Time to once again vote for the BCB Cubs Minor League Player of the Month! The rules are the same as last month, but I'll repeat them again in case you're new. This is a vote designed to reward performance in the minor leagues, not a player's prospect status. Having said that, you're free to come up with your own criteria on whom to vote for. I pick one candidate from each team, plus one "wild card" nomination until Boise starts up their season in June.
The winner for this and for the Minor League Pitcher of the Month will be announced in the June 3 Minor League Wrap.
Several good candidates this month. OK, there's one really good candidate. The candidates are:
Iowa Cubs utility player Logan Watkins: I'm listing Watkins as a utility player because he's played six different positions so far this season: the three infield positions other than first base and all three outfield positions. Despite not having a regular position with the I-Cubs, he got into 23 games in May. He's almost always in the starting lineup when Iowa faces a right-handed starter. For the month of May, Watkins had a triple-slash line of .306/.359/.403. He scored 11 runs and had 12 RBI. He even stole four bases in five attempts. Watkins has accomplished everything asked of him so far this season and it seems likely that he'll get another chance in the majors the next time there is an injury to an infielder. Or maybe an outfielder.
Tennessee Smokies third baseman Kris Bryant: Do I need to remind you what he's done in May? OK, here goes. In 126 trips to the plate in May, Bryant hit 12 home runs, or one every 10.5 times he's come to the plate. He drove in 34 runs and scored 30 times. His triple-slash line was .407/.492/.806. It was a good month.
Tennessee Smokies second baseman Stephen Bruno: I don't think it's a coincidence that the Smokies went on a seven-game losing streak right after Bruno went out with a strained hamstring. In the 23 games Bruno played before he got hurt, Bruno hit .346/.414/.641, with two home runs, two triples and 13 doubles in 78 at bats. Batting in front of Bryant most of the season, Bruno scored 20 runs. He drove in 17 of his own. I've said this before: don't sleep on Bruno. The man can hit.
Daytona Cubs outfielder Pin-Chieh Chen: It was a rough month for Daytona, but Chen was a bright spot as he hit .293 and stole four bases, mostly out of the leadoff spot. He managed the neat trick of having the same OBP as his SLG for May: .402. He also walked the same number of times he struck out: 13.
Kane County Cougars first baseman Jacob Rogers: It was a great month for Kane County, as they all but sewed up a playoff berth with a 19-11 month that gave them a huge lead in the first-half standings.. The Cougars accomplished this despite hitting only 11 home runs as a team for the month. Hey, that was up from the 8 they hit in April. But the best power hitter on the Cougars is Rogers, who hit three in the month of May, most on the team. The rest of his hitting improved to over a woeful April. In May, Rogers hit .287/.385/.495 with 11 RBI and 21 runs scored. He walked 15 times in the month.