It's June first, so that means it's time to look back at the past month in the Cubs minor leagues and vote for the BCB Cubs Minor League Player of the Month. There was some tough competition this month as a lot of players played well enough to be nominated for the award. So apologies go out to Josh Vitters, Luis Valbuena, Maty Szczur and Greg Rohan, all of whom played well enough to get nominated but there just wasn't room.
This month's candidates are:
Iowa Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Last month's landslide winner didn't hit for the same ridiculously high average this month, but the power was even better as Rizzo hit ten home runs for the month. Rizzo's final triple slash line was .326/402/.758. Twenty of his thirty-one hits for the month went for extra bases: nine doubles, a triple and ten home runs. Rizzo had 23 runs batted in for the month.
Tennesseee Smokies shortstop Junior Lake: Lake was injured all of April, but he came back in May with a new and improved approach. Lake hit .298/.365/.489 for the month, including three home runs and three steals (although he was caught stealing five times). What's most amazing is that he walked ten times in the month. Last season in 116 games, he only walked 19 times.
Tennessee Smokies outfielder Jim Adduci: Adduci was the Smokies' spark plug for the month, hitting .313/.394/.494, He hit three home runs and stole five bases.
Daytona Cubs shortstop Arismendy Alcantara: Alcantara had a lousy April, but his awesome May raised his batting average from .232 to .309. For the month, Alcantara hit .368/.393/.500. He had one home run and stole ten bases. He did continue to make a lot of errors, but he got better in that regard near the end of the month.
Peoria Chiefs first baseman Paul Hoilman: Let's not sugar-coat it. It was a bad month offensively for the Chiefs. In 29 games, they only scored 102 runs. Yes, the Midwest League is a tough place to hit, but that still is pretty bad. Hoilman managed to keep his head above water, hitting .260/.328/.433. He only hit one home run, but he hit seven doubles, four triples and 17 RBI.
The Iowa Cubs were soaked by the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 5-4.
Starter Chris Volstad went 6.2 innings and allowed four runs on a pair of two-run home runs. He allowed ten total hits. Volstad walked two and struck out three.
The Iowa Cubs managed to fight back and tie the game in the 8th, but Jeff Beliveau took the loss when he allowed a run on three hits and a walk over 1.1 innings. Beliveau did not have a strike out.
Center fielder Brett Jackson put the Cubs up early with a home run to lead off the game. It was Jackson's seventh homer of the year. Jackson went 3 for 4 with a walk.
Third baseman Josh Vitters temporarily tied the game in the eighth inning with a two-run home run. It was Vitters' eighth home run of the season and his fourth in seven games. Vitters was 1 for 3 with a walk.
Shortstop Luis Valbuena was 2 for 5 with a double. DH Ty Wright went 2 for 4. Wright scored once and knocked one in.
The Tennessee Smokies kept the Huntsville Stars (Brewers) down to earth, 2-1.
Trey McNutt took the mound for the first six innings and got his third win of the season. McNutt allowed only one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out two.
Marcus Hatley pitched the final inning for his second save. He allowed one two-out single but nothing else. Hatley did not issue a walk or record a strikeout.
Center fielder Jim Adduci was 3 for 4 and scored a run. Third baseman Matt Cerda scored the other run in a 2 for 3 game.
Right fielder Michael Burgess went 2 for 3 with an RBI double. Shortstop Junior Lake was 2 for 4.
The Daytona Cubs disproved the Ft. Myers Miracle (Twins), 16-7.
Matt Loosen started and improved his record to 3-1 by going five innings and giving up three runs on five hits. Loosen walked two and struck out three.
The D-Cubs banged out 17 hits tonight, Catcher Micah Gibbs hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning. It was Gibbs third home run in only nine games with Daytona this season. He only had two home runs in 87 games last year and none in 43 games the year before. Gibbs was 1 for 3 with two walks. He scored twice in addition to the three RBI.
Right fielder Nelson Perez hit his ninth home run this season with the bases empty in the ninth inning. Perez went 2 for 4 with a walk. He scored twice and batted two in.
Second baseman Ronald Torreyes got his batting average above the Mendoza line by going 4 for 5 with two doubles. He scored twice and had two runs batted in. Third baseman Greg Rohan also had two doubles in a 3 for 6 evening. Rohan scored twice and batted one in.
Center fielder Rubi Silva went 3 for 5. He had one RBI and crossed home twice. DH Taylor Davis was 2 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The Peoria Chiefs buzzed the Burlington Bees (Athletics), 8-6.
Michael Jensen picked up his fifth win of the season with 5.2 strong innings. He allowed two unearned runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out three.
Yao-Lin Wang made it close in the ninth inning, but he hung on to nail down his fourth save. Wang allowed two runs on two hits over 1.2 innings. He walked one and struck out three, including the final two batters in the bottom of the ninth with a man on.
Left fielder Pin-Chieh Chen hit his first home run of the year off of a left-hander and second overall. It was a solo home run in the fourth inning. Chen was 1 for 3 with a walk and a sac fly, to give him two RBI. Chen had been hitting .111 off of lefties coming into this game.
First baseman Paul Hoilman was 2 for 4 with a two-run double and a sac fly. Second baseman Zeke DeVoss was 0 for 2 with three walks and two runs scored.
Both DH Yasiel Balaguert and shortstop Javier Baez were both 2 for 5 with a run scored.