Time once again to vote for the BCB Minor League Player of the Month!
The rules are the same as they are every month. In case you're new, I select one player from each of the top five Cubs minor league affiliates. Now that Boise has started, we have a candidate from the Hawks, so to speak. The award is meant to reward production and not prospect-status, so vote for whomever you think had the best month. That said, you can pick your own criteria and vote for whomever you want among the candidates.
This month was a good month. There are probably ten players or so I could have picked for vote, but five players shined above the rest. What's even better in June that all five candidates also happen to be top prospects.
The candidates are:
Iowa Cubs Arismendy Alcantara: Of all the Cubs top prospects, Alcantara is closest to the majors and in June, he gave every indication that he's ready now. Playing both his normal second base and center field for the first time, Alcantara hit .345/.399/.549 with three home runs. He added three triples to bring his league-leading total to ten and had eight doubles as well. Adding to his power/speed credentials, he stole eight bases in nine attempts. Batting leadoff for Iowa, Alcantara scored 27 runs in 29 games along with 11 RBI.
Tennessee Smokies/Iowa Cubs Kris Bryant: Bryant has been so good for so long that it's hard to remember that he still doesn't have a full professional season under his belt. The Cubs still can't trade him because it's still not a year since he signed his first professional contract. Not that they ever would, of course. In 14 games before his promotion to Iowa after the Southern League All-Star Game, Bryant hit .373/.476/.765 with five home runs. He was leading the Southern League in all three triple crown categories when he was promoted. He still leads in home runs and batting average.
After his promotion to Iowa, he didn't slow down much at all. While it was a running joke earlier that he was only hitting home runs and nothing else, he has since started to hit singles and doubles and his Iowa line for June is .333/.412/.800 with six home runs in 12 games. For the month between the two teams, he's hitting .354/.447/.781 with 11 home runs.
Daytona Cubs Dan Vogelbach: Vogelbach had gotten off to a pedestrian start to the season and that had been a big disappointment for a guy who doesn't have much else going for him besides his bat. But in June, Vogelbach turned it around as the Daytona Cubs went from Florida State League bottom-feeders in the first half to first place in the second half. For the month of June, Vogelbach hit .319/.429/.553 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 26 games. He walked more times than he struck out: 17 to 15. He even went 1 for 2 stealing bases.
Kane County Cougars Jacob Hannemann: Hannemann had a brutal May and the outfielder couldn't keep his batting average above the Mendoza line in that month. His OBP and SLG were both under .300. But when the calendar turned to June, Hannemann flipped the switch and he hit .333/.388/.527 with three home runs, seven doubles and a triple in 23 games. One of those home runs was an inside-the-park home run. His speed is pretty obvious in that he stole 13 bases in 14 attempts in June. Batting leadoff, he managed to get 16 RBI as well as 20 runs scored.
Boise Hawks/Kane County Cougars Kyle Schwarber: Schwarber only played five games in Boise, but oh what five games they were. He just went 12 for 20 with four home runs and ten RBI. He still leads the Northwest League in home runs, by the way. Upon his promotion to Kane County he didn't put up video game numbers, but they were still plenty good. In ten games in the Midwest League, Schwarber hit another four home runs and hit .412/.512/.882. Fifteen games into his professional career, Schwarber is clobbering the ball at a rate of .481/.554/1.056. Yep, his slugging percentage is over 1.000 right now, which just proves slugging percentage isn't actually a percentage. It's only 15 games in the low minors, but so far, Schwarber isn't having any problems making the transition to professional baseball.