I thought the vote would be closer because there were so many good candidates, but you chose Iowa Cubs Third Baseman Josh Vitters as your BCB Minor League Player of the Month! The Cubs chose Logan Watkins as their official Minor League Player of the Month, but the BCB Award is older and more prestigious. Well, older at least.
Now it's time to vote for the pitcher of the month. The candidates are:
Iowa Cubs Left-hander Brooks Raley: Raley was promoted to Iowa in late-May and hasn't let Triple-A slow him down at all. In six starts for Iowa in June, Raley went 3-2 with a 3.72 ERA. Even better, he did something that no other pitcher in the organization has done this year: He threw a complete game shut out on June 9, albeit one of the seven-inning variety. He has a decent K/BB ratio as well, as Raley struck out 30 and walked only nine in 36 innings last month.
Tennessee Smokies Right-hander Nick Struck: Struck has been the workhorse for Smokies this season, and he worked into the sixth inning in all five starts he made in June. The results were there too as Struck was 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA for the month. Struck struck out 23 and walked 8 in 29.1 innings for the month.
Daytona Cubs Left-hander Austin Kirk: Kirk may not get a lot of strikeouts, but he sure does get a lot of outs. Kirk limited opposing hitters to a .200 batting average for the month, which led to a 2-0 record and a 0.72 ERA in four starts. He pitched a six innings in three of those starts and seven in the other. He struck out 18 and walked only 7 in 25 innings.
Peoria Chiefs Right-hander Yao-Lin Wang: The Chiefs had a couple of other strong candidates (Jose Rosario and the recently-promoted Kyler Burke) but the nod here goes to Wang, who became a shut-down closer in the month of June. After two years of starting, Wang moved to the pen this season and he's really taken to it. In June, Wang was 7 for 8 in save attempts. He had a 2.45 ERA and struck out 13 and walked only two in 11 innings.
Boise Hawks Left-Hander Willengton Cruz: Cruz started the season in Peoria and had a rough time of it, but back in the Northwest League Cruz has gotten back into a groove. In three starts for Boise, Cruz was 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA. He pitched five innings each time and got 13 strikeouts in those 15 innings. He walked only three.
The Iowa Cubs were silenced by the Nashville Sounds (Brewers), 4-1.
Chris Rusin threw six shutout innings tonight, allowing only four hits. Rusin walked three and struck out five.
Rusin was relieved by Jeff Beliveau, and Beliveau did not have a good outing. He only retired one batter and he was charged with four runs on three hits and a walk. Beliveau did not strike out anyone. His record fell to 2-5.
Third baseman Josh Vitters was 2 for 4 with a double in the ninth inning that scored the only Cubs run. Vitters's batting average now stands at .301.
Shortstop Matt Tolbert was 2 for 3 with a walk. Right fielder Dave Sappelt was 2 for 3.
The Tennessee Smokies clouded the vision of the Chattanooga Lookouts (Dodgers), 6-4.
Dae-Eun Rhee started strong tonight, allowing only one hit over the first four innings. The wheels came off in the fifth inning, however, as he loaded the bases and then emptied them with a grand slam. Rhee finished the inning and his night, going five innings and allowing four runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out one. That was good enough for his fifth win of the season.
Third baseman Greg Rohan made his first ever Double-A start pretty memorable as he went 4 for 4 with two doubles and a walk. Rohan scored one run and batted two in.
Center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha was 2 for 4 with a double and was hit by a pitch. Ha scored twice and had one run batted in.
Shortstop Junior Lake was 2 for 5. He scored one run and had one RBI. Right fielder Michael Burgess was 2 for 5.
The Daytona Cubs scored six in the sixth to deep-six the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 7-3.
Starting pitcher P.J. Francescon allowed a single to the second batter he faced and a home run to the third one, putting Daytona in an early 2-0 hole. But he settled down and went six innings and allowed three runs on five hits, including a second home run in the fifth. Francescon struck out five and walked no one.
Ryan Searle had two perfect innings of relief and Brian Schlitter threw a scoreless ninth to end the game.
Third baseman Matt Cerda was demoted from Tennessee to make room for Rohan, and he had no problems as he went 2 for 4 with a double and a stolen base. He scored two runs and batted two in.
Right fielder Elieser Bonne waas 3 for 3 and scored once.
The Peoria Chiefs lost their sixth straight game, 6-0 to the Kane County Cougars (Royals).
Jose Rosario threw seven innings and allowed six runs on ten hits. Two of the six runs were unearned. Rosario did command the strike zone ans he struck out seven and did not walk anyone.
Chiefs had three total hits tonight and three total errors.
The Boise Hawks were buried by the Tri-City Dust Devils (Rockies), 7-5.
A strong start for Tayler Scott, who went 4.1 innings and allowed only one infield hit. He hit his pitch count after a walk and an error, and unfortunately both of those runners scored on a home run off of Hayden Simpson. So Scott was charged with two runs, one of which was earned. He walked four and struck out four.
Su-Min Jung took the loss in relief. He went two innings and allowed two runs on three walks and one bases-loaded single. Jung had two strike outs.
Second baseman Gioskar Amaya was 3 for 5 with a triple and a stolen base. He scored two runs and knocked one in. Third baseman Stephen Bruno went 2 for 4 with a double. He had two runs batted in and scored once.
Dan Vogelbach hit home run number two.