It's the first day of the month and that means it's time to vote on the BCB Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for April!
In case you're new, here's how it works. I pick five candidates for the award, one from each team. Since Boise doesn't start playing until June, I have one extra candidate the first few months that can come from any team. Your votes determine the winner. The award is meant to honor production and not prospects status (it would be silly to just keep giving it to Javier Baez every month). Otherwise, you can use any criteria you want. It you want to value RBI over OBP, go right ahead. If you want to do it the other way around, that's fine too. You can give extra credit for defense. Or not. It's up to you.
We vote on the pitchers tomorrow.
The candidates are:
Iowa Cubs Brian Bogusevic: The former Astro and Chicagoland native is tearing up the Pacific Coast League. He finished the month with a 15 game hitting streak. His final triple-slash numbers for the month were .420/.500/.568. He hit an even .500 at home in Principal Park in Des Moines. He's not much of a power hitter as he only had one home run, but he did steal five bases in six attempts.
Tennessee Smokies Jae-Hoon Ha: Ha had one of his best months ever as he hit .313 along with 13 walks to give him a .417 OBP. Few players in the Cubs system have taken the new mandate to walk more to heart more than Ha. In 2011, he walked 23 times all season. Last year he walked 50 times and he's on pace to increase that total again. Ha only has one home run this year, but it was a doozy as it was a walk-off three run home run that beat Pensacola. He's seven of eight in the stolen base department.
Daytona Cubs Dustin Geiger: Third baseman Geiger had a whopping 23 RBI in 25 games this past month. He hit .307/.380/.456 with three home runs for the month. Geiger hit 17 home runs for Peoria last season, so the power is real. Geiger's ten walks (one came today) are already half the 20 that he had in Peoria.
Kane County Cougars Rock Shoulders: Shoulders put up numbers in April worthy of his name. Although he cooled off at the end of the month (dropping his batting average below .400), Shoulders hit .370 with five home runs and 16 RBI in only 22 games and 94 plate appearances. His OBP was .457 and he slugged .642, giving him the second-best OPS in the Midwest League at 1.099 (behind Twins uber-prospect Byron Buxton).
Kane County Cougars Dan Vogelbach: It looked unlikely that Vogelbach would have made this list a week ago, but he finished the month with home runs in his final three games and a .342 batting average over the final ten. Vogelbach hit .315 with five home runs and 14 RBI, as well as posting an OBP of .354 and a SLG of .494. Hopefully, Vogelbach and Shoulders will continue to try to one-up each other all season.
Now on to the games.
The Iowa Cubs were late for the Round Rock Express (Rangers), 1-0.
Chris Rusin arguably had his best start of the season and got another "L" for his troubles. Rusin pitched seven innings and allowed one run on six hits. He didn't walk anyone and he struck out five.
Second baseman Logan Watkins was 3 for 3 with a double and a walk. The other ten Iowa Cubs who came to the plate tonight had one hit total between them.
Left fielder Josh Vitters got his first start of the season and went 0 for 3 with a walk. Center fielder Brian Bogusevic went 0 for 4, ending his hit streak at 15 games.
Already covered here, in case you missed it.
The Daytona Cubs plucked the Palm Beach Cardinals, 3-1.
Starter Ben Wells had his longest start of the year, giving up only one run on three hits over seven innings. Wells walked one and struck out three as he improved his record to 3-1.
The D-Cubs took the lead in the sixth inning when third baseman Ben Carhart hit a two-run double, scoring Jorge Soler and Dustin Geiger. Carhart also doubled and scored in the fifth inning. He was 2 for 3.
Second baseman Anthony Giansanti went 2 for 3 and had the other Cubs' RBI.
Kane County Cougars
The Kane County Cougars edged out the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays), 5-4 in ten innings.
Another strong start for Pierce Johnson, who gave up only one run on four hits over 6.2 innings. Johnson walked one and struck out four.
Jeffry Antigua blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning but stayed in the game and got the win when Kane County scored in the tenth. Antigua gave up the three runs on five hits over 2.1 innings. Antigua struck out four and didn't walk anyone.
Left fielder Pin-Chieh Chen doubled to lead off the tenth inning and scored one out later when first baseman Dan Vogelbach singled him home and ended the game. Chen was 2 for 5 and scored twice. Vogelbach was 1 for 5 with two runs batted in.
Second baseman Gioskar Amaya was 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. He scored once.