finish out the month. His month included three home runs, 21 runs scored and 26 runs scored. He also plays all over the diamond.

The games after the jump:

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies lost to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds), 3-2.

Eric Jokisch started and allowed one run over five innings. Jokisch gave up six hits and waked two batters. Jokisch struck out five.

Kevin Rhoderick got the loss after he did about the worst thing you can do against Pensacola: He walked Billy Hamilton in the ninth inning in a tie game with the bases empty. Hamilton promptly stole second base and scored two batters later on a single by Bryson Smith. Rhoderick allowed one run on one hit and two walks over a third of an inning.

All the Smokies scoring came thanks to a two-run home run by second baseman Logan Watkins in the fifth inning. It was Watkins' third home run in four days and fourth in the past week. Watkins now has nine overall home runs. Watkins was 1 for 3 with two walks and a stolen base.

Right fielder Matthew Szczur went 2 for 5 with a double. He scored on the Watkins home run.

Daytona Cubs

The Daytona Cubs netted the Brevard County Manatees (Brewers), 4-2.

Matt Loosen started and collected his eleventh win against only five defeats. Loosen allowed one run on only two hits over five innings. Loosen walked one and struck out six.

A.J. Morris pitched two perfect innings for his seventh save. He struck out two.

Center fielder John Andreoli led off the bottom of the first inning with his first home run as a professional. Andreoli went 2 for 3 with a walk. He scored twice.

DH Nelson Perez hit two doubles and walked once in a 2 for 3 game. Perez scored one run and knocked one home.

Peoria Chiefs

The Peoria Chiefs were badly scratched by the Kane County Cougars (Royals), 6-5.

Jeffry Antigua started and took the loss. He allowed six runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings. Antigua walked three and struck out two.

DH Bijan Rademacher came to bat with the bases loaded in the fourth inning and emptied them with a three-run double. Rademancher was 2 for 4.

Catcher Chadd Krist was 2 for 4 with two doubles. He scored two runs.

Boise Hawks

The Boise Hawks scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to stomp on the Everett AquaSox (Mariners), 12-11.

Ian Dickson pitched the first 3.1 innings and put the Hawks behind early, allowing six runs, all in the fourth inning. Dickson gave up five hits. He walked four and struck out two.

Brian Smith wasn't credited with the win, but the Hawks don't win without his three innings of perfect relief: nine up, nine down. Smith struck out four.

Rafael Diplan pitched the top of the ninth inning and got the win when the Hawks came back in the bottom of the inning. Diplan allowed two hits but no runs. Diplan didn't walk anyone and struck out two.

Catcher/third baseman Willson Contreras came up with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth and hit a ground ball to third base. Everett third baseman Patrick Kivlehan went home and threw the ball away to end the game. Contreras was 1 for 6.

Shortstop Marco Hernandez tied the game up earlier in the ninth when he singled home second baseman Gioskar Amaya after he hit a one-out triple. Hernandez had a huge night, going 4 for 6. He scored three runs and had two total RBI.

Amaya was 2 for 4 with a double, the triple and two walks. He also scored three runs and knocked two home. Amaya now has twelve triples in 70 games this season.

First baseman Dan Vogelbach was 3 for 5 with a double and a walk. He scored one run and had three RBI.

Right fielder Rock Shoulders went 2 for 3 with two walks. Shoulders scored once. Center fielder Albert Almora was 2 for 5 with a double.

Third baseman Stephen Bruno was ejected from this game in the fifth inning. However, he went 1 for 1 with a walk and a hit by pitch before getting ejected, extending his hit streak to 22 games.

This was the last game of the regular season for Boise and they finished with an overall losing record of 37-39. However, their second half record of 24-14 was easily good enough to win their division's second-half championship. They start a best-of-three playoffs against Yakima Monday night in Boise.

In case anyone was wondering, the Hawks overall 37-39 record would have won the division anyway without a split season.

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